Tuesday, June 30, 2009

False Perceptions of a Turn Around

My favorite industry analyst, Ivy Zelman, has a good article in Builder magazine detailing the state of the market. Ivy basically says that there are some superficial indications of a bottom but that things will get worse.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Buyer's Remorse in Crystal Cove?

More data from Crystal Cove - 18 Rockshore just sold for $4.42 million after being listed for about $5 million. 18 Rockshore is a 3800 square foot, 5 bedroom home. Also, 16 Wharfside (3500 square feet, 6 bedrooms) sold in May for $3.1 million. A similar home at 7 Atlantis Cove sold in January for $3.2 million. All of these sold for hundreds of thousands less (or almost a million less) than the listing prices.

Time will tell and I'll certainly not wish anything bad on anyone, but in my opinion, these homes will take significant value hits as we go toward December, based on present trends. There are already Crystal Cove list prices in the low 3 millions that are poised to drop into the two million range and one home (20 Surfspray) up there by Rockshore is already listed in the mid 2 millions.

If I owned 18 Rockshore, I'd be needing "upside down" therapy right now. Not a good thing to need after just closing escrow. Any opinions about these values out there?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Crystal Cove Awash in Foreclosures

I've been househunting in Crystal Cove for a while now and I have also been carefully watching the foreclosure activity. Like anywhere else, a spike in foreclosure activity is likely to precede a drastic drop in home prices. The foreclosure activity includes recorded notices of default, trustees auctions and then the resulting properties are "bank owned."

Six months ago, there was only one property in crystal cove that had foreclosure activity. Three months ago or so there were five properties involved in foreclosure. And as of today, there are twelve, according to Realtytrac.com. This pretty much proves out what I've seen with the homes in Crystal Cove - home values are dropping fast. Homes that are priced high are just sitting there...... Some listings have drastically reduced listing prices as some owners have determined that it is better to get the home value now rather than lose more in the coming months.

How many of those "good" real estate agents have told our readers about this spike in foreclosure activity in Crystal Cove? If yours has, hang on to them - they really are paying attention to value indicators......

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Your Agent Won't Tell You About That Home You Want To Buy

Buying a home is not something people do very often. For this reason, most people rely on their buyer's agent for good advice.

Problem is - most agents will hide negative information from their clients because the agent wants that commission and wants it fast.

Take the Laguna Beach home market for example. Thanks to our friends at Trulia, the direction of home prices in Laguna Beach is readily apparent. Down. Down. Down. Down. Down.

The Trulia chart, with the red trend line I added, shows an amazing decline in median home prices in Laguna Beach. The decline shows no sign of stopping. The decline HAS NOT STOPPED.

You'd think every agent in town would be saying "If you buy, you should know you are buying a DECLINING asset. You know, like a car?" But, I'm guessing you have NEVER heard that from an agent. Right. I have only heard one agent even hint at this, and I know A LOT of agents. My conclusion is that greedy Agents are hiding important facts from buyers.

More likely, you've heard many agents say "Buying a home is a long term investment." These are the real estate agent code words for "You will lose money, and lose money quickly, but I won't tell you that."

Am I wrong? Or right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Laguna Beach Slammed by Unemployment Spike

According to a recent OC Register story, Laguna Beach unemployment has swelled to nearly 6.3%.
This is an increase of about 700% since 1999. Downward pull on the normal single family home values in Laguna Beach? Yes. Middle class people caught in the unemployment wave? Yes.