Thursday, December 31, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

2 plus 2 equals....

The start of this video is priceless, and the rest ain't bad either.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
from Golfer-X

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holy flip Batman

Remember this house? This one was trashed by the previous owners on the way out.

It was picked up by a flipper for $330k 4 weeks ago. They cleaned it up, fixed the broken stuff, filled the pool and now feel they are entitled to a $300k profit (less costs). They have it listed for $639k! This thing does have a spectacular back yard and the inside looks pretty nice now but geez come on a $300k markup in one month??? It looks like they just cleaned it up and added new wrought iron fencing. I know it needed windows and some other stuff but wow this guys is looking to make a killing. I don't think they will get that much though but he should be able to get mid $500s. That's still a healthy profit.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Realtor Cliche Award

The Realtor Cliche award gores to...... Dory Gray!

She gets it for her listing at 169 Wild Horse Ln in Norco. First there is the description written in all caps. Look realtors, every buyer out here hates that. It's hard to read and makes you look like an idiot. Please stop! Plain old English works for us. Of course it has a Gourmet kitchen. Although I'm not sure what part if it is gourmet, It looks like a run of the mill kitchen to me. $100k in landscaping including "special plants". What are special plants? So far the listing isn't too bad other than the all caps and the way it's written.

What sends her over the top are the tags on the pictures. We have "California Dreaming", "Forever View", "Cozy Formal Dining Area" (love the patio furniture dining set), "Rustic Horse Property", and "Location, Location, Location".

Now, the price on this house isn't too bad. $420k for a 3274 s/f pool home on a 1/2 acre in Norco Hills is a pretty good price. I might even be interested in this house if it had a 3 or 4 car garage. For some reason the last sale price is not showing up on Redfin. I would guess they are the original owners of the home. These sold new in 2004/2005 and this home would probably have gone for around $650k. They have actaully probably spent around $100k putting in that pool, and the concrete work and RV parking. So they are into this place for around $750k I would guess. Will the bank go for $420k? Who knows but the comps actually support the asking price.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's in the news

A 55% increase in "shadow inventory"

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The number of homes that may be in the pipeline for a sale because of foreclosure and delinquency climbed about 55 percent to 1.7 million at the end of September, according to estimates by First American CoreLogic.

The “shadow inventory” rose from 1.1 million a year earlier. Such properties include those taken over by banks and mortgage companies and those where the loans are at least 90 days delinquent, the Santa Ana, California-based research firm said in a report today. The number of unsold homes listed for sale was 3.8 million in September, down from 4.7 million a year earlier, First American said.


Walking away, it's not a moral dilemma for banks! They tell homeowners to "do the right thing" but they themselves do what is most financially prudent.

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley, the securities firm that spent more than $8 billion on commercial property in 2007, plans to relinquish five San Francisco office buildings to its lender two years after purchasing them from Blackstone Group LP near the top of the market.

The bank has been negotiating an “orderly transfer” of the towers since earlier this year, Alyson Barnes, a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman, said yesterday in a telephone interview. AREA Property Partners will take over the buildings. Barnes declined to say when the transfer will occur.

“This isn’t a default or foreclosure situation,” Barnes said. “We are going to give them the properties to get out of the loan obligation.” Eh so you are walking away, right!

The Morgan Stanley buildings may have lost as much as 50 percent since the purchase, he estimated.

Commercial mortgage defaults more than doubled in the third quarter from a year earlier as occupancies fell, according to Real Estate Econometrics LLC. Office vacancies will reach a near-record 19 percent in the first quarter of 2011, broker CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. estimated.


Is that all?

Eventual losses at mortgage giant Fannie Mae could exceed $200bn, posing a risk of receivership after year-end when limitations on the Treasury Department’s authority to support the agencies return, according to research Friday by Barclays Capital (BarCap).

Once the added authority expires, the Treasury will no longer be able to increase the size of the $200bn preferred backstops supporting Fannie and brother agency Freddie Mac without consulting Congress.


Cramdown shotdown!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a win for the banking industry, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to reject a measure that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to change the terms of mortgages for distressed homeowners.

Known as "mortgage cramdown," the measure was defeated in a 188-241 decision as a proposed amendment to a broader financial reform bill expected to win House passage later on Friday.

The House had approved a mortgage "cramdown" measure in March over the objections of Republicans and bank lobbyists, but it died in the Senate.

Cramdown would help stem the home foreclosure wave continuing across the United States, its advocates said. But opponents said it would raise costs for everyone and divert capital from the mortgage debt market.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DQ November report

The November report is out. No surprises here. Sales were strong although 15% below an average November. The impending end for the home buyer tax credit spurred a lot of sales. The lack of low end inventory is also showing up in higher median prices. Similar to what happened in late 2006 and early 2007 when the median was rising because only the higher end homes were selling. Inventory continues to decline. Some of that is due to the holiday season. Many people pull their homes off the market this time of year.

Even though there are far fewer REO's on the market the amount of distressed properties is huge. Here's the latest numbers on that first.

(the numbers are the running totals for the last 120 days (through mid Dec))
NODs 12736
NOTs 14553
NOT sales 6755

San Berdu,
NODs 9834
NOTs 11771
NOT Sales 5558

Here's the DQ report,

Southern California’s housing market continued its step-by-step climb up from the January-February bottom as both sales and prices saw gains last month, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 19,181 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 13.3 percent from October’s 22,132, and up 14.7 percent from 16,720 for November 2008, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

Sales almost always decline from October to November. The year-over-year increase was the 17th in a row. In DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988, the average November had 22,312 sales.

Sales of newly built homes saw an unexpected jump last month. A total of 2,039 new homes were sold, the highest of any month so far this year, and 25.5 percent ahead of 1,625 for November 2008.

Sales have been stoked in recent months by several factors: A federal tax credit for first-time buyers, which had been set to expire last month before it was extended and expanded; robust investor activity, especially inland; super-low mortgage rates; the availability of government-insured, low-down-payment mortgages for first-time buyers; and the allure of a potential “deal” on a distressed property.

Sales Volume Median Price
All homes Nov-08 Nov-09 %Chng Nov-08 Nov-09 %Chng
Los Angeles 5,037 6,257 24.2% $340,000 $329,000 -3.2%
Orange 2,177 2,528 16.1% $400,000 $432,250 8.1%
Riverside 3,719 3,745 0.7% $220,000 $200,000 -9.1%
San Bernardino 2,385 2,751 15.3% $185,250 $160,000 -13.6%
San Diego 2,673 3,148 17.8% $305,000 $325,000 6.6%
Ventura 729 752 3.2% $355,000 $365,000 2.8%
SoCal 16,720 19,181 14.7% $285,000 $285,000 0.0%

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Realtor 101

This fella failed Realtor 101 for sure!

As most of you know by now, I really hate when a person puts ZERO effort into a listing. I mean, for pete's sake you are trying to sell a house and make a living. If he sells this house he will probably make around $7k after splitting with the broker. You'de think he would put just a few minutes of effort into the listing.

So here it is, 1796 Irving St, in Riverside. This is an average sized house on a huge orange grove or something. The trees look small so I doubt it is an income producing grove. It says the previous buyer paid $1.1M for it in 2006. That price seems nutz but then again what wasn't in 2006. Now it's listed for $495k and this is the best (and only) picture Realtor George Wong can come up with.....

Heck that could be my back yard, or a park or just about any thing. No house, really George ya couldn't snap just one picture of the house? And to top it off here is the complete description from the listing,
"8.1 acres - 352,836 square feet of fruit trees, water wells, 2348 sqft house with two car garage. Owner paid $1,100,000 on 5/2/06. Great opportunity. BUYER TO VARIFY ALL INFORMATION"

Oh, tell me more, your riviting description has me aching for more details!

I don't know if this qualifies for a Realtard of the month award but it's got to be a contender.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

55% underwater

I found this chart at Dr Housingbubble. It looks like nearly 55% of the mortgages in the IE are underwater. Most of them WAY WAY underwater!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The thin months

Now that we have moved into the holiday season the new REO inventory will be really thin. Banks really don't like to kick folks out of their homes during the holidays. From a PR standpoint it's not a good thing to throw a families Xmas tree and presents onto the front lawn during an eviction. That sort of behavior will get you on the 6 o'clock news for sure.

So, if you are in the hunt for an REO property, don't expect too much until around Feb. Since the banks don't foreclose until after the holidays and there is another couple of weeks to get the home listed we are looking at sometime in Feb before there is any chance of a decent supply of REO's.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More on Mods

The HAMP mortgage mod fiasco is the single biggest reason there are few homes on the market right now. This is the king pin of the Obama save the home owners plan. So how is it working?

Not so good. Overall something like 25% are already behind. The longer they have been enrolled the higher the percentage of late pays. After 3 months it's closer to 50%. The delinquency rate show the epic failure of this plan. Yet the administration thinks the answer is to pressure the lender to offer more mods and make the mods more affordable.

An example of just how epic a failure this plan is comes from JP Morgan. They have initiated around 178,000 mods. Of that 178k, 22% of them didn't even make the first payment! Even the treasury expects the re-default rate to be 40%. Unfortunately that estimate is proving optimistic as the actual number is looking more like between 50% and 60% (after a year). According to one study, even with payments cut an average of 34%, 65% of borrowers fell back into delinquency. So if we are cutting payments 34% and people still can't pay.......where do you go from there. How about a 30 year loan, payments of $1 a month with a balloon for the balance at the end. I bet that one gets a 100% success rate!

It's fairly obvious people are using this plan to get more free time in the home. They get another 3 to 6 months under the mod, then the bank starts the foreclosure process again and that takes another 6 to 9 months. If they can initiate a short sale they might even be able to squeeze 3 or 4 additional months out if it. That could mean another year to 18 months of free living.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hope springs eternal

Hope, how long would you hold out hoping of some rich foreign national snapping up your unbelievably overpriced house? Would you wait a year? two years? how about 846 days and still counting....

2902 Vandermolen is a 3 1/2 year old house that has NEVER been lived in. This was obviously an investment gone wrong. Purchased for $1.053 million right at the peak of the market this house will be a monumental loser (if they ever sell it). They have been trying to get $1.25M for a couple of years. After putting in the fancy front landscaping they are probably into it close to this amount (once selling costs are factored in). The back yard is still dirt though. The inside of the house is not what you would call upgraded. It has your standard stainless appliances, cheap carpet, cheap ceramic tile and rather ordinary fixtures. They have recently dropped the asking price to $1 million. The problem for the sellers is that the house is probably worth about $550k max based on the comps.

I seriously think I want to throw an offer for $450k at them just to piss them off!
Here's the median sales price by city for October from DataQuick. The county wide median has stayed about the same for 3 months now (it was $190k in August also). Some cities went up slightly and some went down. Prices just seem to be bouncing around right now from month to month.

City................................ sales....2009.......2008...... yoy drop

Riverside County 4,055 $190,000 $230,000 -17.39
AGUANGA 4 $220,000 $304,500 -27.75%
ANZA 4 $146,750 $107,000 37.15%
BANNING 44 $123,500 $142,000 -13.03%
BEAUMONT 126 $205,000 $252,500 -18.81%
BLYTHE 4 $95,000 $280,000 -66.07%
CABAZON 7 $55,000 $75,500 -27.15%
CALIMESA 9 $145,000 $181,000 -19.89%
CATHEDRAL CITY 82 $155,000 $195,000 -20.51%
COACHELLA 49 $141,000 $196,000 -28.06%
CORONA 444 $330,000 $350,000 -5.71%
DESERT HOT SPRINGS 119 $95,000 $119,500 -20.50%
HEMET 198 $125,000 $154,000 -18.83%
HOMELAND 9 $129,000 $199,000 -35.18%
IDYLLWILD 10 $199,000 $180,000 10.56%
INDIAN WELLS 13 $450,000 $750,000 -40.00%
INDIO 147 $193,000 $230,000 -16.09%
LA QUINTA 117 $276,000 $305,000 -9.51%
LAKE ELSINORE 144 $170,000 $210,000 -19.05%
MECCA 3 $70,000 $110,750 -36.79%
MENIFEE 99 $195,000 $240,000 -18.75%
MIRA LOMA 38 $265,000 $302,818 -12.49%
MORENO VALLEY 368 $135,000 $170,500 -20.82%
MOUNTAIN CENTER 4 $301,000 $235,000 28.09%
MURRIETA 276 $235,000 $266,000 -11.65%
NORCO 27 $312,000 $390,000 -20.00%
NUEVO 12 $125,000 $194,000 -35.57%
PALM DESERT 120 $290,000 $350,000 -17.14%
PALM SPRINGS 181 $145,000 $267,500 -45.79%
PERRIS 208 $147,000 $169,000 -13.02%
RANCHO MIRAGE 44 $497,500 $435,500 14.24%
RIVERSIDE 511 $180,000 $225,000 -20.00%
SAN JACINTO 114 $146,000 $170,000 -14.12%
SUN CITY 145 $170,000 $210,500 -19.24%
TEMECULA 245 $262,000 $308,250 -15.00%
THOUSAND PALMS 4 $118,000 $130,000 -9.23%
WHITE WATER 2 $85,250 n/a n/a
WILDOMAR 70 $235,500 $280,000 -15.89%
WINCHESTER 51 $250,000 $265,000 -5.66%