Last week Curbed LA pondered that real estate may be on the way to boring. They wondered if our local real estate markets have lost the frenzy we have all come to associate with buying and selling real estate in Southern California.
However if the 24 folks who made offers on 1708 Magnolia in East Manhattan Beach last week are any indication... we have not reached boring. The home was listed for $699,000 and drew big crowds. The accepted offer was about $825,000 for a 3 bedroom+ den, 1 bath home with 1236 sq ft home on a 4870 sq ft lot that needed upgrading. A few days later 1509 Manzanita a 3 bedroom 1 bath 1098 sq ft home also needing updates on a 5247 sq ft lot in Liberty Village saw a quick sale. Originally listed for $749,000 this one appears to have accepted an offer at $799,000.
Of course the real excitement will occur when these homes are appraised. That is the cliff hanger as the loans on both these homes fall under conventional guidelines and therefore will be subject to the appraisal rules under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines.
Mid level priced homes also seem to be faring well. In the Trees a newer home at 648 26th Street on an over-sized lot drew over 300 people at the Saturday and Sunday Open Houses. The home was built in 2004 and is on a 5120 sq ft lot. It is listed at $1,799,000. Rumor has it that they have received offers but so far no sale has been reported.
While sellers in the upscale price ranges continue to search for buyers, sellers in the entry to mid level price ranges seem to be having better luck providing they are priced right. Overpricing is still the kiss of death no matter where your property falls on the price scale. I can think of a number of homes that have been on the market forever. They were priced too high and have been rejected by buyers. Now they are "old" inventory and will likely have to really drop their price to attract interest. It's never a good idea to chase the market down at any price level.
An article in the Daily Breeze points out that South Bay median home prices were up overall even as prices were lower then at this time last year. While prices in the South Bay were up 7.4%, the Beach Cities saw prices drop 25.6% from last year. Manhattan Beach was down 12.9%, Hermosa saw declines of 25.8% and Redondo was off 7.2% from September 2008. However even though prices were off from last year by a fairly significant amount, Manhattan Beach had the highest median home price in the California with a median of $1,502,000.
Meanwhile the financial markets are very concerned about what's happening in the commercial real estate sector. For those of us who remember the S & L debacle of the '80's this could be an issue that will have consequences for the residential market. We just saw what happened when credit dried up from 2007-2008 and the effect that had on the residential housing market.
Personally, I think a little boring might be nice....