Sunday, June 21, 2009

I be back...... And here's the May numbers

X racing daughter #2 up the rock wall

Whew, man that was fun. Now I really need a vacation to recover! I can highly recommend the Mariner of the Seas if anyone is looking for something to do for a week.

The May numbers from DQ are out. They look pretty good. I was actually expecting a slight increase in the median but that didn't happen. Riverside stayed the same as April and San Berdu fell just a tick. The reason I was expecting an increase wasn't because prices are going up. I felt with the drop in inventory, especially at the low end that might push up the median a bit because of lack of low end sales. It didn't but it was close. The report also mentions this point as a reason for the better numbers.

Sales Volume Median Price
All homes May-08
May-09 %Chng May-08 May-09 %Chng
Los Angeles 5,445
19.8% $422,000 $300,000 -28.9%
Orange 2,266 2,667 17.7% $485,000 $410,000 -15.5%
Riverside 3,444 4,414 28.2% $290,000 $180,000 -37.9%
San Bernardino 2,075 3,134 51.0% $250,250 $137,000 -45.3%
San Diego 2,979 3,242 8.8% $380,000 $295,000 -22.4%
Ventura 708 797 12.6% $435,000 $355,000 -18.4%
SoCal 16,917 20,775 22.8% $370,000 $249,000 -32.7%

Southern California home sales rose for the 11th consecutive month in May as sales of $500,000-plus homes started to come back. The median price paid increased slightly from the prior month for the first time since July 2007, the result of a shift in market activity where sales of deeply discounted foreclosures waned and mid- to high-end purchases rose, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 20,775 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties last month. That was up 1.3 percent from 20,514 in April and up 22.8 percent from 16,917 a year ago, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick.

May’s sales were the highest for that month since May 2006, when 30,303 homes sold, but were 21.2 percent below the average May sales total since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

Foreclosure resales – homes sold in May that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 50.2 percent of all Southland resales. That was down from 53.5 percent in April and from a peak of 56.7 percent in February. May’s figure was the lowest since foreclosure resales were 50.9 percent of all resales last October.

Last month’s median was the second-lowest for any month since it was $242,000 in February 2002, and it stood 50.7 percent below the peak $505,000 median reached in spring and summer of 2007.

“We appear to be in the early stages of the market gradually tilting back toward a more normal balance of sales across the home price spectrum. As more sellers get realistic, more buyers get off the fence and more lenders offer reasonable terms for high-end purchase financing, we’ll see a more normal share of sales in the more established, higher-cost areas that have been nearly comatose,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

“Let’s not forget we’re into the traditional home buying season right now,” he continued, “meaning more people are purchasing for all of the normal reasons, such as a new job or to get settled before school starts. Many are concerned with finding the right home in the right area, not just the most deeply discounted home.” Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains near record levels, while financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is near the all-time low, as is financing with multiple mortgages. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable. Non-owner occupied buying has risen and is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.


X's thoughts on the foreclosure moratorium. I saw some chatter about the California foreclosure moratorium that went into effect June 15th. I've said more than a few times I don't believe this will have any effect on the foreclosure situation. Most lenders have already applied for immunity from the law. And they are going to get it. 38 lenders have already applied and received a 30 day immunity while their application is reviewed. 7 lenders have already received immunity. This law only affects lenders that don't already have a mortgage mod program in place. Most lenders already have programs in place that meet the requirements of the new law. This law is a lame duck. It may give a few people with small lenders or credit unions a few extra months but it's not going to help the vast majority of them.


Jay & Christina said...

I've been following your blog for the past few months...very informative. We are in pre-escrow (awaiting short sale approval) on a 1700 sq. ft. house we like in the hills of Grand Terrace for $240,000...about 5 miles from work. 1/2 acre wooded lot on a cul-de-sac in a very desirable neighborhood...there have been no foreclosures at all here and no sales since 2004!

Inflation adjusted, the price we offered is back to what comps were selling for in 1999 according to neighborhood data on Redfin. We are still offering $140/sq. ft. which seems very steep compared to the houses I see on this blog.

I can rent my current 2BR Grand Terrace condo right now for $200 more than my payment/HOA. I have fears of falling rents, as well as a fear that the Grand Terrace market could fall another 20% or more. We plan to put 20% down, and I'd hate to see that disappear.

So what would YOU do...stay in a cramped 2BR for another year (baby due in Aug.) or go for a house we really like but possibly pay 20% too much? Anyone think Grand Terrace has pretty much bottomed out at 1999 prices? Thanks for any advice.

golfer_X said...

You have to live somewhere. If you can buy for less than rent it's a no brainer assuming you plan to stay a while. If you are purchasing at 1999 prices you should be fine unless things really go south...way south.

I look at the long term fundamentals of price to income and price to rent ratios. If your places falls into the normal area of those two ratios it's a fairly safe bet. The last time those ratios were in the normal area was 200/2001. So if you can buy at those levels or earlier then you are probably making a good move. Even if the market over corrects a bit and your home falls in value, it will come back over a few years. So the key is to buy something you will happy living in for 5 to 10 years.

Christina said...

I know we haven't been talking loans much but what are people out there getting these days?
I talked to a friend over the weekend who bought back in November, he got a 1st with a 30 yr fixed and a 2nd thats deferred for 5 yrs (I'm assuming with an adjustible).

Has anyone heard that before? If interest rates aren't low in 5 yrs, defaults on these loans will go crazy.

cameron said...

Thanks for the terrific information. I'm sure those interested in Riverside and San Bernardino will find this very informative.

Cameron Novak
Corona Real Estate Agent