Monday, March 24, 2008

Cali's February report card

The California Association of Realtors has issued it's official February report. Here's a few lowlights,

Home sales decreased 28.5 percent in February in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home fell 26.2 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 343,220 in February at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity decreased 28.5 percent from the revised 480,170 sales pace recorded in February 2007.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during February 2008 was $409,240, a 26.2 percent decrease from the revised $554,280 median for February 2007, C.A.R. reported. The February 2008 median price fell 4.8 percent compared with January’s revised $429,790 median price.

Riv/SanBerdu median ........... $289,660 (last month $298k, last year $397k)
%change from Jan......... -2.8%
%change from 07 ...... -27.2%
%change in sales from Jan.... -7.4%
% change in sales from 07 ....-17%

So to recap, sales down 7% from last month, down nearly 20% from last year, prices down nearly 30% from last year (ouch). Feb is a short month so some of those declines in volume might be a factor of that, although this year there were nearly the same amount of biz days in Jan and Feb.

I would expect to see sales volume picking up month over month this time of year. We are moving into spring which is one of the busier times of the year. Sales volumes usually start picking up. Don't be surprised to see headlines spouting off results like "March sales up 10%". Duh, March sales are always way up over Feb sales. But the NAR will do just about anything these days to make things seem better than they are.


Anonymous said...

It is starting to get very tempting out there. The FHA limit increase seems to be speeding up sales in my area. I've had my eye on a house that sold for $555,000 in Feb of 2006 that is listed for $349,000. I might take a stab soon. If I buy, I'm planning on staying in the home for good so I don't really veiw it as an investment, more of a place to raise my family. Hell, some of these listings over here are nearing 2003-2004 levels.

PS said...

The FHA limit increase hasn't done anything. The jumbos are still at $417k. If anything the so called increase is due to falling prices and all the knife catchers jumping in. 2003/04 levels are WAY too high. Wait till prices hit 01/02 levels. They are already getting there in the outer areas like Hemet, San Jacinto, Wildomar and even Moval. Even if you don't view it as an investment do you really want to waste $100k ($300k over the life of a loan)?

Don't even consider it until this winter at the very earliest.

These numbers are not showing an increase, Quite the opposite. I have noticed things moving in my area too. But it's due to homes being pulled or going pending and then never closing. Are any homes actually closing?

Anonymous said...

I have seen a few houses in Norco Hills move to pending status and one 2700 square foot home sold for 540,000 (listed at 525,900). It looks like busy is pick up in that area but it is hard to say since there was no business before. what would be 01-02 prices for homes in this area since most of them were built in 2004+?

golfer_X said...

I also think that prices will settle around the 2001-2002 range. Prices went up 300% over 5 years. There will come right back down now that the bubble has popped. Norco hills is one of my target areas. I probably looked at that $525k house Was it the one on Vandermolen with all the faux paint on the walls? That was a nice house but not worth $500k in my opinion. They were asking $525k but the yard was dirt. If those had been there in 2001 or 2002 they would have sold in the $300k to $400k range. The homes on the other side of Wyle lab (Parkridge/Hidden valley area) were built around 2001 and that's what they sold for. Only a few months ago there was NOTHING in that tract under $700k. Now there are half a dozen listed around $500k. BrianH sent me todays list of NOD's and NOT's and there are 2 more in that tract in todays list. One on Crestview (3220) and one on Vandermolen (3022). So there are 2 more homes that will soon be REO's from todays list. I'll be looking to pick one of those up late this year or early next for around $400k with a landscaped yard and preferably a pool.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Vandermolen was the house, just make sure you leave one up there for me.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the fact the house sold for more than the asking price?

Anonymous said...

It ain't sold yet! It has to close and the ratio of closings is still pretty bad.

I looked at that house on it's first open house. It was the nicest house in the tract under $600k at the time. There were a lot of people looking at it the day I was in it. It's also on the best street in the tract which has to be worth a buck or two. I'm not surprised it went pending, the best deals are the ones that are selling. At the time I think that house was the best deal in the area. It does not mean the guy isn't going to be upside down next year though.

There's a group over over anxious buyers (knife catchers) that are out in droves right now. Them along with a large group of amateur investors are buying (or trying to buy) right now. Let them! That will mean fewer buyers later this year. I thin the better properties will hit the market later. Those properties are the ones where the owners are trying to hold on till the market improves or they are priced higher right now. I want one of those! I don't want the house with the dirt yard or the one with the 4" white tiles on the kitchen counter. I think the nicer stuff will be hitting the market later. Right now it's the homes that belonged to the flippers that did not have any money to landscape or upgrade.

golfer_X said...

Woops, that last post was me....

smokingcrackmakespricesgohigher said...

Yeah, there's no way I'm buying before the end of year. The real deals are yet to be had. Even if you buy something that seems like a bargain at 45% off now, just wait. You'll be even happier when you get it for 55% off (or something even nicer).

Just my $0.02

Anonymous said...

Don't you get the feeling that there is some type of huge bailout coming.....The Republicans want to bailout Wallstreet and the Democrats want to bailout upside down homeowners. Either way, this thing is going to be drug out for years. Losses we should be seeing over the next 8-10 months will take 3 or 4 years if the government keeps propping this thing up. I am a renter, but I am tired of having to move every 1-2 years while I wait for the "bottom". I'm just lookin for a stable place to raise my little girls.

BTW raising the FHA limits does create opportunities for any idiot with $15K in the bank to buy a $500K house.

Pedro74 said...

Speaking of report cards, Did anyone else notice Standard Pacific homes is about to go tits up? They got a 45 day extension from creditors and the CEO got up and quit. The builder looks to be about out of options.

If anyone has a deposit for a house from Standard Pacific I would seriously consider getting it back. You dont want to end up like all those folks in Florida or Northern Cali that got stuck when builders went belly up. Those people lost a lot of money. It's also gonna screw people that will have a worthless home warranty when SP folds.

Anonymous said...

When you see how far the prices are dropping in San Jacinto and Perris it's not hard to conclude that those types of declines will happen everywhere in the IE. It will just take a little longer in the better areas because there are more knife catchers wanting to live there. And who the hell in the IE can still afford a half million dollar house now that funny money loans have gone away. You need a yearly income of $150k to afford one of those.

Anonymous said...

what about people that need to buy in the next 3 months. where in riverside is the best deal for a knife catcher like me? new construction or resale? and which area?

Pedro74 said...

NEED?? what is your spouse holding a gun to your head? Rent a house for a year and then buy next year.

If you HAVE to buy the biggest declines are in Temecula/Murrieta, Menifee, Hemet, San jacinto, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley and Perris. Eastern Riverside (Orangecrest) and south Riverside (Victoria grove) and South Corona or North Corona (Eastvale) have seen some sizeable declines. Most of the new developments (in the last 5 years) are in trouble so you can choose from dozens of REOs in each tract. The builders are dealing, some more than others but I think the REO's are still usually a better deal.

Be carefull buying new! A lot of builders are going to go out of business. And you don't want to find yourself with a worthless warranty or living in a half built tract.

Anonymous said...

"NEED?? what is your spouse holding a gun to your head? Rent a house for a year and then buy next year."

no gun. we are staying at a friend's home until it is foreclosed upon since we sold ours some time back. it is hard to find a place to rent for our large family that is both affordable and safe. AFTER we sold our current home, we were notified that a previously adopted child of ours has a sibling in need of a family. while he remains a foster child for the next 6 months before we can adopt him, we must meet certain requirements, including having 5 bedrooms. ever try to rent a 5 bedroom house from someone who is willing to rent to a family of 8 with multiple pets? it is not easy. the last one we found was already in foreclosure. we found out on our own. had we moved in, they would have taken our last months payment and deposit and left the country. and we would have found ourselves moving again in 3 months. so yes, i must buy. some of us out there just can not wait for the bottom. which is why i ask, if i must, where should it be?

golfer_X said...

Try Moreno Valley. There are some LARGE homes up in Moreno Valley Ranch that have upwards of 7 bedrooms that are around $300k

MLS#: I08016342
MLS#: K08028212
MLS#: H07163631
MLS#: I08035689
MLS#: I08005541
MLS#: I08014002

Some of these are Bank owned some are short sales. But they are all in Moreno Valley ranch, which is a nice area. The last one is on the lake! It's listed for $289k, I'd offer $240k max.

I'm Not POTUS said...

Remember what happens when 7 bedroom homes get down to rent value? You get investor bought boarding homes. Your going to spend a lot of time getting up early to put the trash out because every inch of curb space will be taken up by cars from the 12 renters/relatives that live next door to you. You're talkin MoVal not HB. Very few Brady Bunch families left outside of Utah.
This happens every time a place gets de-gentrified.

golfer_X said...

Homes like those don't make good rentals. Most of those listed are in HOA areas and have CC&Rs that make multi-family type rentals not very practical. There are rules against keeping the garage doors open, parking, lawn color etc. My mom lives in MoVal Ranch and the HOA is a real pain in the ass. They don't let ya park cars all over the place, you get nastygrams if you leave the trash cans out too long etc etc....

This has been gone over before, but investors (smart ones) are looking for smaller 3 and 4 bedroom units (1000 t0 1500 s/ft). Bigger homes cost too much to maintain and refurb between renters.

Anonymous said...

They don't let ya park cars all over the place

HOA's have no control over a public street. So people can cram as many cars on the street as they want.

golfer_X said...

I was actually talking about parking on the lawn and up the side of the house etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:45 said

"HOA's have no control over a public street. So people can cram as many cars on the street as they want."

Bull crap - I live in East Highlands Ranch HOA, and if you leave just one car parked on the street without permission it's a $25 dollar fine. Same thing with the trash cans. You have 17 hours to get them out of sight or you get fined.


general_lee said...

Ditto what the last post said. I also live in a HOA tract and we are not allowed to park cars in the street. If Anon 4:45 wants to come fight my HOA will cheer him on. I have 2 sons that both drive and me and my wife. Playing musical cars 2 or 3 times a week is a royal pain in the butt. We keep 2 in the garage and the other 2 sit on our 3 car drive. So there is always one car behind either mine or my wifes car. HOA's are a pain in the butt, however after living in a HOA area I will not live in a regular area again. The tract is so much cleaner and neater when you don't have cars parked all over the place. The lawns are green (well they used to be, before foreclosure hell), There's no groups of teens playing rap music so loud it shakes my paintings off the wall. It's just a much nicer place to live.

The General

PS, I don't want the rule on parking removed, But I think homes with a few driving teens should be able to park at least one car in the street. After all, it's all about me!

Briar said...

I'm already seeing investor-owned boarding homes. I'm keeping my eye out for a sinking home "owner" who might want to take in a roommate to keep from going under. I'm finding a lot of ads where it is clear that the owner is one of the people who is living in the house. The ads will talk about five bedrooms and tell you who all the other four occupants are and it'll be clear that the owner isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

Hey I have been looking in the Fontana area North 92336 area code.
I have seen bank owned around $350,000 or so. I am trying to find something like 2700-3100 sq feet 3 car garage. I seen one last few weeks and it was listed at $350,000 but some knuckle head bid over the listed price so they put it back on the market for $380,000.
There is starting to be some interest in this area everytime I see something I like it is a pending sale.
Do anyone think the prices are going to tank another $50,000 in Fontana or so. What is a good offer on a $350,000 in this area?

Anonymous said...

I was just pre-qualified for a house around $340,000 . I have a bk on the credit report and a fico of 720 right now. The problem is I dont have enough lines of credit opened for credit history.

My lender told me that the banks put me in a stage two and are dinging me to a 7.25 % interest rate which is crazy I will not go for that. I know she is not the only game in town. The bank is actually pentalizing me and making me a higher risk.
I have 20% to put down and I was think I could have my spouse right up a notrized document stating she will pay $1000 toward the house will this help me qualify for todays interest rates?? She will not be on the title.
I tried to apply for credit card last year twice. I was denied and then I got a gas card to help build my credit history. Go figure they approve me for a house but will not give me credit card what is that?

Need advise?

exrealtard said...

Currently prices are "sticky". Sellers and banks are hoping for the spring rush of buyers. So far it has not materialized. Sales are down 30% from last year in most areas, some are down over 50%. There is more activity now but thats jsut the normal pattern for this time of year. Don't be fooled by this sales are still WAAAY down.

Prices are going to tank a lot more than $50k in Fontana. But it's not going to happen in the next month or two. The median is going down $3k per week currently. That will probably accelerate in the fall if the inventory numbers are still through the roof (and they will be because of all the foreclosures still in the pipe). Wait until the fall or winter and they will be another $50k to $100k less than they are now.

exrealtard said...

Anon 10:59

How do you get a 720 FICO with a BK and no credit history? Sounds like your FICO should be around 520.
Don't take this the wrong way but to me it does not sound possible to have a FICO that high in your situation.

Why is the wife not on the title?

7.25% is not a bad rate if you have credit issues.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see my fico at 720 myself. All I have right now is a gas card that I got this January. The bk was done back in 2002. And the 720 is the middle score. So go figure I dont know but Ill take it.

I just found out friday that I will qualify for todays rates 5.75% so that is good news. I will take the advise and buy in the fall or winter I agree $3K a week drop is significant.