Santa Monica Real Estate: Headlines versus Reality

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

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.

Entry filed under: Market Conditions, Santa Monica real estate.

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