Thursday, June 14, 2007

Beach Cities... Why No Housing Crash

Lots of stories in the news about falling home sales and growing foreclosures. Some stories point to the downfall of the housing market while others seem to view things with a more local perspective.

Dan Green in his blog The Mortgage Reports has an interesting take on the cities that RealtyTract noted as the largest areas of foreclosures in Ca. Peter Viles in his real estate blog at the LA Times looks at the California foreclosure market as well as the drop in sales and the rise in prices in Los Angeles County.

Meanwhile Dr. Susan Wachter, a Professor of Real Estate, at the Wharton School of Business has another take in her report.. What Homebuyers Pay.. What Everyone Should Know . She sees buyers getting smarter and taking out fixed rate mortgages instead of adjustable and another trend is that buyers are switching back to PMI insurance instead of taking out second mortgages. This is something I've been thinking about for sometime that buyers might be better off utilizing PMI on loans with less then 20% down. PMI makes your rate a little higher and it takes some work to get it removed once your have 20%+ equity in the home but overall it just might be a better choice as rates on seconds continue to be tied to prime +3-5%. You really need to run long term numbers to figure out which is the best course.

So what's so interesting about all these articles is that while Los Angeles County real estate sales have declined in volume prices have increased slightly and there is no indication of massive foreclosures. The question residents of the Beach Cities want to know is do we add the qualifier yet to the mix or are we going to keep chugging along at a slower but measured pace.

My crystal ball is cloudy on that point.. it if were clear and specific I would be an extremely wealthy woman playing golf every day..

That said all I can do is report what I know:

2509 Laurel in the Manhattan Beach Tree section (it was a wonderful home in great condition with a terrific floor plan) was well priced at $1,750,000 and sold almost immediately with multiple offers.

524 15th St in the Martyr's neighborhood of Manhattan Beach was a fixer/tear down
that was listed at $2.2m. There were 9 offers... 5 from builders and 4 from owner users who wanted to remodel.. offers were well over list and sold July 28,2007 at $2,487,600.

1701 1st Street in East Manhattan a small (under 1407 sqft) but remodeled to new..was listed at $979,000 and had so many offers they quit counting. Price not yet disclosed.. (even to friends) but rumor has it that there were two 1's in the price.

Market Summary: June 14, 2006:

Below is a quick summary of total Beach Cities properties ( Single family and townhome/condos) including properties that have gone into escrow and sold since June 1, 2007

Check my next post for ... 2000-2007 ... the number of properties sold in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.. I think you will be surprised..

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