023. southern california market conditions showing signs of improvement?

In this episode, I discussed an article that was printed in the la times today describing the southern california marketplace showing signs of improvement.
Hello and welcome everybody to another episode of the Reside Daily Bite; I’m your host, David Doucette and for those of you who are frequent viewers of the daily bite you’ll notice that I’m wearing the same thing that I wore in yesterday’s episode. I wasn’t going to say anything but I felt like I had to address the elephant in the room. The fact is yesterday I had to stay home and I play Mr. Mom because my wife had to work all day. So today, I’m recording two episodes and releasing one of those as yesterday’s so that’s why the same outfit. And I feel much better that I just shared that with you. One thing before I get to today’s episode, Dorian Cheah, a good friend and a past client actually has a yoga studio -him and his wife, Ally-, YogisAnonymous.com. A very cool, progressive, donation-based studio in Santa Monica. And they’re actually beta testing streaming live yoga class -so very cool. Check that out, YogisAnonymous.com. But Dorian left a comment on the Reside Architecture in reside real estate fan page that I want to show with you. Dorian writes, “Very cool David. I love what you are doing. I find myself looking forward to seeing these in my news feed. Great job.” Thank you for posting that Dorian and if you want to become a fan on Facebook, you can go to Facebook.com/resideFAN -you can become a fan that way and you can get these delivered on your Facebook news feed every day.

Now, I want to talk about an article that just came out in the LA Times titled “Signs seen of a housing rebound in Southern California“. And the article starts off with, “Southern California’s housing market showed fresh signs of momentum in March with the median price and sales pace improving from the same month a year earlier as buyers hurried to take advantage of a soon-to-expire federal tax incentive, cheap prices and low interest rates.” And if you remember a few episodes ago when I had the white board out, we talked about some of those areas, specifically on the Westside, and 5 out of 6 of those areas had seen home prices increased from the same time last year.

The articles continues, “…houses and condominiums in Southern California jumped 14% in March (median price) to $285,000 from the same month a year earlier, according to San Diego real estate research firm MDA DataQuick. In Orange County, the region’s priciest market, the median rose 12.2% to $432,000. Esmael Adibi, director of the Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research states, ‘There is no question that prices at the lower end of the market have stabilized and are showing some increases.’”

They’re talking about “defaults have increased in higher-priced neighborhoods, motivating some sellers to put their homes on the market in those areas. Interestingly, expectations remain mixed about housing’s future as a series of government initiatives to bolster sales and stabilize values expire.” And if you remember in yesterday’s bite (which I actually just recorded a while ago), we talked about that Federal program (basically the Spigot) that has been shut off of that $1.25 Trillion. Also, accompanied with the fact that the Federal homebuyer tax credit is expiring at the end of this month. We’re going to be in a little hold-and-wait period to see what happens but as we had talked about yesterday, interest rates probably will rise.

The article continues, “Foreclosure sales accounted for 38.4% of the Southern California resale market in March, down from 42.3% in February and 54.8% in March 2009.” So that’s positive news. Even though it’s still 38.4%, it’s down from where it was in February by about 4.5% and 14%-15% from where it was this time a year ago. So, that’s good.

“Right now the question is not whether the housing market is in recovery. The real question is how sustainable that recovery is, and that is where the gray area resides,” said Christopher Thornberg, principal of Beacon Economics. “The market is being driven by government policy and not by fundamentals, and now the government is starting to back off.” Again, that was what we’re talking about -that $1.25 Trillion has ended. The Federal homebuyer tax credit will be ending at the end of this month.

And they’re also saying, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is going to be stepping up, tightening its lending standards; so, the effects of that remain to be seen. Of course here in California, we have the 10,000 homebuyer tax credit that we can take advantage of that begins May 1.

So, interesting news coming out of the LA Times today. I think mostly are positive (some of the data) but again we’re going to be waiting to see what happens over the next several months as the Federal government backs off a little bit. But even then, we’re seeing activity here on the Westside.

If you have any questions, comments, anything you notice in your particular neighborhood area that you want to share with us, 1-800-476-5579 or feedback@residerealestate.com. My name is David Doucette and thank you so much for checking out the Reside Daily Bite.

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