The Orange County real estate market

October 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 
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The Orange County real estate market, which was for a time showing strong signs of recovery from the recession, has started to slip into negative territory again, with home sales trailing off and the median price remaining largely unchanged. According to a September 14, 2010 report from the OC Metro, “Orange County home sales in August fell to the lowest level for the month since 2007, due in part to the struggling job market and the recent expiration of the federal tax credits. But the median price for a residence did get a slight boost over the same time last year, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick. A total of 2,538 homes were sold last month, down 9 percent from August 2009, when 2,790 transactions were closed. But, the number rose slightly from July, when 2,527 properties were sold. For the entire six-county Southern California region, which includes Orange, L.A., Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino and Ventura, August sales fell to 18,541 – it’s also the lowest level for the month since 2007, according to MDA DataQuick. Last month’s total represents a 13.8 percent drop from August 2009, when 21,502 homes were purchased. The number also dipped from 18,946 in July. “The loss of homebuyer tax credits explains much of the sales weakness over the past two months,” said John Walsh, president of MDA DataQuick…”

Although a separate report indicated a slight rise in the median price of an Orange County home for sale, the OC Metro reported on September 22, 2010 that the median price remained unchanged in August. According to the article, “The median price for a home in Orange County was unchanged in August, though sales slid from the same time last year, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors, which relies on MLS information for its data. The region’s median home price was $499,580, down 2.8 percent from July and 33.1 percent off its peak, which was recorded in April 2007. But, the number has risen 18.1 percent after hitting the bottom in January of last year. Statewide, the median home price posted its 10th consecutive year-over-year gain, according to C.A.R. The number rose to $318,660, up 8.6 percent from August 2009. The number also increased 1.2 percent from July. Meanwhile, home sales in Orange County declined 11.2 percent from August 2009 and 7.3 percent from July.  Statewide, sales fell 14.9 percent last month, compared to the same time in 2009, though they increased 1.8 percent from July.”

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The San Diego real estate market

September 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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The San Diego real estate market, a component of the larger Southern California housing market, has started to show signs of weakness after recovering for several months straight. According to a September 20, 2010 report from the San Diego Union Tribune, “San Diego County foreclosures and defaults rose from July to August, but analysts said it is too early to tell if this marks the start of the long-expected burst of distressed sales as so many homeowners run out of options. According to MDA DataQuick, August foreclosures totaled 1,026, up 15.4 percent from 889 in July, and notices of default rose 19.5 percent from July’s, 1,664 to August’s 1,988. Some experts, pointing to lower figures a year ago, said the August report from MDA DataQuick shows that lenders are not eager to evict owners and resell the properties. Instead, they are quietly letting owners get by with continued delinquencies on their monthly payments and hoping things will improve. “Bankers are incentivized to just extend and pretend,” said Sean O’Toole, CEO of, Discovery Bay company that analyzes foreclosure data. Defaults were down 25.2 percent from year-ago levels of 2,658 and foreclosures were down 14 percent from 1,193 over the same period. DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said the uptick in August reflected the large decline in sales this summer, after the popular federal tax rebate ended for home buyers. With demand down, lenders then increased their default and foreclosure actions.”

The number of San Diego homes for sale which were actually sold decreased from year-ago levels, partially because of the expiration of federal housing tax credit. A September 14, 2010 report from KPBS News noted that “Home sales in San Diego County have dropped from August 2009 to August of this year. The San Diego Association of Realtors report for existing homes in the county shows sales down 8 percent from August 2009 and the average sales price down nearly 4 percent. Mark Marquez, president of the Realtors Association, said the average sales price for homes last month was $262,000. Marquez said while homes in the entry level have been selling, the sales pace for higher-priced homes was slower in August. “As you escalate in price point it does soften a little bit, meaning there’s more inventory,” said Marquez. In the near term, he expects most of the sales volume to be generated from homes priced at $500,000 or lower.”

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Carlsbad, California Real Estate

March 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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A coastal community located in Northern San Diego County, Carlsbad, California, is a relatively affluent community that has nonetheless been unable to escape the claws of the battered U.S. housing market woes. The Carlsbad real estate saw an initial dropping off of prices that seemed unstoppable, but as of recent months, slight improvements have been seen, pointing to signs that perhaps the bottom has been reached and now it’s time to climb back out.

Though sales through most of 2009 of homes were brisk and showed an increase over 2009, median prices of Carlsbad homes for sale struggled. The market kicked off 2009 with a median price of more than $700,000 and finished off the year in December with the median at around $620,000. The median price hit bottom in October at around $600, and then saw increases in November and December. Sales activity actually reached a yearly high in December, when 70 homes were sold.

Condo prices showed a similar trend. They started off 2009 with a median price of around $375,000 and finished the year in December at around $330,000. The lowest point for the condo market was also reached in September and October, and prices began to see ever so slight increases in November and December. Sales activity of condos remained mostly consistent, with around 25 to 30 sales per month.

These trends from the end of 2009 show that perhaps 2010 will be the year the the Carlsbad real estate market regains momentum and begins to see steady increases month over month as the U.S. economy slowly starts to pick up and residents return to employment and resume normal activity.

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Fullerton real estate market

March 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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The Fullerton real estate market, which is closely linked to the rest of the Southern California real estate market, made some impressive strides during the month of January. According to an article released by EGP News, “In Orange County, the median home price was $325,000, up from $300,000 in the same month a year ago, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick. According to DataQuick, 15,361 homes were sold in the six-county Southern California region – Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties – in January, down 31.2 percent from 22,328 in December and up 0.9 percent from 15,227 in January 2009.” As John Walsh of MDA DataQuick pointed out, “The January stats underscore just how atypical this market remains…A huge chunk of what’s selling is still distressed.”

The price of Fullerton homes for sale substantially increased in the month of January, according to an article in OC Metro. The piece, published on February 16, 2010, found that “Orange County’s median home price jumped 14.9 percent in January compared to the same time last year, according to stats just released by San Diego-based MDA DataQuick.” The article, composed by Kristen Schott, noted that “The price for a home or condominium in the region rose to $425,000 in the period, up from $370,000 in January 2009. But the number declined from December’s $435,000 median. For the entire Southern California region, which includes the Orange, L.A., Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, the median home price rose 8.6 percent to $271,500…”

One problem spot for Fullerton real estate and Orange County real estate was reported in another article by the OC Metro. This piece, composed by Carol Starcevic, noted that “Foreclosure notifications in Orange County rose slightly in January from the previous month, but the number still remains significantly lower than January of 2009’s figure.” The February 16, 2010 article continued to point out that “In addition, 523 properties were returned to banks, up 86 from December but down 193 from January 2009. And 303 homes were sold to a third party, up 81 from December and 183 from the same time last year, according to the report.”

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San Diego real estate update

September 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California, Home Searches, San Diego 

SanDiegoSkyline_gdeReal estate news isn’t all bad in San Diego.  The coastal city in southern California is one of the region’s premier places to live thanks to the sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and spectacular recreational opportunities.  On September 25, 2009, Max Jarman wrote in the Arizona Republic newspaper that bargains have begun to surface in San Diego, much to the liking of home buyers looking to scoop up a prestigious piece of real estate in San Diego at a fraction of its realistic price.  Jarman reported that “oceanfront real estate from Imperial Beach to La Jolla has not taken the 50 percent plunge that hit some downtown condos and subdivision tract homes. But beachfront property has come down as much 30 percent in some areas from 2006 highs, with much greater savings possible on foreclosure properties or short sales.”

However, decreasing beach property prices doesn’t mean some of San Diego’s most elite residential communities will be inundated by new people.  Roger Shawley of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote on September 24, 2009, that La Jolla was still the most expensive housing market in the United States again, despite the hurting housing market and of course the most pricey San Diego real estate.  In fact, “La Jolla and No.?2 Beverly Hills were the only markets among the top 10 that saw a price increase from 2008.”  To the surprise of many economists, maintaining this rank is surprising, given the state of California’s high cost of living, cost of doing business, and high taxes.

SDGolfAn Associated Press report issued on September 26, 2009, the article claims “a million dollars doesn’t buy you what it once did. In most U.S. neighborhoods, it now gets you a lot more.”  San Diego homes for sale in certain areas, unlike La Jolla, have suffered.  The reporter writes, “a couple of years ago, the idea of getting a house in Rancho Santa Fe for a paltry $1 million was laughable. Now, foreclosures and financially distressed homeowners account for about 15 percent of sales, and home prices are down 30 percent.”  This also has a residual affect on other homeowners in the prestigious area who face devaluation of their own properties thanks to the lower home prices in the local market.