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 ForeclosureRadar.com, 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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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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Palm Desert Real Estate Update

February 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Located just outside of Palm Springs, Palm Desert has faced its fair share of real estate struggles since 2007, even prior to the economic recession that began in 2008, which only worsened the situation for the Palm Desert real estate market.  Nevertheless, recent months have offered optimistic views of the future of the Palm Desert real estate.  Real estate experts have noted that the Southern California region has posted increases in both home sales and median sales prices, with both actually reaching year-over-year gains.  Experts are also confident that the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, as well as the greater affordability of housing in the region and the easier access to credit will allow for the recovery of the Palm Desert real estate market in the coming months.

According to DQNews.com, the Southern California region has posted increases in both its home sales and median sales prices, with home sales maintaining year-over-year gains for the 18th consecutive month and median sales prices reaching year-over-year gains for the first time since the summer of 2007.  During December of 2009, Southern California posted a total of 22,238 new and resale houses and condos sold, which was a 16.4 percent increase from the 19,181 sold during the previous months, and a 12.1 percent increase from the 19,926 sold in December of 2008.  The median sales price for homes sold in Southern California during December of 2009 was $289,000, a slight 1.4 percent increase from $285,000 of the previous month, and a 4 percent increase from $287,000 of the December of 2008.

The Desert Sun has also reported that the Palm Desert real estate market for apartments has improved over the past few months as many previous homeowners were displaced from homes that were foreclosed on.  Realtors have reported that many previous homeowners have opted for apartments, increasing the demand for apartments significantly over the past few months.  Realtors have also noted that the affordability of the apartments has also been a major incentive for attracting prospective investors.

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Palos Verdes real estate

December 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Though the housing market is displaying some signs of health, economists say they could be misleading.  That’s the latest word on various signs of market improvement that have recently surfaced.  In an article in the Los Angeles Business Journal written by David Haldane and published on November 9, 2009, Palos Verdes real estate showed the most dramatic change, “where sales volume increased by 533 percent.”  However, many analysts of real estate in Palos Verdes are not as impressed by this outstanding development.  “Experts viewed the rising prices as further evidence that the real estate market has stabilized, at least temporarily. But some cautioned that it may be falsely propped up by government stimulus programs that eventually will end.”

Muhammed El-Hasan wrote on October 26, 2009, in the Daily Breeze, that the South Bay region also saw an unexpected rise in median home price, perhaps due to the increase in demand for homes in the area.  One reason for the sudden increase in sales and rise of home prices is that “we are showing the month’s inventory is going way, way down, by something like 60 percent from September of last year to September of this year.”  With fewer homes on the marker, there are more bids on each home, thus creating an environment for bidding wars.

Because of its relatively protected community arrangement and the type of properties and Palos Verdes real estate, the premier peninsula area has been largely protected from large foreclosure rates that have doomed many other neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Southern California.  The Los Angeles Times reported on November 12, 2009, that “the number of foreclosures dropped in October for the third consecutive month, a sign that efforts by banks to take back troubled properties may be easing.”  A three-month decline is an unprecedented accomplishment which analysts believe at least show minor signs of market recovery.

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