A frenzy of activity in the Palm Springs real estate market ushered in by the pandemic pushed prices higher and inventory lower for the tenth consecutive month, according to data released last week.
That data, provided by the Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors (PSRAR), shows the following:
- The median price of a detached home in Palm Springs in April was $920,000 — up 35 percent from the April 2020 median price of $680,000, and 135 percent above the average price of $335,000 during a slump in 2011
- Condominiums and townhomes in the city did not fare quite as well, but still saw an increase in the median sales price of 6.3%, to $313,500
- Across the entire Coachella Valley prices of detached homes rose 27 percent over last April — averaging a $559,750 sale price this April, compared to $440,000 in April 2020; attached home prices in the Valley went up 17 percent in April, to an average sale price of $349,900
- Combined, there were an average of 227 properties sold each month in Palm Springs during the past three months. One year ago that number was 153
- The three-month average of total sales in the entire Valley in April was 1,276 units a month, which compares to just 782 units a year ago
- On May 1 of 2021 there were 710 units available to purchase, compared to nearly 3,000 available units (both detached and attached homes) available on May 1, 2020
Were home sales to stop tomorrow, the report noted, inventory throughout the Coachella Valley would dry up in only three weeks.
Why so hot? Blame the pandemic, which has seen many employees able to work from home. When home can be anywhere with an Internet connection, the lure of living in a sun-drenched Southern California resort town is strong.
“Measuring sales in the individual cities, we see a distinct pattern,” the PSRAR report stated. “Sales in the cities considered as more working class or employment oriented are much lower compared to sales in the resort cities of La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Rancho Mirage.
“This means that the sales increase is primarily due to buyers from outside the region then from local households moving from rentals to homeownership.”
One luxury property that may have appeared to be swept up in the frenzy actually was not, according to the real estate agent who managed the sale locally. Agent Scott Lyle said Sunday that a 28-acre estate in The Mesa neighborhood belonging to actress Suzanne Somers and her husband Alan Hamel was not affected by current market conditions, and instead was, “a special, very unique home, and it took a while to find the right buyer.”
The estate, dubbed “Les Baux de Palm Springs,” was listed in 2008 for $35 million. It officially closed Friday to an undisclosed buyer for the most recent asking price of $8.5 million. The main home features seven bedrooms and 10 baths in 7,300-square-feet.
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MORE CITY TURNOVER: Palm Springs Assistant City Manager Marcus Fuller is expected to be named the next city manager of Rialto Tuesday evening during that city’s regular city council meeting. If approved as expected, Fuller’s last day would be June 17. Fuller first came to Palm Springs in 1999 from La Quinta as an associate engineer in the Public Works Department, but left to become director of the Rialto Public Works Department and a city engineer in 2012. In 2014, then City Manager David Ready offered Fuller an opportunity to return to Palm Springs as his assistant. Fuller would be the third high-ranking city official to exit City Hall in recent months. Ready left earlier this year, and Police Chief Bryan Reyes announced last week he is retiring in August.
MIZELL OPENING: The Mizell Center announced Saturday it plans to open for in-person programs starting June 15. In-person visits will be allowed for any member who registers for a class, and you will be asked to present your membership card and sign a waiver. All staff and volunteers are vaccinated, officials at the center noted, and capacity limits and social distancing will be in place.
AIRPORT TRAFFIC: Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) continued to see passenger traffic rebounding last month as more travelers return to the skies. According to an airport spokesperson, April was the best month for passenger numbers at PSP since the pandemic started, and this month should follow suit with several days coming in at more than 100% of same day 2019 numbers. “We’re seeing consistent month-over-month improvement in our passenger numbers”, said Daniel Meier, deputy director of aviation, marketing & air service. “So far, our daily passenger numbers this month have been at 88 percent or higher of same day 2019 numbers, with many days in the 90s and some exceeding 100 percent.” PSP expects the passenger recovery to continue due to more year-round flights, including those added this year from Southwest.
THIS WEEK’S EVENTS
- LAUGHTER YOGA: The Mizell Center offers laughter yoga today at 11 AM-Noon. Information and registration is available here.
- AGING IN THE VALLEY: “Determining Mental Capacity in the Elderly” is the topic of a presentation today at 12:30 PM via Zoom, featuring elder law expert Esther Wang. Registration information for the event can be found here.
- FUTURE PLANNING: A program designed to aid people faced with making difficult healthcare decisions for themselves or loved ones will be held online today at 2 PM. Registration information can be found here.
- ONE-PS: The monthly Board of Directors meeting of the Organized Neighborhoods of Palm Springs (ONE-PS) starts at 2:30 PM on Zoom. No information on participating in the meeting was available by the time this edition of The Post was sent. Information on the organization, however, can be found here.
- PARKS & REC: The city’s Parks & Recreation Commission meets at 5:30 PM this evening. Information on joining that meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.
- CANNABIS TASK FORCE: The City Council Cannabis Task Force subcommittee meets at 5:30 PM. Information on that meeting can be found here.
- TAI CHI: The Mizell Center offers Chair Tai Chi at 9 AM. Registration is available here.
- MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center hold four events today. For a complete list, you can see the facility’s calendar here.
- ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS: The city’s Administrative Appeals Board meets tonight at 5:30 PM. An agenda and online participation information can be found here. Up for discussion are three appeals of vacation rental citations, fines, and bans.
- PLANNING COMMISSION: The city Planning Commission meets at 5:30 PM, following a study session at 4 PM. Information on participating in the meeting can be found here. Among items up for discussion are revised plans for the property formerly known as the Andaz Hotel, 414 N Palm Canyon Dr.
- STORY TIME CANCELLED: “Read-To-Me Story Time” with Nancy Valdivia, the city’s children’s librarian, is cancelled on this day . It usually takes place at 10 AM on YouTube and Facebook.
- FOOD AVAILABLE: FIND Food Bank distributes food in the city today at two locations. A mobile market will be set up at the James O. Jessie Desert Highlands Unity Center, 480 W Tramview Rd., from 4-6 PM. Food is also available at the community food bank, 610 S. Belardo Road, between 5 PM and 7 PM. That location is open every Thursday. A complete calendar of food distribution in the community is available here.
- FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission from 5-7 PM this evening. Tickets are required and can be obtained here.
- CITY COUNCIL: The Palm Springs City Council holds its regular meeting tonight at 5:30 PM. Information on viewing the meeting online, as well as an agenda, can be found here. Among items of interest is a possible vote to approve VillageFest returning to operation on July 1.
- MIZELL MUSIC: The Mizell House Band plays live music at The Mizell Center, starting at 10:30 AM. The performance is usually streamed live on the Center’s Facebook page. More information is available here.
- VACCINES: Anyone 12 and older now qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine in Riverside County. If you qualify, you can get one at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 North Avenida Caballeros, from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 8:30 AM until 7 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments are not required, and those age 12-17 need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You can also find a list of community providers such as pharmacies here.
Want to know about city and other municipal events? Road construction in your neighborhood? Building activity? Have something to report? The following links should help: