Friday, July 17, 2009

California Real Estate Update-7

"California's median price for existing homes rose 1.4% in April from March, marking the second consecutive monthly increase in housing prices and prompting some industry officials to declare that the state's long swoon in housing values could be at or near the bottom. ... It was the first back-to-back increase in the state's housing prices in two years. ... April also marked the eighth consecutive month of single-family home sales about 500,000 units. The inventory of unsold homes continued to shrink, to 4.6 months' supply from 9.8 months a year ago", Jim Carlton at the WSJ, 29 May 2009, link:

"California's median price for an existing single-family home rose for the third straight month, a sign that the state's battered real-estate market may be bottoming out. ... Prices were still well below their year-ago levels, down 30.4% compared with May 2008", Stu Woo at the WSJ, 26 June 2009, link:

The long slide in California real estate appears over.


Svend said...

I strongly disagree.

Japan's housing crash is our best historical point of reference for our situation. During their crash (from q4 1989 to present) there have been minor upswings inbetween legs down. That's how these things go.

All the incentives by the Obama clan have had a short term impact. The big picture isn't so kind. 100,000$ middle class homes are coming back to So-Cal.

And we should be careful of looking to the Case-Shiller index point of reference as 98-03 (depending on where you think the bubble started) as supply has massively increased and incomes not.

It ain't over. Not at all.

W.C. Varones said...


It's a mix change, with mid-to-high end places now seeing more activity because of 3% down FHA loans up to $700,000.

Anonymous said...

A CPA should know that the median price can be elevated by the simply fact that some more expensive houses are finally selling. :)

They may even be selling at a big discount and still drive up the median.

That's why Shiller's home price index is valuable: it tracks sales of the same houses, keeping the same mix.

BTW, like the blog.

Independent Accountant said...

Don't insult me. I am well aware of the potential effect you refer to. That said, with real estate down about 45% statewide, as I calculate it, I think California real estate is at or near its bottom.

You may be right. We'll see.

W.C. Varones said...

In my neighborhood, listing prices are 400x monthly rent or more. Nothing sells at that price.

When a seller gets realistic and drops to 300x rent, the house sells. It increases the county and state median sales price, but decreases the Case-Shiller same-home index.

Independent Accountant said...

I've followed your posts and I conclude your area is atypical, even for California. When I sold my Los Angeles condo, I got 273 "months' rent" for it. In my old building, current asking prices are about 150 "months rent". This is not that high.

W.C. Varones said...

True, IA. My area is not typical of California overall, but it is typical of high-end beach areas.

Sellers here are still asking 05-06 prices, as they think prices can never go down near the beach.

Other parts of San Diego are back to 02-03, and some are back even further.