Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Enough Already with the BS!

Is it just me or has the mantra of local real estate agents taken on a more drastic tone that is intended to mislead home buyers? You've probably had the same experience - you go to an open house, ask about the price of the house and the bad market and you get an answer that is not on point and intended to distract you from the TRUTH, which is that the house you are looking at is probably worth less, possibly much less that the asking price. It is no secret that Laguna Beach home prices are down, down big, yet I've never heard a realtor actually say it.

Case in point. Michael Gosselin of Surterre Properties says in a January 15, OC Register article that "...there are some bright spots, too. In Laguna Beach, our median price for 2007 is actually up from 2006, albeit by just a small amount. Based on the MLS data, the median price in Laguna Beach rose from $1,655,000 to $1,700,000, or a little less than 3%." I'd like to see that data, Mike, because the media seems to be reporting a much different picture.

I checked Dataquick's December numbers posted by the OC Register. December 07 median price for a home in Laguna Beach is down a full 14% from a year ago. Up 3%??? Not. Down 14%. The most current numbers in a dynamic market can't be disputed. Even if somehow Mike was referring to the median sale price for all 12 months of 2007, he is still wrong. That number, while probably a meaningless indicator of the current state of the market, is also DOWN 4.4% per the OC Register and Dataquick. Again, comparing the median price for ALL of 2007 to ALL of 2006 really is not too close of an indicator of where the market stands TODAY. For that you want the Dec 07 median v. the Dec 06 median that shows a decrease of 14%.

What is that in money terms? Well, it means the owner of a median home would have lost over $150,ooo in 2007 - more than $10,000 per month!

Some "bright spot"!!!

1 comment:

Swim Mistress said...

One sale of a $6 million house can distort the "median" by a lot. In a market like Laguna, you really need to just keep track of the price range you're interested in and then watch the prices decline. It takes work, but it's a good way to make sure you don't pay too much if you eventually decide to buy.