Well there’s no way to sugar coat the data that came out yesterday on the Southern California housing numbers; they stunk. Sales activity was very low for this time of year and prices were essentially flat – increasing at the slowest pace in months. Should we panic? No. It is what it is. This recovery remains about jobs and as long as the jobs market is soft, housing will be too. If you want some kind of silver lining, you could look to the median number, but as you may have noticed from my other blogs, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in the median figure. Until we see real stability, it’s just a reflection of the ebb and flow of the actual price point that is selling.
From the trenches on the Ventura/LA County line, I can tell you that there is a lot of competition at the $1.1-1.3, range amongst buyers. That’s a good thing, though it tends to be in the short sale arena as opposed to regular sales. This is a reflection of the continued belief that distressed properties offer the better value. However, I just had a bank counter a buyer’s offer on a short sale, $150,000. That’s not a small counter. So if the banks are holding out for bigger numbers, perhaps the regular sellers are justified in doing the same. Still, sellers who want to sell are finding themselves wondering where all the lookers are. A recent listing I took emailed me yesterday asking why it was so slow. I just told him, it’s slow. Meanwhile, in the luxury market of Calabasas, I have seen a veritable flood of full priced homes come on the market. What I mean is the sellers were in no way discounting to sell – not yet anyway. So as we make our way toward the chill of winter, the prospect for any kind of real uptick in activity remains scant. For the time being, we will just have to resign ourselves to the reality that the market while moving, is neither going up nor dramatically dropping. It’s bouncing along a bottom a bit like a lottery ping pong ball and we’ll just have to keep moving forward and hope our number comes up.