Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Are prices really falling?

The median prices for January are out and all over California the median is falling. But are prices in the IE falling? If they are it's certainly not in the areas I track. Prices are pretty much the same as they've been for a couple of years now. I see a few homes sell for less than I thought and then a few sell for more but overall the average has been remarkably stable for quite a long time. The reported median price is, and has always been a poor indicator of actual prices. In 2007 when the market was falling apart at the seams the median was climbing to record highs. But that was because all the low end sales went away, not because values were going up. I think we are seeing a similar thing right now. With the end of the tax credits and tight financing the high end is getting pummeled while the low end is still busy with investors and first time buyers. The mix is moving towards the low end.

This is gonna be an interesting year. The government seems to have had enough and seems to be losing interest in saving the underwater homeowners. They seem to want out of the mortgage business based on their latest reports on fannie and freddy. Who know what the banks will do next. Will they fire up the foreclosure engine, or continue to let people live rent free for years on end. Will inflation take off? What are interest rates gonna do? Either way I think the IE is pretty well scraping the bottom. We are back to rental equilibrium, and nearly back to income equilibrium. So by most tradition measures home prices are back to where they should be in the IE. If the employment numbers ever get back to a reasonable level we might come out of this mess sooner than most areas.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

January sales report

The January dataquick report is out. Sale numbers fell off a cliff, that's fairly normal though this time of year. Median price fell nearly everywhere. The IE was only down a small amount since we are much closer to the bottom than the OC or LA. I suspect that the OC and LA will start to see some large declines now. This mirrors the pattern of the early 90's where the IE fell hard and fast while the coastal areas thought they were "immune" because everyone wanted to live there. Not so much as it turned out. They fell just as far as the IE, it just took them a couple of extra years.

Southland homes sold at the slowest pace for a January in three years – and the second-slowest in 15 – amid record-low new-home sales, tight credit, and a persistent reluctance among would-be buyers. The median sale price dipped slightly from a year ago but fell more than usual from December as investors and others targeting lower-cost properties accounted for a larger share of sales, a real estate information service reported.

The total number of homes sold last month was the lowest for a January since 2008, when 9,983 sold, and the second-lowest since 1996. Last month’s sales fell 18.8 percent below the average January sales tally of 17,802.

January new-home sales were the lowest for any month in DataQuick’s records back to 1988. Builders have struggled to compete with prices on resale homes, especially distressed properties.

But what’s proven the bane of the building industry has fueled a boom among investors, who appeared to be as active as ever last month.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought a record 24.8 percent of the homes sold in January, paying a median $198,500. Over the last decade, absentee buyers purchased a monthly average of about 16 percent of all Southland homes.

Buyers who appeared to have paid all cash – meaning there was no indication that a corresponding purchase loan was recorded – accounted for a near-record 29.5 percent of January sales, paying a median $190,000. So far, the peak for cash sales was 30.1 percent last February. The 10-year monthly average for Southland homes purchased with cash is about 13 percent.

“Last month was sort of a flashback to January last year: Sales were lousy, but many investors and others looking for bargains stayed active. They kept working the distress-heavy, lower-cost markets through the holidays, which translated into a relatively high level of investor and cash deals closing last month. It helps explain the larger-than-usual, month-to-month dip in the median sale price,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

Last month 14,458 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. That was down 26.0 percent from 19,528 in December, and down 5.9 percent from 15,361 in January 2010, according to DataQuick Information Systems of San Diego.

The median price paid for a Southland home last month was $270,000, down 6.9 percent from $290,000 in December, and down 0.6 percent from $271,500 in January 2010. It was the median’s lowest level since it was $268,000 in July 2009. Last month’s year-over-year decline in the median was the first since October 2009, when the median fell 6.7 percent, to $280,000.

The median’s low point for the current real estate cycle was $247,000 in April 2009, while the high point was $505,000 in mid 2007. The peak-to-trough drop was due to a decline in home values as well as a shift in sales toward low-cost homes, especially inland foreclosures.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,128 last month, down from $1,205 in December and down from $1,170 in January 2010. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are 49.8 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 58.9 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007.

All homes Jan-10 Jan-11 %Chng Jan-10 Jan-11 %Chng
5,228 4,908 -6.10% $325,000 $300,000 -7.70%
Orange 1,867 1,929 3.30% $425,000 $415,000 -2.40%
Riverside 3,162 2,738 -13.40% $195,000 $190,000 -2.60%
San Berdu
2,252 2,085 -7.40% $150,000 $151,500 1.00%
San Diego
2,322 2,248 -3.20% $305,000 $304,000 -0.30%
Ventura 530 550 3.80% $360,000 $350,000 -2.80%
SoCal 15,361 14,458 -5.90% $271,500 $270,000 -0.60%

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another Ass Clown award

Seriously, I thought I was done with the ass-clown award. But there are STILL people who think homes are going up $200k a year. I give you 350 Oldenburg in Corona. This place was foreclose on and picked up by the current owner for $435k in April 2009. Now 2 years later they somehow figure it has gone up in value nearly $300k! They just listed it for $725k. No pics yet but it doesn't matter, the toilets could be plated in gold leaf and it's still not gonna fetch $725k.

Friday, February 11, 2011

OMG they still don't get it!

The California association of realtards STILL thinks it's ok to buy a home that costs 6 time your annual income!

Historically low interest rates and a slight decline in home prices in the fourth quarter of 2010 meant that the percentage of first-time buyers who could afford to purchase an entry level home in California rose to 69 percent, up from 66 percent in the third quarter and 64 percent a year earlier.

The report from the California Association of Realtors showed that in the last three months of 2010, 82 percent of first time buyers in San Bernardino County were able to purchase an entry-level priced home of $138,050. They needed a minimum household income of $21,300 to qualify. (that's 6.5 times income)

In the fourth quarter in Riverside County 79 percent of first time buyers could afford a home. They needed a minimum income of $25,200 to buy an entry-level house of $163,010.(also 6.5 times income)

The most affordable region in the state was the High Desert, where 85 percent of first -time buyers could afford an entry level home of $106,320, for which they could qualify with an annual income of $16,500. (also 6.5 times income)

Seriously, the realtards are still trying to convince people to spend double the traditional levels on housing. How the hell is anyone making 25K a year gonna afford a $163k house? These people are bringing home about $1500/mo. Subtract utilities, food, transportation and what is left to pay a mortgage? I'd love to see just what they used to come up with these numbers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Austin Powers or RuPaul?

OMG, this is the best listing I've seen in a long time. It's actually pending, but check out the pics of this place. I can't tell if this is the home of Austin Powers or some flaming drag queen.

The sex palace!

I just noticed the neon sign and have an pretty good idea it's drag queen and not Austin Powers. My wife looked at the pics and said "uber-gay".....