Monday, June 13, 2011

May results from DataQuick

Sales are down 15% to 20% across SoCal, Prices are pretty well down across the region also. No big surprises here. The IE is doing better but only because we have already fallen farther than the coastal counties. The median in Riverside actually went up $7k from last month. But I suspect that the number from last month was an error or a statistical anomaly.

Southern California home sales held at a three-year low last month amid a sluggish move-up market and record-low sales of newly built homes. The median sale price fell year-over-year by the largest amount in 20 months as buyer uncertainty, tight credit and lackluster hiring continued to restrain housing demand, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 18,394 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in May. That was up insignificantly – 0.3 percent – from 18,344 in April, and down 17.4 percent from 22,270 in May 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. May marked the 11th consecutive month in which sales fell year-over-year.

On average, sales between April and May have increased 5.7 percent since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin. May sales have varied from a low of 16,917 in 2008 to a high of 35,557 in 2005. Last month’s sales count was 29.0 percent below the May average of 25,902. May sales were lower than last month in just three of the past 23 years: 2008, 1995 and 1993.

The 1,152 newly built homes that sold across the Southland last month marked the lowest new-home total for the month of May since at least 1988.

“A year ago we were talking about sales reaching a four-year high as buyers rushed to take advantage of expiring federal homebuyer tax credits. Now sales are stuck at a three-year low. The government stimulus is long gone and some of the fundamental drivers of housing demand have yet to strengthen enough to lift sales to even average levels. Some of the key culprits are weak job growth, tight credit and a hesitancy among potential buyers and sellers, who question whether this is the best time to make their move,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

“So here we sit in the market doldrums,” he continued. “Two of the more likely sources of fresh wind in the market’s sails would be a pickup in hiring or further home price reductions.”

The median price paid for all new and resale Southland houses and condos purchased last month was $280,000, the same as in April but down 8.2 percent from $305,000 in May 2010. That year-over-year drop was the largest since the median fell 10.9 percent in September 2009. he typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,154 last month, down 2.3 from $1,181 in April and down 10.8 percent from $1,293 in May 2010. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are 50.0 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 59.0 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007. Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards but is lower than peak levels reached over the last two years. Financing with multiple mortgages is very low, and down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.

Sales Volume Median Price
All homes May-10 May-11 %Chng May-10 May-11 %Chng
Los Angeles 7,320 5,983 -18.30% $345,000 $320,000 -7.20%
Orange 3,257 2,664 -18.20% $450,000 $425,000 -5.60%
Riverside 4,164 3,644 -12.50% $210,000 $197,000 -6.20%
San Bernardino 2,835 2,323 -18.10% $160,000 $150,000 -6.30%
San Diego 3,879 3,087 -20.40% $340,000 $324,500 -4.60%
Ventura 815 693 -15.00% $380,000 $360,500 -5.10%
SoCal 22,270 18,394 -17.40% $305,000 $280,000 -8.20%

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

OMG check out the pics

Here's a "classic" realtard listing. 17551 Dry Run Ct in Woodcrest. This home was purchased for $350k as a shorty in March 2010. I guess the buyer didn't like the country living or maybe it was picked up as a flip (doubtful). But in any case it hit the market last weekend listed for $499k! This guys thinks he can make $150k in a year in this market. I can't tell if this guy put the pool in or if it was in before. The previous listing did not mention a pool. I kinda think he added the pool and is trying to recoup the cost of that AND his other costs.

So what makes this listing "classic"? Well, 10 of the 12 pictures are UPSIDE DOWN! (just like 40% of the homeowners in the IE). Oh and the all caps and spelling errors. In addition the statement that the lot will make a great vineyard or DRIVING RANGE? Really a driving range, have you ever played golf? Most of this lot is pretty unusable. It's basically a gulley with the only flat spot being where the home is.

What are this guys chances? Basically zero at this price. A much nicer, larger home just sold down the street (with a way nicer pool) for $420k. Most of the nicer homes in Bridle Creek are selling for about $125 s/ft. So this guys price should be close to what he paid at $365k. The listing does not quite qualify for the ass clown award but it's pretty damn delusional none the less.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Short Sale Fraud

If you have been looking for any length of time I'm sure you've seem plenty of suspicious short sales. I know I have. The FBI seriously needs to set up a hotline so people can report this crap.

Anyway here is an article from the PE

In the wake of failed attempts at loan modifications, delinquent homeowners increasingly are taking what many consider the next best step to avoid foreclosure: a short sale.

The trend, while also potentially beneficial for lenders, has increased the risk of abuse and fraud, according to real estate experts.

A national report released last week said the red flag is when houses sold short -- for less than enough to cover the mortgage -- are quickly resold for much more, meaning that the original lender probably received less than fair market price.

The potential threat to lenders is increasing with the popularity of short sales. Short sales enable the homeowner to continue to occupy and maintain the home, preserving its value for the lender. By contrast, homes sold in foreclosure are frequently abandoned and exposed to vandalism.

Nationally, the number of short sales in the market has nearly tripled between the second quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2010, CoreLogic reports.

The same mushrooming of short sales has occurred in Inland Southern California.

"Two or three years ago, 90 percent of our sales in southwest Riverside County were bank-owned properties, and today about 55 percent are short sales, while bank owned homes are down to about 25 percent," said Gene Wunderlich, government affairs director for the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors.

CoreLogic, which issued a report last week about the risk of short sales to the lending industry, described "suspicious transactions" as when a house sold short is resold less than a month later for a price that's at least 10 percent higher or resold less than three months later at a price that's at least 20 percent higher or resold less than six months later at a price that's at least 40 percent higher.

California, with the largest volume of short sales of any state, also has the largest percentage of suspicious transactions in the nation at 34.5 percent, CoreLogic reports.

Wunderlich said there are investor groups active in Southern California that seem to be organized to milk short sales. "Some are negotiating the resale before they close escrow (on the short sale)," he said.

There is nothing wrong if an investor buys a short sale home, fixes it up and then sells it for a solid gain, the report said.

But in analyzing sales by investors, CoreLogic found that "nearly one in six suspicious short sales is resold on the same day, making legitimate increases in value doubtful."

"Lenders are incurring tremendous unnecessary losses in these situations," said CoreLogic. "Short sales that are resold on the same day have an average of 34 percent ($56,947) gain between sale prices."

John Giardinelli, general counsel to eight real estate boards, including four with members in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, said the boards are educating brokers about how to avoid becoming an instrument of fraud in these situations.

The key, he said, is to make sure all the appraisals and other documents provided to the bank seller of a house are "absolutely accurate" and that all financial arrangements are disclosed in the closing escrow papers.

In some cases, Giardinelli said, investment companies have offered brokers two commissions on the same house, one when the bank-repossessed house is sold to the investors and another when it is flipped to a pre-arranged buyer.