When you watch the market as closely as I do it does not take very long to see that there is probably more monkey business going on now than there was at the height of the bubble years.
Everything from short sale shenanigans to pocket listings to outright insider fraud. If you just look at the active listings you might not notice these deals. However, if you look at the pendings and the sales histories you will start to notice many of the sales just don't pass the smell test.
Take this one for instance, 3162 Vandermolen in Norco. It hit the market just this morning at what looks like a reasonable price. I saw it pop onto Redfin this morning and figured I would go look at it this weekend. But when I got home from work it's already pending. More than likely a pocket listing. The agent already has a buyer but has to show the bank it was actually listed. Maybe I should contact the bank???
How about this one at 1440 Valley. This was another house that hit the market for about 30 seconds and then went pending. The listing price is probably about $75k-$100k less than this house would sell for on the open market. It's a short sale so maybe the bank will get wise to the deal.
Between deals like these, flippers and clueless agents it's no wonder most buyers are finding this market a frustrating thing to deal with.