Thursday, November 02, 2006

Got a question or general comment? Post it here!

If you want to leave me a message, feel free to post it here. I'm leaving a permanent link to this post in the sidebar so you can always find it.

I am sooooo glad that so many of you find this blog interesting and useful, and thanks to you I am truly inspired and fired up to add more regional housing data analysis to this blog. But I'm sorry I just don't have time to respond to all the emails. I get up at 4 AM to leave at 5:15 AM for my bus to UCLA, and I work until about 2:30 PM, then come back home on the bus and I do stuff at night and I am chronically sleep-deprived. Sometimes I think I'm sleepwalking when I manage to get done what I do get done.

So pleeeze, I've just gotta ask that you register yourself with Google if you haven't already, so you can leave a comment here or on any other post that gets your interest. That way if you've got a question that I haven't gotten around yet to answering, maybe another South Bay Beaches Bubble blog visitor can help you.


Blogger sbhousingwatcher said...

Thanks for the blog! I just registered and will keep reading daily!

1:07 PM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger bearmaster said...

And I forgot to mention to blog visitors, a big thank you for your emails and comments and inspiring me to continue blogging and number crunching and snarking at the bozo economists and financial talking heads that bombard us with worthless information 24/7.

1:17 PM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger sylvie said...

Thanks you for all the useful data and insight. Alot of work for your schedule. I'm watching from Florece SC.

8:31 AM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger Sylvie said...

Thanks for all your hard work. I'm watching the data from SC. Crossing my fingers for a sharp drop.

8:34 AM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger Sylvie said...

I love the HB blogs from southern cal they help with the homesickness. Florence is pretty boring about twenty years behind the west coast. The macros are confusing alot of cheerleading on wall street still. Current disputes over inverted yield curve effect. Hopefully 07 will make a clear case for the current data. California has long been over priced for the middle class sadly.

8:41 AM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger bearmaster said...

I think the dispute over inverted yield curve is a classic example of the rationalizations that come on thick and fast at market and economic peaks. They have a great record of broadcasting trouble ahead. THe Fed tried to argue there was a "global savings glut" to account for it. What are we supposed to do then, make the rest of the world consume the way Americans do?

By the way, a Federal Reserve official admitted yesterday the Feds screwed up in terms of housing. Richard Fisher of the Dallas Fed wants to blame it on the data, but his statement is one of the most honest ones I've seen in print from a Fed official:

In retrospect, [in 2002 and 2003] the real fed funds rate turned out to be lower than what was deemed appropriate at the time and was held lower longer that it should have been. In this case, poor data led to a policy action that amplified speculative activity in the housing and other markets. Today, as anybody not from the former planet of Pluto knows, the housing market is undergoing a substantial correction and inflicting real costs to millions of homeowners across the country. It is complicating the task of achieving our monetary objective of creating the conditions for sustainable non-inflationary growth.

8:48 AM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger bub said...

Trailer for Closing Escrow the Movie


9:50 AM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger Tyleah said...

Thanks so much for your blog, and the time and effort you put into it.

I'm keeping my eye on El Segundo from over here in Austin, TX. And I'm excited to see that in the near future I might be able to afford to move back and purchase a home.

1:00 PM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger beebs said...

I enjoy the blog and beartopia

3:12 PM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger wannabuy said...


One question:

Is there a way to easily break down sales by price or quartile?

It seems flippers became very greedy and went to flipping very high end properties. Tracking those property inventories is easy. But sales... That I do not know how to do.

Thanks in advance,

12:39 AM, November 05, 2006  
Blogger bearmaster said...


Other than being a real estate insider, whom presumably would have access to the data, I know of no easy way.

6:35 AM, November 05, 2006  
Blogger Flipper said...

Just wanted to share Flipper Nation with you - it's a new online mockumentary about the world of real estate (much like "The Office"). Nice blog!

9:52 AM, November 25, 2006  
Blogger "That Forex Trading Guy" said...

Hi Susan... I just wanted to "thank" you for showing Casey some real compassion and understanding back in September of this year when you posted on his blog I thought your words were exceedingly positive for a guy like Casey who, although a victim of his own self-generated demons, had the guts to admit he made some real errors of judgement.

As for me? Well, I'm just a hard-working house inspector from downunder -- Auckland, New Zealand -- and I just LOVE your South Bay Beaches Housing Bubble blog:):):)

Keep up the great content!

Steve Salter

4:19 AM, November 26, 2006  
Blogger John Doe said...

Hi Bearmaster,

What is your email. I wanted to confirm it's okay to use your RSS feed for my real-time bubble bloggers feed on my blog. email me if you don't want your bubble blog to be included.

Best wishes,
John Doe

8:58 PM, January 19, 2007  
Blogger bearmaster said...

Hi John Doe,

You can RSS feed my blog or post a link to it anyway you want.

I didn't find your email. You can find mine off of the site map off of beartopia. (I never post my email as text, so that spambots won't find it.)


9:44 PM, January 19, 2007  
Blogger Joe said...

Hi, I was wondering if you had a chance to check out the Aviation Villass on Aviation and Artesia. I stopped by during an open house and wanted to know what you thought.

12:18 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger bearmaster said...


If you're asking do I think they are a good deal, no. Nothing around here is, though realtors will work very hard at persuading you otherwise. Nothing here is priced at a value that would protect the buyer from the possibility of much further downside depreciation.

I am not a good person to ask, because there isn't anything around here I would want to buy even if the "price is right." Living in a condo, paying homeowner association fees and being subject to their rules, including being restricted in my choice of dog ownership are not my idea of a good life. I do not even want a single family home here. Other parts of the country provide much better value, in my own opinion.

1:18 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger JBartokThoughtCatcher said...

Just wanted to say that your news/comments/analysis on South Bay and beyond are much appreciated. Thanks for the update on the proposed federal bailout of the subprime crisis. I think it's ludicrous for prudent taxpayers who didn't jump on the housing as ATM schemes to bear the burden of fiscal irresponsibility.

9:31 AM, March 15, 2007  
Blogger curious said...

In your opinion, if we already own a small home in El Segundo and can not move outside of the immediate area due to jobs etc, what is our best bet? We can not grow in the house we are currently living...We saw something in "Hollywood Riviera" zip 90277 (Redondo)....if we moved to house that was larger in the same "bubble" wouldn't the loss ratio be the same in both towns? Plus, we would have the benefit of getting "stuck" in a house that we could actually stay in long term?

Thanks for your help!

5:25 PM, April 20, 2007  
Blogger Gary said...

hey bearmaster.

look, you were right! this is basically what you were saying in your 3 part series.

10:23 AM, August 29, 2007  
Blogger bearmaster said...

Hi Gary,

So as of late summer of 2007 we can say that finally the market observers have reached the point of recognition that this slump ain't going away immediately.

But IMO these industry talking heads are waaaay too optimistic as to when to expect a true recovery to begin.

10:37 AM, August 29, 2007  
Blogger Laura said...

I read the couple of posts on the 360 South Bay development in El Segundo/Del Aire area with interest. Do you know what's going on with that place? I live a couple of blocks south from it and it seems like nothing is being added. Ever since the model condos went up all the activity stopped. Full disclosure: For the sake of my neighborhood, I don't want high-density overpriced condos nearby.

11:42 AM, February 05, 2008  
Blogger Blogger said...

I read on another blog that you may have seen that ZipRealty is double counting listings in the LA area? If so, please let me know ASAP - I want to find out if there is really problem. If so, we'll need to fix it ASAP. Thanks!

9:10 AM, February 06, 2008  
Blogger stalkerpoo said...

Hi your blog. Been reading it for a year and a half now.

Question, do you know what's going on with the site? I used your link before (which is now not working) and looked at the site a lot. Now if you go to, it asks for a user name and password. This was the best tool I found so far for checking out listings in the SB, and I feel lost without it!

10:35 PM, February 12, 2008  
Blogger bearmaster said...

Some of the very regional MLSs may be going away, as they are being merged.

Zip Realty has always had the most listings, at least for Redondo Beach, as far as I know. Use the ZipRealty link.

4:38 AM, February 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is awesome! You are one of the only people performing real statistical analysis of the housing trends in the South Bay. Those of us who want to stay "in the know" really appreciate the effort you're putting into this blog. Keep up the exceptional work!!!

11:43 AM, February 25, 2008  
Blogger Laura said...

Following up on the recent convo about 360 South Bay and other housing developments, here's a timely article from yesterday's Daily Breeze:

According to one of the commenters on the second page, 360 is belived to have sold only 4 units out of the 70 for sale (!).

3:35 PM, March 12, 2008  
Blogger author said...

I have a few questions and I am wondering if anyone can help. I have been watching the beach cities market for a little over a year now. We moved here in 2007. We sold our previous home (in another state) and have been renting since our move.

My questions concern homes I had been watching and their subsequent sales. The only information I have has been either been taken from Zillow, Property Shark or both.

Why does a home sell or transfer hands with a $0 sales price? For what benefit and to whom? For instance, one property I had followed, a spec home, had transferred hands, from the builder to a buyer, with $0 as the price. Then magically it was sold back to the builder, for $0 again, and then resold to someone else for the original and full asking price of close to $2 million. No mortgage was listed so I gather it could have been an all cash sale. Yes?

Am I being obtuse and this is normal business as usual or did something funny happen to prop up the comps? I really don't know or understand and I would just like some insight. I've seen this a few times now and I can't seem to figure it out. Thanks.

5:12 PM, May 10, 2008  
Blogger author said...

Thanks for trying to answer my question the other day. Once I put some more effort into trying to figure it out, and if I do figure it out, I'll let you know, but again thanks and great blog. We've been reading since we moved here!

4:33 PM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger bearmaster said...


I am very sorry I couldn't drum up any responses. I am not an insider, and really wish I could give you more info.

You are rightly questioning those sales that are not "full value, arm's length" sales. That is, ones that aren't due to major financial distress (foreclosure), where some enterpreneurial vulture swoops in and wheels and deals a lowball price with the lender holding the loan. Also, transactions that aren't done between family members, etc.

All I can say is, sit back and keep watching the show!

4:36 PM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger Markangelo said...

Your competitive site
is having a feeding frenzy.
"There Is No Bubble"

10:06 AM, May 20, 2008  
Blogger bearmaster said...

I see no point in bickering with a realtor.

I simply take the industry's numbers and present them in different ways with an interpretation that draws on a specific psychological framework.

I am free to do that, and a realtor is free to tell you that things will be just fine and there is no bubble.

10:22 AM, May 20, 2008  
Blogger Carl said...

Hi Bearmaster,

I stumbled upon your web site and was impressed that you use real data. So many people "wing it" with a figure here and a fact there, that I don't often encounter a site worth discussing.

This is not intended to counter anything you may or may not have said, but is an observation that may help to explain some of the statistics that are in the marketplace at the moment. It's not my original thought. It comes from the California Association of Realtors chief economist, Leslie Appleton-Young.

She points out that in the earlier days of the market tightening in SoCal, the properties most impacted were the low end of the market. As the Buyers dried up for the low end (which is defined as the new development tracts in Riverside, San Bernardino, the LA high desert and the east side of San Diego)the median price of the sold homes continued to rise. Not a real surprise once you realize that the high end was still able to get loans and buy property ... their credit was great, why not! Meanwhile the entry level folks were not able to meet the loan requirements, so the bottom line of the chart started to move upward.

The prices were still looking very good, but in the background, things were unraveling.

Then suddenly, we saw that the remote development sites were tanking and the prices of entry level real estate were in the toilet. The explanation: the stressed Buyers at the low end were starting to default, and there were so many flakey "financial instruments" in play that no one knew what would work and what wouldn't.

It was here that the high end Buyers started to worry. When an 800 credit rating didn't matter and the Seller wanted to see cash, things seemed to come apart.

More later if someone expresses interest.

I'm working on my next update to the market statistics, if you would like to receive them, let me know at I'll set you up for distribution.

11:46 PM, October 09, 2008  
Blogger Dino said...

I read recently in the Daily Breeze that the 27 homes at Ruxton Ln in Redondo have been taken back by the lender. Does anyone know if they are planning to sell/auction the homes?

10:19 AM, October 18, 2008  
Blogger Brian said...

A few years ago my wife and I visited an open house in South Redondo. It really was a lovely place in a very nice neighborhood, but when I told the realtor that I thought $1.1M was a bit much for an older 3/2 she very haughtily replied that "prices never go down at the beach" and pretty much showed us the door.
How times change! Prices still don't make sense, but the trend is moving in the right direction.
I wonder where that realtor is now? I almost feel sorry for her - if she hadn't been arrogant.

12:40 PM, October 28, 2008  

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