Posts filed under ‘Santa Monica real estate’

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

Foreclosures: Santa Monica vs. Southern California

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, some 34 percent of the sales in Southern California for the month of August were of foreclosed properties.
In contrast, my weekly statistical analysis of Santa Monica on Monday showed that only 2 of 112 single-family homes and 9 of 196 condos & townhomes on the market were foreclosure properties.    Santa Monica in particular and the Westside in general are very different from Southern California as a whole.  Buyers need to calibrate their expectations on the basis of local market conditions, not the newspaper headlines.

September 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

Counteroffers, asking price, short sales

Representing a Buyer, I just had negotiations fall through on a Santa Monica Condo.

The asking price was $439,000, my Buyer offered $05,000.    Our estimation of a fair price was $415,000 and thus we were disappointed to get a counteroffer of $434,000.  After a second round of counter-offers, negotiations broke down almost $20K apart.  It happens.   My Buyer was determined not to overpay and the comps supported his position as far as I’m concerned.

But here’s the important thing:   the listing agent revealed that the Seller owed nearly $400K on the property.  The break-even point at which the Seller would not have to put money into the transaction or attempt to work out a Short Pay with their lender would be around $425K.

Finding out what Seller owes and whether they can afford to sell at a reasonable market price is becoming an important step to take in this market.     If a Seller simply can’t sell at what seems to be a good market price to the Buyer, the Buyer needs to move on and find another property.

August 31, 2010 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Number of condos on market drops under 200

For the first time in several months, the number of condos for sale in Santa Monica dropped under 200.  On my weekly market check on Monday 8/23, the number of condos for sale was 195.   For several weeks, the number had peaked in the 221-223 range before slowly receding.  Whether this is a temporary lull or a trend towards lower inventory only time will tell.    Lower inventory, if it comes, should lead to firming prices.

August 24, 2010 at 8:34 am Leave a comment

New Condo listing: 2 bed, 1 bath $449,000

2264 29th St.  #E.   Located in walking distance to Trader Joe’s, McCabe’s music, and other destinations, this garden-apartment style condo features hardwood floors throughout. Recently remodeled kitchen includes granite counter tops, like-new cabinets, range/stove, and dishwasher. Recently remodeled bath includes double vanity with granite counter top. Both bedrooms have ceiling fans. Parking is one half of a private two-car garage.

Call Jim Brunet @ (310) 508-6878 to schedule a showing.

August 17, 2010 at 8:40 am Leave a comment

It’s a tricky market

Wednesday, I wrote an offer on a low-end 2-bedroom condo in Santa Monica.  It received eight offers and my client didn’t receive a counter-offer.  What does this tell you about the market?   It’s strange:  on one hand, the amount of property on the market has risen by roughly 50 percent in the last six months.  Every day brings another batch of price reductions.  And yet…some properties get multiple offers and are on the market less than two weeks.   The moral is that every property is different, and that every property has to be evaluated carefully by Buyers and Sellers to determine what the market value is.   A Buyer can’t assume that offering 5 percent below asking price will be successful; a Seller can’t assume that their property has all the features that induced multiple Buyers to make offers on the property two blocks over.

July 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

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