Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sept DQ report

Not much change this month in prices for the IE but the sales numbers continue to fall.

Southland home sales dropped for the third month in a row amid renewed doubts about a market that is recovering in fits and starts. The median price moved up on a year-over-year basis for the tenth month in a row and has regained about one-fifth of its peak-to-trough loss. The effects on the market of the latest chapter in the foreclosure crisis are unclear, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 18,091 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in September. That was down 2.4 percent from 18,541 in August, and down 16.0 percent from 21,539 for September 2009, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

This was the slowest September since 2007, when 12,455 homes were sold. Last month’s sales were 26.3 percent lower than the September average of 24,578. DataQuick’s statistics begin in 1988. An August-to-September drop is normal for the season: On average, sales have dipped 9.2 percent between those two months.

“Today’s market can be characterized as much by activity that’s not happening, as by the activity that is happening. We’re seeing distress-selling, bargain-hunting and entry-level buying, while the rest of the market is still largely on hold,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

Sales Volume Median Price
All homes Sep-09 Sep-10 %Chng Sep-09 Sep-10 %Chng
Los Angeles 7,138 6,070 -15.0% $330,000 $340,000 3.00%
Orange 2,828 2,524 -10.7% $429,000 $445,000 3.70%
Riverside 4,312 3,292 -23.7% $185,000 $200,000 8.10%
San Bernardino 3,023 2,454 -18.8% $150,000 $160,000 6.70%
San Diego 3,454 3,069 -11.1% $325,000 $330,500 1.70%
Ventura 784 682 -13.0% $371,750 $370,000 -0.50%
SoCal 21,539 18,091 -16.0% $275,000 $295,500 7.50%

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mission Grove (new homes)

I finally stopped into the new Standard Pacific development up in Mission Grove (or is it Woodcrest or Orangecrest). Heck I don't know what area it officially falls into but it's near King high school. It's right next to the old Centex development. I don't know if Standard bought the lots from Centex for pennies on the dollar or if they owned these all along. My guess is they picked them up cheap, they seem to be buying a lot of land if they can get it at the right price. But I digress....onto the homes.

The homes are still big which surprised me a bit, however they are smaller than the bubble monsters. They range from 2500 s/f up to 3500 s/f. Prices are in the mid $300s. At those prices the cost per square foot is between $105 and $120. Remarkably enough that is almost in line with many of the regular resales in the area. The homes themselves are pretty nice and seem bigger than the square footage indicates. The bedrooms in particular are quite large which we found a pleasant surprise. Many other builders make huge homes with tiny bedrooms. In order to pull this off they eliminated the formal living rooms. So if you are a fan of a room no one uses you will be disappointed in these floorplans. The lots are still good sized with most of them around 1/4 acre (although many of them have a slope taking up some of that).

The builder was offering some incentives and I'm sure you could negotiate the broker fee back to yourself if you go in alone. I would imagine you could probably get them to throw in some upgrades since it looks like they have a lot of homes to sell. Of course the drawback to buying new is you get a "lot" of dirt. So you will need to spend some coin on landscaping. Of course many of the REO's and shorties still have dirt yards too. The good part is you still get to pick your flooring, cabinet colors, counters and even the exterior to some extent. So there are some definite advantages of buying new. It's often hard to find everything you like in a resale home and most of them will need carpeting or painting. So those costs often can offset the cost of landscaping a new home (unless you want a pool or some fancy back yard).

All in all, I found them not a bad deal. The prices seemed ok, the floorplans were decent and the area is good. The only drawback is Miller middle school is right across the street and traffic is horrific when school goes in and out. So if you are tired of looking at REO's short sales and such you might want to check these out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Well, it's about time

In what could be a first in Riverside County, a former homeowner is charged with a crime in connection with damage to a property in foreclosure.

A San Diego police officer and his wife have been charged with a felony in the trashing of their six-bedroom tract home, which was in foreclosure, in the French Valley area of southwest Riverside County. From stones smashed off the facade to dye poured on carpets, the damage totaled $200,000, according to court records.

The extent of the damage and the "obvious malice" pushed the case into the realm of criminal behavior, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Hatfield said.

The damage to the Via Laguna home included missing appliances and fixtures, torn-out wiring and trees tossed in the swimming pool, according to court records.

Robert Conrad Acosta, 39, and Monique Evette Acosta, 35, were charged Monday with destroying and carrying away items from a mortgaged property with the intent to defraud or injure. If convicted, they face up to four years in prison, district attorney's spokesman John Hall said. As of Friday, they had not been arrested.

According to court records, San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union had given the Acostas until July 1 to move out of the home, located in an unincorporated area near Murrieta.

Tina Medrud, a credit union representative, went to inspect the home June 15 and discovered that it had been vandalized inside and out, court records show.

The two-car garage door was gone, along with gates, the flagstone patio and walkway. Some of the decorative facade had been smashed off the house and the outdoor fireplace. Walls throughout the home were sprayed with black paint. Among the items missing: air conditioners, decorative beams, countertops, cabinets, fixtures and woodwork. The stone floor in a hallway was destroyed. Wiring had been pulled from the walls and cut. Trees and bushes had been thrown into the damaged backyard pool.

Medrud reported the damage to the Sheriff's Department, telling investigators that the Acostas had attempted unsuccessfully to modify their home loan and that the credit union had begun the foreclosure process, court records say.

In e-mails provided to investigators by the credit union and quoted in a declaration in support of a search warrant, Monique Acosta wrote that she believed she had been misled by credit union officials. In one message she demanded $10,000 in exchange for moving out and leaving the home in good condition, court records show.

A witness reported seeing the Acostas on June 12 removing items from the home, court records say. Later, many of the missing items were recovered by investigators from the Acostas' storage units in San Diego County.