Source: The Desert Sun/Rosalie Murphy/12.30.16

Desert home prices & sales have been steady for more than two years – with median sales prices hovering just under $300,000, around $170 per sq. ft. Monthly sales have consistently ranged from about 700 homes (in slow fall months) to 1,000 home (in winter & spring) when sales typically accelerate.

The exception has been PALM SPRINGS, where homes now routinely sell for higher prices per square foot than homes in “upscale” Indian Wells additional info.  Palm Springs saw its high-price record shattered 3 times this year. In the spring, designer Marc Ware’s house in Old Las Palmas sold for $5.75 million. In summer, the Elrod House sold to fashion designer Jerry Scott for $7.7 million. And this fall, investor Ron Burkle snatched up the Bob & Dolores Hope estate on Southridge (designed by John Lautner) for $13 million – 48% below its last listing price of $25 million, but still the city’s largest-ever sale. Currently, the most expensive listing in Palm Springs is the state of philanthropist Jim Houston, which asks $11 million.*  It’s been on the market for nearly 2 years with no price change.

* In January, Teles Properties’ Palm Springs Broker Scott Lyle will list the city’s highest priced listing at $14.5 million for the most dramatic of estates set against the Palm Springs mountains on over 70 acres!     Click Here!

The once-mighty Canadian dollar, which meant 15-30% of home buyers at the bottom of the “crash of 2007”, has dropped along with the Canadian dollar’s decline to about 70 US cents last winter. That has rebounded to only about 76 cents according to Bank of Canada. Not only did many Canadians NOT purchase desert homes in 2015-2016, but MANY chose to sell their homes and take the profits back across the border.

The continuing boom of Modernism Week, 2016 being the 11th annual in February, shattered records, drawing about 77,500 people to Palm Springs. There are now Modernism festivals in October & February each year celebrating fashion, contemporary interior design and architecture, art and travel as well.

Rumors of the First Family buying a home in Rancho Mirage are fully unsubstantiated. Although the President has held several important summits at Sunnylands, and has stayed with friends Michael Smith & Ambassador James Costos in Thunderbird Heights of Rancho Mirage, the home rumored to become the desert escape for the Obamas was actually sold in 2014 to a Nebraska trust, the executor of which insists that it had NOT been purchased on behalf of the President. Maybe next year. 🙂

Overall, Palm Springs continues on its HOT trajectory of popularity, home sales and increasing home prices! With so much new construction, and the new downtown mall well underway (Kimpton & Virgin Hotels are being built), the tourist-friendly & very walkable uptown & downtown appear VERY busy at times that were even considered “dead” in many past years.

Not only is it often hot in Palm Springs….it’s also very “HOT” in every aspect! Including real estate!

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