The Scotts Valley real estate market, part of the larger Santa Cruz County housing market, saw a lower median sales price and fewer home sales in the month of November. According to the most recent available statistics, the average single family home sale in Santa Cruz County cost $536,000. This represented a decline from the same time last year, when the median price was $536,000. The volume of sales also fell, decreasing by fifteen percent in November 2009. Some experts have suggested that the decrease may be seasonal, but the fact that both the number of sales and the average price of sales have declined might point towards underlying weakness in the market. One possible indicator of future movement, the unsold inventory index, suggested that prices may remain somewhat constant during the next several months. Additionally, Santa Cruz foreclosures continue to maintain a record pace for the region, with a full seven hundred homes sold at auction compared to less than six hundred and fifty in November 2009. The median price of condominiums decreased significantly in recent months, although the number of condominiums sold also plummeted. In November 2010, only twenty condominiums were sold, nearly half of the number sold before the real estate market turned sour. One local expert suggested that, when December’s statistics are included, there will be approximately as many home sales in 2010 as there were in 2009.
Commercial real estate in Santa Cruz was also subject to bank-mandated foreclosure activity. Commercial real estate typically lags behind residential real estate by a few months, meaning that the continued woes of the residential market bode poorly for the commercial sector. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, a nineteen acre lot in Scotts Valley was auctioned off during the last week of December 2010. Although the lot was originally intended as a Target store, after the economy soured it was eventually sent off to an auction, where it was purchased by a New York company called Frontier Ridge Global. While now a moot discussion, the fate of the lot was the subject of heated debate among Scotts Valley residents.