Archive for June, 2011

Portrait of a curious market in stats

I run stats every week (and should probably post them here).    The current snapshot is thus:

Single-Family Homes:   1 foreclosure, 5 short sales, 84 total.


15 2-bedroom, median asking price $949,000.

31 3-bedroom, median asking price $1,595,000.


Condos & Townhomes:  5 foreclosures, 9 short sales,  160 total.

93 2-bedroom, median asking price $720,000.

37 3-bedroom, median asking price $859,000.

First, this is a low inventory.  Last summer, which was already low, peaked in early July around 120 single-family homes and 224 condos.    There is  no way that we’re going to get anywhere near there, the numbers have been bouncing around the current range for weeks.

Second, prices seem to be edging *up*, dire headlines notwithstanding.  I want to see the numbers for a couple of more months before I say “trend” instead of  “blip,” but for single-family homes in particular, the rolling average is now more than $100K higher than it was a few months ago.

Interesting times.



June 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Santa Monica Real Estate: Headlines versus Reality

I read the real estate related articles in the popular press as much as anyone and probably more…if nothing else, I want to know what my clients are reading.   Today’s LOS ANGELES TIMES has a front page story that proclaims, HOME PRICES SLUMP TO NEW LOWS.   Sub-head:  A gauge of housing in 20 metro areas declines in 3.6 percent in March, confirming a U.S. ‘double dip.’

First of all, this is a year over year measurement, not a one month decline as one might infer from the sub-head.   More importantly, only when you jump to page A13 do you read that one year decline in prices for the Los Angeles metro area is only 1.7 percent.    Folks, the LA metro area includes a wide range of neighborhoods, markets, and economic conditions:  from Encino to San Pedro, Santa Monica to Santa Clarita, San Marino to Compton.   Within the LA metro area, the Westside has one of the strongest real estate markets.   While the market isn’t exactly gang busters, prices seem to be edging up, with quite a few properties in the entry range ($500,000 to $1,200,000) going in multiple offers even as other properties sit on the market for a while.

The market could be fairly described as “choppy” or “uneven”…but not the “stagnant” or “declining” picture conveyed by the newspaper headlines.

So, particularly to would-be Buyers, before you head out to the Open Houses with the LA TIMES article fresh in your mind, exercise some caution and don’t count on the newspaper headlines reflecting the local reality.

June 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment


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