Friday, September 28, 2007

Other measures of Los Angeles beach cities market activity, August 2007

Shorewood has very graciously emailed me August numbers.

For the beach cities (El Segundo; Manhattan, Redondo, and Hermosa Beach), average days on market (DOM) has edged down to 37.

For August, I calculated the Redondo Beach median DOM at 84, and average DOM at 120. Time on market has, for the most part, been hovering around in the 3-4 month range for a few months.

Demand weakness (supply strength) has pulled back very slightly in August. The number is lower than the August 2006 number, reflecting somewhat lower inventories.

Median price has taken another leap upwards.

Now before you groan, let me show you some interesting numbers from the report that Shorewood emailed me. Shorewood likes to categorize the sales numbers by sales price. In the table below, I summed up the sales for prices up to $999,999, and then summed up the sales for prices $1,000,000 and above. Keeping in mind that for August 2006 Shorewood reports 183 sales, and for August 2007 there were 164 sales, this is how they tabulate:

                 2006         2007
<= $999,9999      108           74
$1,000,000 +       75           90

You can see how in 2006, the sales in the "low-end" (if homes below $1,000,000 can be called low-end!) exceeded high-end sales, but that in 2007 there were more high-end sales than low-end sales. High-end luxury homes are really driving this market for now.

CAR August report for Redondo Beach

I have finally taken the time to scrape through the archives at the California Association of Realtors and put together a trend graph for all home sales (new and existing, SFR and condo) for Redondo Beach.

There are a few glitches. I had to backfill February 2005 data by looking at data from 2004 and 2006. Also, MS-Excel for some reason refuses to show the Moving Average I calculated for the median price series. Hopefully I'll get around that.

The following graphs include August 2007 data.

In my opinion, this is a better representation of median price data than the data broken out by zip code, SFR, and condo we get mid-month from L.A. Business Journal and from the L.A. Times.

I will try to make this a regular end-of-the-month feature, now that I have a dataset in place.

Home sales take a sharp tumble in August 2007

As if they weren't already slumping enough. According to this September 26 story by Annette Haddad, sales plunged nearly 28% in California and the supply of existing SFRs for sale in the state is up to 11.8 months - double from a year ago.

The California Association of Realtors provides further details, which the organization gets from DataQuick. For the Los Angeles area, they report an August median price (all homes - new and existing, SFR and condo) of $605,300, which is +2.2% from July and +2.6% YOY. Sales were +1.3% from July and -23.9% YOY.

For El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach:

City               August 2007      August 2006    %YOY Change 
El Segundo          $850,000          $775,000        +9.7%        
Manhattan Beach   $1,700,000        $1,850,000        -8.1%   
Redondo Beach       $820,000          $752,000        +9.0%

L.A. County selected areas:

Area               August 2007      August 2006    %YOY Change
beach cities      $1,150,000       $1,000,000        +15.0%
south bay           $720,000         $625,000        +15.2%
westside          $1,047,500         $735,000        +42.5%

For Redondo Beach August sales, I had experimentally calculated a PRELIMINARY median of $850,000, then as more data came in I later recalculated it as $808,500. Given how slippery and unreliable Zillow data can be, I'm not surprised at the difference. At the time, I wondered out loud if the freeze that hit the market early in August locked out low end buyers, thus a disproportionate share of sales from the higher end drove up the medians. I was thinking, though, that late in the month some "unfreezing" occurred that would have freed up financing again for the low-end homes and allowed more lower-end homes to close their escrows. So the key question is - will alternative forms of financing be made available so people can buy at the lower end again? Yes, here in Redondo Beach, lower end homes typically require jumbo loans.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Los Angeles area home prices continue down in July 2007 according to S&P/Case-Shiller home price index

The %YOY change for the Los Angeles area in July is -4.8%. The change from June to July of this year is -0.5%.

You can view the press release here (PDF file).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Distressed property activity in Redondo Beach

I only get notifications for 90278 so I don't get complete distressed property activity for all of Redondo Beach. I do get some notifications for 90277 but I don't get the extensive coverage that I do of 90278.

There's been a lot of email from RealtyTrac this month on distressed properties. The volume is the highest I've seen it so far. This is what I've gotten during September. (I'm not attempting to disguise these addresses since they are readily available on public records of default notices.)

1641 Ford Avenue    
2305 Rockefeller Lane C
1108 Camino Real 227
1507 Flagler Lane   
240 The Village 202
2609 Curtis Avenue   
2205 Grant Avenue 5
2610 Fisk Lane   

And these are the properties that as far as I know were scheduled to go to auction this month:

3304 Rindge Lane    
1206 Rindge Lane   
1920 Voorhees Avenue 2
1321 Beryl Street 106
1108 Camino Real 227
2016 Vanderbilt Lane 2
1933 Firmona Avenue

I did a little research on some of the owners listed on the notices of default and came up with some unusual data. I've already posted about 1206 Rindge. The owner of the property in The Village is a very experienced financial professional. A search of the Internet archives said the owner "possesses over twenty years of finance, accounting/tax, audit, and project management experience."

I'm not sure, but I think one of the people owning the Camino Real property is a published computer scientist who has worked in aerospace.

And I think the listed owner of the property on Vanderbilt is a realtor with a public website. A little research turns up that this person has had numerous addresses in Torrance, Redondo, Las Vegas, Mansfield, Arkansas, and Allen, Texas, where that person's realty practice currently is located.

Apparently at least some of the people losing their homes to foreclosure are professionals in their fields, and have fallen prey to some misfortune or have grossly mismanaged their own finances, or a combination of both. It amazes me that a finance professional could end up in such a predicament but I suppose it is not surprising, and we'll see many many more such surprises by the time the market has thoroughly shaken out the financially weak. Since we often make our economic decisions (e.g., whether to buy or sell stocks, or a house) based on what "everybody else" is doing (yes, we are subject to the forces of the herd, whether we like it or not), even the most brilliant minds can fall on hard times. Isaac Newton succumbed to the siren call of the South Sea bubble.

I've only got 2 September sales marked as "suspicious" so far. The rate that new inventory has been landing on the market has slowed a bit (down from a rate of close to 3.5 a day), but sales seem to be slowing down too. I don't even count those 27 new homes on Ruxton Lane in my inventory, since I don't have exact sale information about them (and my email has gone unanswered).

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Only recently we became aware of a new 27-unit townhome development on a street on the east side of North Redondo, very close to the Galleria, Ruxton Lane. Below is my tricked-up pseudo-panoramic shot, which I had to doctor a little to get out some weird seams.

The signage says the units start in the high $700,000's, and around 1900 square feet.

Another sign says the amenities come included in the price. Given that they start in the high $700,000's at 1900 sqft, these units run maybe a sliver below current Redondo median price (as I've calculated it), and maybe slightly above median square footage. I am a housing bear, and for now nothing in Redondo strikes me as a terrific deal. If you are looking to buy, bubble talk be damned, and you aren't paying attention to amenities and just want a lower price, there are actually a handful of places in Redondo for sale in the mid-to-high-$700,000's with comparable square footage, in some cases with a seller possibly willing to knock down the price a little more.

On Saturday morning we decided to drive by after we got the bulk of our grocery shopping done. When we got to Ruxton Lane there wasn't another soul around. And then that big storm hit. I couldn't even get out of the car for a while to take any photographs, but we sat there parked on the opposite side of the street and just watched the water pound the new townhomes.

That was when we learned it pays to look at potential property for sale in weather like this. You see these red arrows? The one on the right points to a drainpipe that ascends over the front porch, and we watched water pouring off that front porch roof right on to the path. Now imagine living here and getting soaked each time it rains, hee hee! If I were looking to buy this unit I'd insist the builder fix this, at no extra charge - after all, with what you'll have to pay for housing around here, you're already getting soaked. The arrow on the left shows another drainpipe from the roof that dumps the water on the side.

Now back down to Torrance and the Torrance Farmers Market. It turns out there is another development being built on the same patch of land where the Standard Pacific developments are located, only it's not built by Standard Pacific. It's built by West Millennium Group, and the development is called Parkview Court. It's for seniors (55+), and square footage ranges from 706 to 1255. Prices are supposed to start from about $359,000. Some of the "features" include wide spaces for wheelchairs. Photos I've taken of this construction area in fact include some of this Parkview development.

Now on to San Pedro. According to the Daily Breeze (link expires), the Seaport Homes condominium project is undergoing a change in direction, thanks to the housing market slowdown. The developers now want to lease out the 136 units with a purchase option. However, much optimism abounds that this will only be temporary, and these will eventually be sold. Some of the readers responding to the story weren't so sure, asking how long before the development starts accepting Section 8 (HUD) tenants.

San Pedro condos to be leased rather than sold
Market woes and slow sales cause a major shift in the project's direction. Seaport 
Homes on Western Avenue will rent its 136 units for now.
By Donna Littlejohn
Staff Writer

The sluggish real estate market is taking its toll on one San Pedro condominium 
project that's still under construction. Seaport Homes on Western Avenue will now 
lease out its 136 units rather than sell them.

Billed as luxury condominiums and priced from the $400,000s for the smallest 
one-bedroom homes, Seaport Homes reportedly sold only about 15 percent of the units 
in advance of the scheduled opening in January.

"Mainly the market's not good," Seaport spokeswoman Nancy Bush said. "It's hard for 
people to get a loan, so we thought we'd let people try it out on a lease with a 
purchase option first, to kick the tires, see how they like it."

Open house signs have come down on the property.

Rents will range from $1,500 for a one-bedroom, one-bath to $2,750 for three bedrooms 
and three baths, according to Seaport's Web site,

No information was posted about the length of leases or other terms.

Bush said it is anticipated that the units will go up for sale later, after the 
housing market rebounds. Those with leases would have first right of refusal to buy.

Some nearby residents worry the conversion will mean even more traffic for already 
heavily impacted Western Avenue.

"If you look at traffic studies, apartments generate more traffic than condos," said 
Diana Nave of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

Most observers chalk the move up to bad timing for condominiums that are coming 
online during a nationwide housing slump.

"It's a sign of what's happening with real estate right now," said John Greenwood, a 
real estate broker with ERA Golden West Realty in San Pedro. "We had a developer who 
worked with our office, and he did the same thing. He rented them out, and then in 
two or three years he sold them. It's not an unusual thing to happen, but it's a sign 
of the market."

But others say the development didn't live up to its brochures.

"It wouldn't surprise me if people saw it and what they were asking and said, `Wait a 
minute,"' said Dan Dixon, president of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

"It's a monstrosity," Nave said.

The four-story Seaport development, dubbed "The Monster" by critics because of its 
stacked, high-density appearance from the street, is going up on Western Avenue at 
Fitness Drive, just south of the proposed Ponte Vista project. Two underground 
stories will be used as parking.

"I don't think you can quite tell (what they'll look like) until they're finished," 
Bush said. "We've done our best to follow all the requirements."

Even though the neighborhood council approved the development several years ago, 
Dixon said the vote would come out differently if held now that the units are under 
construction. The homes are being "rammed into a very small area," he said.

"It's a foolish development in the wrong place," he said.

The Seaport units are wedged between two existing condominium projects, the 64-unit 
Tennis Club to the west and the 130-unit Casa Verde Estates to the east.

Bob Bisno, who wants to build a 1,950-home project on nearly 62 acres directly to the
north of Seaport, said the Seaport development site is better suited for apartments 
than condominiums.

"Their development looks more like an apartment than condominiums," Bisno said.

John Long, president of the Casa Verde Homeowners Association, said his condominium 
has more than tripled in value since he purchased it in 1997. He said the Seaport 
units next door will look nice when they're finished.

"I'm pretty sure (the new condominiums) will raise the property values," he said.

Some nearby residents, however, continue to worry about the growing density and how 
it will affect traffic, schools and other quality-of-life issues.

In a March 11 letter to the editor to the Daily Breeze, local resident April Sandell 
called Seaport "a poster-child for poor traffic planning and density gone wild."

The only vehicle access to all three developments built in a row is Fitness Drive, a 
narrow, private road off Western where there is no traffic signal.

There could be as many as 400 residents in all three developments when they're 

There have been discussions with Bisno about building a new access road on the vacant 
parcel in front of Seaport that Bisno owns.

Bisno's plans for Ponte Vista, meanwhile, are still going through city planning 

Mark Wells, a blogger who has opposed the Ponte Vista development, fears that what 
happened to Seaport could be repeated at Ponte Vista, a much larger project.

"If Seaport had to go with leases, what makes anyone truly believe that Ponte Vista 
(won't) suffer the same fate … ?" Wells wrote.

That won't happen, Bisno said.

"Our capital structure and partners aren't the same" as Seaport's, Bisno said. "It 
would be irrational for us."

Ponte Vista also will offer a very different product than Seaport, according to Bisno 
spokeswoman Elise Swanson. Ponte Vista, she said, will include a resort-style design 
with lots of open space and park-like amenities.

"I'm a dyed-in-the-wool optimist," Bisno said. "I'm confident that by next summer we 
will have seen the bottom (of the real estate market slump) and we will be on the 

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Los Angeles Beach Cities Resale Activity for August 2007

In Los Angeles County, median prices of resale SFRs and condos continued to rise for the month of August, at least according to DataQuick, as reported in the Los Angeles Times.

Numbers for individual zip codes broken out into housing type (SFR or condo) can be unreliable due to the statistics of very small numbers (and a number of other reasons). Nevertheless, as we have nothing else to go on I will present these August charts. DataQuick, and HomeData from the L.A. Business Journal, are my least favorite sources of information for house price numbers.

With relatively few sales of a particular type of property in a particular zip code, it's not unusual to see weird spikes in the data for a given month. That's why I try to smooth things out with moving averages.

                          SFR   MEDIAN   %YOY    CONDO  MEDIAN   %YOY  
LA/Westchester    90045   32    $749     -6.2%     1     $355    -7.8%  
El Segundo        90245    9    $923      1.7%     2     $619     1.4% 
Hawthorne         90250   24    $523     -6.7%     1     $479     7.6%  
Hermosa Beach     90254   12  $1,210     -0.6%     9   $1,170    27.9%  
Lawndale          90260    9    $550      4.8%     4     $448    29.5%  
Manhattan Beach   90266   39  $1,695     -8.4%     6   $1,720    11.5%  
Palos Verdes Pen. 90274   41  $1,401    -11.1%    n/a     n/a      n/a  
Rancho P.V.       90275   50  $1,170     -3.9%     7     $785    31.8%   
Redondo Beach     90277   19  $1,110     -2.0%    19     $800    32.0%   
Redondo Beach     90278   31    $795      3.9%    25     $695     6.9%

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A visit to Standard Pacific's The Village on Oak

On Saturday we decided on the spur of the moment to visit The Village on Oak, after our usual grocery shopping at the Torrance Farmers Market and then swinging by Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. If you are not familiar with it, The Village on Oak is a multiunit Standard Pacific condo project in Torrance.

Below is a pseudo-panorama I took of ongoing construction at the site of The Village. (This was taken on August 4.) I don't know how many units in total there will eventually be at this site, for all the projects (Bayberry, Acacia, Laurel, Foundry), but it will be in the many hundreds.

Standard Pacific is having a Mission:Possible blowout sale this weekend, and I wanted to see if there was any evidence that people were biting. Bayberry and Acacia units are for sale - Laurel and The Foundry are not yet available.

Bayberry's units run roughly 1800-2000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2+ baths. When we viewed the three model units, I felt a little "cramped." My significant other pointed out that the ceilings were not the high cathedral ceilings we are so used to seeing when we tour new construction in Redondo, and so I initially thought that was the reason for feeling so "confined." I asked the saleslady how many units they were selling, and they have 13 left out of 71.

We visited the Acacia models next. These floorplans range from 1250 to about 1400 square feet. When we visited the first Acacia model, I immediately felt better - not cramped or confined - even with the low ceilings. We attributed it to a better use of space in the Acacia designs, whereas Bayberry felt like there was more wasted space. The Acacia saleslady told us the models were being sold "as is" - I guess that includes all the furniture and decorations they use inside to stage a place. There are 9 units left out of 97.

I think the Acacia models start from around $550,000. These homes are not cheap.

Tonight I looked over some of the paperwork I picked up, and found out that the monthly HOA fee is $298, but then is expected to drop to about $258 when "buildout is complete." The property tax rate is 1.06%.

The only type of financing mentioned in the Mission:Possible brochure I picked up was 30 year fixed rate. In the fine print, the rate is 5 3/8% (5.966% APR) for loans of up to $417,000. For loans greater than that amount, the rate is 5 7/8% (5.904% APR). There is no explicit mention of any other forms of financing. Historically, those interest rates are not bad - but the problem is, there is a lot of bubble built into home prices, and the free 42" plasma TV that comes with the home is not going to make up for that. The incentives are built in to the price, so the reality is that people are paying property tax, and mortgage interest, on that plasma TV and all the other incentive goodies.

A Bayberry financing handout showed 30 year-fixed rate, 5/1 I/O ARM, and 7/1 I/O ARM.

I have never seen the inside of the Centex fusion units, but I confess I like the outward appearance of these Standard Pacific units better. However, this high-density style of living is not something we like, so we would not consider these even with several years of bubble leaked out of the prices.

Were people interested? We noticed 4 or 5 other families walking through the models, so yes, there was interest. I would call it, "a steady trickle" of interest. With 9 out of 97 and 13 out of 71 units left, what has been built so far is mostly sold out, so I doubt there will be much buyer resistance to the remaining units.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Have mortgage market earthquakes affected Redondo Beach sales?

The big question, of course, is how mortgage market earthquakes have disrupted financing this market. And it's very difficult to answer. What I ended up doing was dividing 2007 sales data into two sets - one from January through June, before the turmoil really started to hit, then another set that covers July and August. Then I tabulated the sales in each set according to sale price. From the chart below, you can see the most significant changes in the percentage that each price category contributes to sales are in the 600K column (a decrease), the 800K column (a decrease), and the 900K column (an increase). Not the greatest of representations, but it'll suffice for lack of anything better.

It's laughable to call any property at all in Redondo Beach "low end", but a lot of it is probably financed by jumbos.

Second look at August home sales in Redondo Beach

I have good news and bad news for housing bears who want to see prices come down. The bad news - that sales slowdown that hit in early August is gone, and sales picked up in the latter half of the month and the pace is maintained so far in September. The good news - new inventory is hitting this market at a rate of greater than 3 properties a day.

July-August was a very schizo time, with a substantial sales slowdown and a spike in prices. In such a bi-polar market, obtaining a measure of median price trend is an increasingly futile exercise (and increasingly meaningless). Because of the financing logjam that hit the financial markets this summer, lower-end buyers were stonewalled, thus more sales came out of the high end, which drove median price higher. As the financing logjam cleared, and more lower-end buyers were able to complete their escrows, median price dropped down as expected, though it is still high relative to June and before.

With more August data in, we can revisit our statistics from SALE records.

STAT     FEB 2007   MAR 2007   APR 2007   MAY 2007   JUN 2007   JUL 2007   AUG 2007      
records        64        105        114         91         62         78         90
MEDIAN   $745,358   $755,000   $799,000   $777,000   $764,500   $860,000   $808,500
AVERAGE  $787,799   $813,252   $884,271   $855,228   $830,711   $880,279   $883,399
MIN      $387,500   $370,000   $470,000   $453,000   $485,000   $359,000   $342,500 
MAX    $1,878,000 $2,027,000 $1,750,000 $1,640,000 $1,565,000 $2,299,000 $1,975,000

From my SUPPLY records, median is $805,000, and average is $877,824. Here I have sales by SQFT from SALE records, and from SUPPLY records. I believe the SUPPLY records tend to have square footage more accurately recorded, but on the other hand there are more SALE records, so it's unclear which is the most accurate. What is clear from both charts, though is that the 2250-2500 sqft range has a lot of activity. And here are August sales categorized by price. And here is a more concise way of looking at SQFT and PRICE data (taken from SUPPLY records): From SUPPLY records, median DOM was 84 and average was 120. Increases were expected, since part of the market seized up and delayed the closing of sales.

Median reduction in price was 3.7%, and the average was 4.9%. The median original asking price was $847,000, and the median final sale price was $805,000 (according to SUPPLY records). The difference, when looking from the original asking price, is 5%. This gap between buyer and seller has closed substantially since the beginning of the year, when it was more like 15%.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

L.A. Times: Worst August for home sales in 15 years - "Prices are falling everywhere"

No surprise here. Annette Haddad's September 13 story says that the Southland August sales tumble was "driven down by tougher lending standards, mounting foreclosures, and skittish buyers."

71% of the Southland's zip codes showed price declines. This excluded areas with fewer than 15 sales.

Here are home sales by county:

County         Median      % YOY      #sold      %YOY
               Price         Chg                  Chg
Los Angeles   $550,000      +5.8%     6,647      -34.4%
Orange        $642,300      +1.9%     2,285      -33.9%
Riverside     $394,500      -6.1%     2,834      -46.4%
San Bernadino $360,000      -1.6%     2,096      -47.2%
San Diego     $475,000      -4.0%     3,104      -19.4%
Ventura       $575,000      -4.2%       789      -31.2%

TOTAL                                17,755

Southland August sales totalled 17,755 units. Sales haven't been this low in August since 1992, with 16,400 units, so we've hit a 15-year low.

The median home price for all the Southland for August was up 2.7% YOY to $500,000, and in Los Angeles County, the median price rose 5.8% to $550,000, according to DataQuick. Again, analysts are saying that rising median prices are due to more sales in the high-end markets. Those markets don't rely heavily on toxic mortgage financing.

The region's homebuilders are getting the wind knocked out of them. So some builders, like Standard Pacific, are hosting "blowout" sales, similar to the sales car dealers have to unload excess inventory. Some are offering incentives, like mortgage loan rates of less than 6%, a new refrigerator, washer, dryer, window blinds, big flat-screen TVs, etc, if buyers go through with their purchase. But one buyer is not being swayed by any of that and flatly states, "My goal is to get the lowest price possible." And one analyst says that such incentives haven't been turning the sales slump around.

Right now, Orange County has a 14 month backlog of inventory, with more than half owned by people "who don't have to sell. They are clogging up our market right now." says the president of a Re/Max brokerage. "This is the time that if you really don't have to sell, don't. Even if you'd like to sell, don't. One appraiser thinks that parts of the Inland Empire have close to a 3 year inventory backlog.

DataQuick reports that in early August, 43.4% of all Southland home sales involved a jumbo loan. That figure was 39.7% in the latter half of the month.

Be sure to check the original story for more graphics and interactive features.

Flash back to 1990. Realtors were speaking then of a "wonderful buyers market", but if you don't need to sell your home, "pull off."

If homebuilders go through with their blowout sales, we may get a spike in sales volume. If the areas I cover in my month-end dollar volume charts will include such blowout sales, I might see dollar volume come back over 0% again in some areas. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Has the South Bay housing slowdown ensnared a bubble pusher from a major local realty?

I won't make a secret of it, since the property is listed in the September 10, 2007 foreclosures at Nef Cortez (check the sidebar for links).

1206 Rindge was new construction that sold in July 2005 for $1,165,000. It first started making "noise" of the financial distress kind back in late July of last year. Then there was silence, and finally the property was listed early this year initially for $1,275,000. The listing agents were John Houston and Aggie Lammers from Shorewood. The property showed up in Zip Realty on March 9, but the For Sale sign had been sitting out front at least a month prior to that.

The asking price has been slivered down a few times, but to no avail; it currently sits at $1,179,000. It might look like they are really trying to sell the place when they do the price slivering, but let's face it, if people can't comfortably afford a property above, say, $200,000, then the asking price might as well be a trillion dollars.

I thought this was another ordinary bubble going POP until I looked at the foreclosure data. The owner's name in the foreclosure data is that of one of the listing agents.

If I can rule out any weird financial deal where the listing agent took the lethal foreclosure blow for the original owner (why the hell would he?!?), and if it is a fact that the listing agent and the original owner are one and the same, then we've reached a point where the bubble pusher foot soldiers are being killed by their own friendly fire. Some of my sister blogs have devoted much time into documenting realtors-flippers in trouble - this could well be another example. Bubble pushers - and those who feed them - have been known to fall into the trap of believing the hype that real estate doesn't go down; that it'll recover quickly if it does happen to hiccup; and the biggest myth of all, that this area is in such high demand that it is immune to the real estate problems of the rest of the country. Now the excesses of overconsumption and too much easy credit, and the belief in all the hype, are backfiring.

The last time Southern California went through a housing slump, the papers devoted a great deal of ink to the destruction of the American dream. There was much weeping and moaning and hand-wringing on the pages of the L.A. Times and who knows where else. But not a whole lot of press was devoted to how out of the ashes of the bonfire of one dream destroyed, another's dream is seeded and grows.

The foreclosure sale for this property is September 19. The minimum bid on this property is $874,250. IF somebody gets the property at the minimum bid, that's 25% less than the purchase price in 2005. That may SEEM like a great deal, but there are actually a few properties in RB with comparable square feet (> 2700) at even lower current asking prices. One of them is even in the TRW tract. Personally, I think it is best to WAIT so that your financial situation doesn't end up going down like a lead balloon in case of some little hiccup. You want to keep your dream alive.

There is another property about 4 doors away from me, also on Rindge, that is also available at that September 19 foreclosure sale. It's a more modest place than the first property I discussed; nevertheless, rumblings of financial distress also came in July 2006. It's hard to believe this place sold to the current owners in November 2002 for "only" $220,000. I'd sure as hell would like to know how a $220,000 property bought in 2002 exploded into a $630,000 loan liability in November 2005, going into foreclosure sale with just over $10,000 delinquent.

The owners of this particular property owned two hounds (I think they were black and tan coonhounds), which always used to "greet" us when we walked by. I think they have all moved out - if so I am going to miss those dogs.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Daily Breeze: Reader sentiment against homeowner bailouts; stage being set for social unrest

I realize this isn't a scientific poll, but I thought it interesting how the Daily Breeze letters to the editor on September 7 have been running overwhelmingly against a taxpayer-funded government bailout of homeowners who have dug themselves deep holes. I tend to lean the same way, though I am well aware that there are unscrupulous lenders and other industry players out there who have had a hand in this debacle:

This week's question: "President Bush has announced plans to help some homeowners 
with risky mortgages keep their houses. Should the federal government step in to help 
homeowners who were hurt by the subprime loan crisis?"

Absolutely not. If he helps some, he would have to help others.

While many sympathize with the negative consequences of those who have taken out bad 
loans, relieving them of their responsibility by bailing them out is not only wrong, 
but is irresponsible of the president and any other politician who has decided to 
become generous with the taxpayers' money.

If Mr. Bush and other politicians on (Capitol Hill) feel so generous helping others 
using our money, then let them take up a collection from other bleeding hearts who 
feel the same way. Better yet, let him go to the people who've created this mess in 
the first place: the greedy, irresponsible Wall Street groups who packaged these 
dangerous loans and the mortgage bankers who pushed them.

- John Doe 1


No. The mortgage companies and the homeowners gambled with risky loans - and they 

- Jane Doe 1

Redondo Beach

I would say definitely no. N-O. The people who went in to get the mortgage had their 
eyes open and over-reached themselves, and the people who lent them money were too 
doggone greedy. The whole thing stinks. Let the chips fall where they may.

- John Doe 2


President Bush is off base announcing that the federal government should assist 
people who had risky mortgages. We cannot use government funds - taxpayers' funds - 
to help people who made a bad judgment.

- John Doe 3


No, No, No! No relief for stupidly large and ridiculously built home loans! If this 
is done, all it does is set a precedent for upcoming "mistakes" by folks who 
shouldn't be buying a home in the first place. Or a car. Or whatever else may send 
them to bankruptcy court.

People need to know what they can and cannot afford. Why would you want to make 
yourself a prisoner to your mortgage? People need to read the documents they are 
signing! People need to ask questions and demand clarification of legalese! Those 
bankers and Realtors get paid a lot of dollars to set you up with a home. You need to 
be sure you are not being set up for a future disaster.

Read everything. Your signature says you understand what you're signing, so don't 
believe it when they say, "You don't need to read that - it's just boring legal 
stuff." Yup, it sure is. It's the part where it says "bring a shovel and dig yourself 
a hole."

- John Doe 4


The federal government should not step in to subsidize borrowers or lenders who gave 
loans to people who did not qualify for normal loan. It is up to the lenders to be 
sure that the borrowers are qualified for the money they seek to borrow. Many of 
these lenders, and the people who invested in these shaky ventures, should realize 
that their poor judgment has backfired. There are no guarantees in this life, and it 
is not the place of government - federal, state or local - to bail out people who 
make poor choices.

- John Doe 5


Now here is a September 10 article by Tom Elias about how the widening wealth gap is setting the stage for social unrest in California. I do not know anything about this author OR his credibility, but I think he is on to something when he speaks of "future trouble as rage builds gradually among many millions of have-nots."

The article points out how property values have remained steady and even increased in the high-end areas, and foreclosures have been very low, while in the lower-end areas, foreclosures have been exploding exponentially and property values are declining.

I don't happen to think that the high-end areas will continue to coast along immune to the forces of contraction, but the angry kid who's about to torch your well-to-do beach neighborhood with his gang-member friends is only going to see the McMansions and conclude there is money there, whether there is money (or flimsy mortgage loans) really there or not.

Talk that sounds like "We will bounce back!" "We will rebuild!" "We will recover!" and reflects optimism comes around market peaks. If you recall from my 3 part series about the last housing slump, people at the bottom were saying the area would "never" recover - "Never. Never. Never." That is the pessimism characteristic of bottom talk. I think the author is on the right track predicting social unrest, but he does not recognize that the optimistic pep-building talk he quoted is characteristic of a peak.

This recalls my January 24, 2006 post "Will a bursting bubble lead to social problems?" I think - YES. And I STILL believe that what one perceives as valuable - in terms of housing - will change very quickly as psychological conditions change.

Daily Breeze stories vanish quickly, so you can read it here:

Widening wealth gap sets stage for social unrest in California
State shows broader divide between rich and poor as middle class incomes stagnate.
By Tom Elias

California is rapidly becoming a classic example of a place where the rich get richer 
and the poor continually get poorer. That's been true for a decade or more when it 
comes to employment, where pay for high-end jobs requiring college degrees or higher 
has grown rapidly, while wages for unskilled labor in fields, carwashes, restaurants 
and hotels have risen only slightly.

Now the real estate market is creating even more severe inequalities. Example: In one 
ZIP code of southern Santa Monica, there were two foreclosures on houses during the 
second quarter of last year and two again for the same time period this year. 
Meanwhile, in another ZIP code almost 100 miles east in the Riverside County city of 
Moreno Valley, there were 23 foreclosures during the second quarter of last year and 
296 this year. Guess where prices are still about three times higher. Statewide, 
foreclosures were up from about 20,000 during that time period last year to 53,000 
this year.

Strikingly, property values in most neighborhoods are down this year, but they are 
actually up in high-end areas where home prices average more than $1 million.

So the rich are still getting richer, and the poor - even the not-so-poor and the 
middle class - are getting much poorer, seeing whatever equity they've built up over 
years of making house payments disappear in a price slump and then often having to 
abandon their homes when monthly payments on some subprime mortgages rise after three 
or five years of requiring only interest.

But that kind of inequality occurs every time there's a real estate recession like 
the one in which the entire nation is mired today.

Even more serious and permanent is the widening difference between economic classes 
in this state spawned by the ongoing wave of immigration from Latin America, both 
legal and illegal.

"By slow degrees, California has changed from a state where opportunities abounded 
and prosperity was more broadly shared to one with an increasing divide between the 
rich and the poor," reports Jean Ross, executive director of the nonpartisan 
California Budget Project in Sacramento. "It makes it harder for working families to 
succeed and to give their children a decent start in life."

A new report from the Budget Project finds the gap between low-wage and high-wage 
workers has widened more in California than other parts of America.

One reason for this, the study found, is that job growth in this state has come 
mostly at the high end and the low end of the wage scale, while the middle ground 
remains largely stagnant.

What the report does not say is that these conditions are largely the result of 
buildups in the high-technology sector and the steady stream of immigration, both 
legal and illegal.

High-technology jobs require education and skills, unless they are simple 
assembly-line posts. Companies like Intel, Google, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Cisco Systems and 
Oracle, which employ many thousands of workers, offer higher pay and better working 
conditions than normal. Fortune Magazine lists all of them among the 50 best 
employers in America to work for. That's partly because their highly skilled workers 
are in constant demand, with headhunters calling many of them almost daily.

But no one would rank any carwash, restaurant kitchen or vineyard in that category. 
Jobs there pay exponentially less than those in high-tech.

The low-end jobs stay in that category for two reasons: There is little or no 
competition for workers because these positions require few skills. The immigrants 
who fill most of them are among the least educated to arrive in America in the past 
century. Especially the illegals, who undergo no screening for education, disease, 
criminal record or anything else, as legal immigrants must.

As a result, the Budget Project reports about 2 million California families with 
incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level of $13,690 per year. These 
families can offer their children few resources, often need children to join them and 
help at their jobs and produce a large number of high school dropouts. One result: 
School-achievement tests show a continuing gap between Latino children and whites.

The danger in all this is that extreme distance between economic classes has often 
been a harbinger of social unrest. It was one of the underlying causes of riots like 
those in Watts and other parts of Los Angeles in 1965 and 1992.

This state's government appears oblivious to the problem, but continuing to ignore it 
can only lead to future trouble as rage builds gradually among many millions of 

L.A. Business Journal: August home sales take a major plunge

According to this September 10 story by Howard Fine, the August median price for Los Angeles County still managed to squeek out a YOY gain, up 5% to $579,000, though it is down slightly from July. August is traditionally considered a "robust" month - but sales were down by half from 2006 and were only a third of 2005 levels.

Even the high-end market, which has been propping up prices, "took a hit", according to the article. Thursday, August 9 was the day everything changed, and jumbo loans became much harder to come by. Sales of high-end homes "came to a screeching halt." "When the credit crunch hit, people...just froze. It was like the September 11 aftermath all over again." Finally, alternate sources of financing - S&Ls and credit unions - began to step in, and sales picked up again toward the end of the month.

And how is this affecting sellers? Sellers are again starting to pull their homes off the market until the market "recovers", explaining in part a change in time on market from 68 days during Q1 to about 50 days during Q2. Unsold homes inventory hovers at around 12 months, the historical average is about 8.3 months, and the known all-time high was 28 months back in 1991. One realtor explains that back then, people were moving out of the area and "had" to sell, but now "is a different story." The realtor goes on to explain that although with "all the bad press", buyers are "gun-shy", but they are "all eventually buying. They are jumping on competitively priced properties."

Outcomes vary sharply by region. Belmont Shore in Long Beach median price is up 5% YOY, with home sales off only 7%, while 4 Palmdale zip codes show a 70% decline in home sales, with median price down 15%.

------------------------ SFR --------------------------------
COMMUNITY         ZIP   Aug     %YOY       Aug        %YOY
                        Sales   Change     Price      Change

El Segundo       90245    7      -36.4%   $1,258,000   +51.6%    
Hermosa Beach    90254   16      -27.3%   $1,300,000    +5.7%
Manhattan Beach  90266   37       -9.8%   $1,608,000    -9.4%    
Redondo Beach    90277   15      -25.0%   $1,225,000   +25.8%
Redondo Beach    90278   22      -12.0%     $801,000    +9.7%

---------------------- CONDO --------------------------------
COMMUNITY         ZIP   Aug     %YOY        Aug         %YOY
                        Sales   Change      Price       Change
El Segundo       90245    1      -92.9%     $690,000    -4.4%     
Hermosa Beach    90254    3      -57.1%     $505,000   -36.1%
Manhattan Beach  90266    1      -83.3%   $1,760,000   +94.7%
Redondo Beach    90277   14      -36.4%     $688,000    +0.1%
Redondo Beach    90278   27      +12.5%     $670,000    -0.6% 

(Note: I am not a fan of this style of reporting numbers, which I've explained in many past posts. Nevertheless, this is all we have to go on.)

The most expensive SFRs in Los Angeles County are in Westwood 90024 (median price SFR -21.4% YOY); Beverly Hills 90210 (+71.3%); Pacific Palisades 90272 (+4.2%); Bel-Air 90077 (+18.6%); Windsor Square 90020 (-55.0%); Manhattan Beach 90266 (-9.4%); Brentwood 90049 (-7.6%); Santa Monica 90403 (+5.0%); Santa Monica 90405 (+28.3%); and West Hollywood 90069 (-8.9%).

The places with greatest SFR price erosion, according to this article, are Malibu 90265 (-63.1%); Windsor Square 90020 (-55.0%); Long Beach 90802 (-32.8%); Sherman Oaks 91403 (-30.8%); Signal Hill 90755 (-29.5%); West Covina 91791 (-28.2%); Sierra Madre 91024 (-25.8%); Sherman Oaks 91423 (-21.8%); Whittier 90602 (-21.7%); and Whittier 90601 (-21.5%).

The most expensive condos are in Marina Del Rey 90292 (median price condo +39.0% YOY); Santa Monica 90403 (+12.9%); West Hollywood 90069 (+45.0%); Beverly Hills 90211 (+12.3%); Hancock Park 90004 (+21.7%); Rancho P.V. 90275 (+59.6%); Pasadena 91105 (+13.3%); Playa Vista 90094 (-12.0%); Brentwood 90049 (+3.0%); and West L.A. 90025 (-3.8%).

Condo price erosion was the most extreme in Belmont Shore 90803 (-43.7%); West Hollywood 90038 (-43.1%); Monterey Park 91754 (-41.8%); Lancaster 93536 (-38.3%); Hermosa Beach 90254 (-36.1%); Santa Monica 90405 (-35.9%); North Hollywood 91602 (-32.5%); South Pasadena 91030 (-29.2%); Koreatown 90005 (-27.7%); and San Gabriel 91776 (-26.8%).

If it is true that sellers are pulling their homes off the market waiting for a "recovery", that suggests to me that seller psychology is virtually unchanged from a year ago, and this downturn is still in its warmup stage.

Market player psychology is driving this market - not the latest interest rate jiggle. If buyers are waiting for better prices and they can't get them, they are waiting or choosing to move out of the area. That is already happening. Sellers may not be "forced" to sell now because of a job layoff, but eventually enough of a critical mass will be forced to sell and that will force the issue of prices. This market is orders of magnitude beyond what it was in the early 90's and a major decline could take years longer to develop.

In the meantime, buyers with less than stellar credit have been shaken out, and we are going to see prime borrowers throw good money into a market that may well swallow up their equity like Monstro of the deep.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Preliminary look at August Redondo Beach home sales

I have listed preliminary statistics for August based on a sample size of 51 sale records.

The preliminary numbers for August are inserted below.

STAT     FEB 2007   MAR 2007   APR 2007   MAY 2007   JUN 2007   JUL 2007   AUG 2007       
records        64        105        114         91         62         78         51
MEDIAN   $745,358   $755,000   $799,000   $777,000   $764,500   $860,000   $850,000
AVERAGE  $787,799   $813,252   $884,271   $855,228   $830,711   $880,279   $867,925
MIN      $387,500   $370,000   $470,000   $453,000   $485,000   $359,000   $365,000  
MAX    $1,878,000 $2,027,000 $1,750,000 $1,640,000 $1,565,000 $2,299,000 $1,510,000 

Notice that the median and average prices are very much in line with what was recorded for July, which was a big spike up in prices. Also, as you can see in the chart below, median square feet, which had been hovering in the 1700-1800 sqft range, now has moved up to 1990. These numbers are coming from sale records, which if anything would tend to understate square footage if there are errors.

My interpretation is that the bottom has fallen out of the lower-end range in terms of mortgage financing, which would make a disproportionately larger share of whatever homes sales there are come out of the high-end range, driving up the median price and the median square feet.

If Fannie Mae ends up promising to buy the mortgages for these lower-end homes (it's weird thinking of anything below $800K as "low end"), this lopsidedness in the market could end up being temporary. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Daily Breeze: A perfect storm hitting the south bay?

Thanks to GuyinLA for the heads-up on this one! This article by Martin Romjue in the September 2 Daily Breeze will disappear quickly, so I will show it here.

Whether the South Bay housing market has turned into a slumbering bear or a lumbering 
bull depends on how you look at the market.

The Multiple Listing Service of properties for sale shows more homes with reduced 
prices, and more cumulative days on the market.

Monthly median home prices in the South Bay, however, are still ticking up overall.

According to the California Association of Realtors, the median price of a 
single-family home in the South Bay in July was $690,000, up 7.9 percent from July 
2006; in the beach cities it was $1,035,250, up 5.4 percent; on the Palos Verdes 
Peninsula, it was $1,250,000, down 3.1 percent. Los Angeles County had a median price 
of $550,000, up 5 percent.

So why are collective median prices in the South Bay and Los Angeles County mostly 
going up if an increasing number of list prices of individual homes are going down?

"More than half of cities in Los Angeles County actually have year-to-year declines," 
said Robert Kleinhenz, deputy chief economist for California Association of Realtors. 
"Higher-end markets are holding up better than lower end in terms of sales and 

"The higher-ends make up a larger share of sales distribution by price range, so that 
affects the calculation of median price," Kleinhenz said.

When looking at statewide sales data from Jan. 1 to July 31, 2007, versus the same 
period in 2006, declines become more pronounced. Homes below $500,000 saw a 24.3 
percent decline in sales; homes priced $500,000 to $750,000 saw a 26.4 percent 
decline; and homes priced above $750,000, fell by just 5.4 percent.

The median price of homes below $750,000 actually fell 1.9 percent statewide since 
Jan. 1. Median prices above $750,000 rose 2.2 percent.

Examples of reduced prices abound throughout the South Bay only two years after open 
houses routinely attracted multiple same-day bids. Sellers increasingly use such 
phrases as "Priced to sell!," "Seller very motivated!" and in one instance, 

"I see (situations) where nobody is buying a house," said Warren Snyder, co-owner and 
founder of Carriage Realty, American Broker Loans and American Credit Repair, all 
based in Torrance. "You now have houses for four and five months on the market, and 
you get one or two offers and they are 20 to 30 percent below price.

"Anyone out there buying a house is making offers that are absurdly low compared to 
what we had before," he said. "The sellers just aren't used to that. It will take a 
long time for sellers to adjust."

Snyder has sold real estate in the South Bay for 45 years, and believes he is 
witnessing the fourth housing downturn in his career.

"This one will be the worst we've ever had," Snyder said. "It will involve so much 
more of the economy than ever before. So many owners have turned homes into ATM 
machines. If you'd done loans 10 years ago the way they're done today, you would have 
been thrown in jail for fraud. So many people are in houses they can't afford. This 
will be a tremendous problem over the next 18 months."

Snyder said homebuyers are more intelligent and better informed as a result of the 
2000s real estate boom and current mortgage industry mess. Buyers no longer will 
accept inflated prices on the most important purchase of their lives, he added.

"They're not going to buy a house that they think will be worth $200,000 less in a 
year," Snyder said. "They are going to wait for things to level off."

However, at Coldwell Banker offices on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and in Manhattan 
Beach, the market mantra might as well be: "Stairway to housing."

"Our circumstances here are different. The South Bay is a microcosm unto itself," 
said Shryl Lorino, manager of the Coldwell Banker office in Manhattan Beach. The 
office opened in June 2006 and has grown to 17 agents working in the beach cities and 
the wider South Bay.

The South Bay is "somewhat insulated," Lorino said. "There's so little coastal 
property left. The concept of supply and demand will come into play here. I don't 
have a crystal ball, but chances of there being a panic and real drastic change here 
are slim."

While Lorino describes business as brisk, she calls this market more normal in that 
buyers and sellers are taking their time and negotiating more often through offers 
and counteroffers. Some sellers participate in loan buydown programs, in which a 
seller, for example, pays for some points on a buyer's loan in order to make a deal.

"The market used to favor that impulsive, charismatic larger-than-life buyer that 
attracts that type of seller," Lorino said. "Now everyone is more analytical. Now 
there is time to mull things over to do your research and do your homework and not 
have prices so drastically bumped up with multiple offers."

Leveling off is hardly what real estate investor and multiple homeowner Kyle Kazan 
would use to describe circumstances throughout Southern California, including the 
pricier enclaves of the South Bay.

"I believe the death spiral is on, and it will deflate values in real estate," said 
Kazan, who owns Beach Front Real Estate Services in Long Beach. The company either 
owns or manages 2,000 apartment units in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and invests 
in properties in other states and foreign nations. His company's combined portfolio 
is worth more than $250 million.

"The crazy appreciation in real estate in the last few years is now in reverse," 
Kazan said. "None of the South Bay is as much of an island as people believe. We're 
all pretty well interconnected and tied together. The outlying areas get hit worst 
and first, and then the flu spreads to more densely populated areas of Los Angeles 
and Orange counties."

Kazan, who regularly analyzes real estate markets for a sophisticated group of 
co-investors, said the 2002-03 housing market was the point where it lost its 
discipline and became too frothy.

The perfect storm of rising foreclosures and defaults, increased short sales and 
housing auctions, higher interest rates and tightened lending standards, and a 
diminishing pool of eligible, yet pickier, homebuyers all are combining to force the 
market downward, Kazan said.

"There will be wonderful opportunities for people if they still have good credit, and 
a little cash," Kazan said. The housing market will take a few years to unwind, he 
said, but predicts 2009 will be an optimum year to buy homes.

"The banks will let the auctions happen, and let values reset," Kazan said. "Lenders 
are holding many homes on their balance sheets, and at some point will want to wipe 
the red ink off their books."

Kleinhenz, the economist, said many deals are falling out of escrow because of 
tighter lending standards and fewer mortgage options. "Buyers cannot consummate the 
deal, which means homes stay longer on the market, which triggers further price 
reductions," Kleinhenz said. "The credit crunch really hurt sales and prices as 
through system."

But so far, downward scenarios are not on the radar screen for Kevin Moen, branch 
manager for two Coldwell Banker offices in Palos Verdes Estates and in Rolling Hills 
Estates, with a combined 130 agents covering the Peninsula and wider South Bay 

In the Palos Verdes Peninsula market, for example, year-to-year sales activity is up 
26 percent, with inventory levels remaining constant, Moen said. He said the 
vulnerable real estate markets are those with a lot of new homes, first-time buyers 
and speculation.

"We're still seeing a lot of instances of multiple offers and high demand level," 
Moen said. "We're not seeing that desperation mode of a seller; we are obviously 
going to see an occasional foreclosure, but we're not seeing a flood of inventory and 
distress sales or people losing their jobs."

Moen said the real estate market of the 2005 peak year was "crazy" and "not healthy," 
and that the current return to normal is a good thing.

"If a property comes priced right, there are two or three potential buyers for that 
property," Moen said. "If it's above the (comparable sales), then it will sit on the 


Some recent random data from the Multiple Listing Service used by South Bay real 
estate agents:

A townhome in Rancho Palos Verdes with partial, panoramic ocean views shows a price 
drop from $839,900 to $765,000 after more than 220 cumulative days on the market so 
far. Price cut: $74,900.

A single-family home in north Redondo Beach on the market for more than 165 days 
shows a price drop from $847,700 to $735,000. Price cut: $112,700.

A renovated townhome within one block of the oceanfront in south Redondo Beach shows 
a price drop from $855,000 to $799,000 with more than 220 days on the market. Price 
cut: $56,000.

A single-family home in the lower Hollywood Riviera section of Torrance has dropped 
in price from $850,000 to $775,000 after more than 70 days on the market. Price cut: 

And a single-family home in west Torrance has fallen from $749,900 to $678,900 after 
more than 58 days on the market. Price cut: $71,000.

Some continue to insist that the South Bay is somehow immune to the mortgage and pricing problems that much of the rest of the country is experiencing.

In case you missed my 3 part article series about the last great housing slump in California, you can find it at these links. Pay close attention to the psychology and the mindset of market participants and observers during that time. During this previous experience they were saying exactly the same thing about how the South Bay was immune - which ended up being ridiculously false.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Los Angeles County South Bay Beach Cities Real Estate $$$ Transacted for August 2007

We're experiencing a mix of conflicting forces in our housing markets. Sales really looked like they were starting to peter out in the last half of August. The credit contagion that's been affecting the financial markets is one factor. It definitely looks like it's affecting many of the zip codes covered here. Now Washington is making LOTS of noise about providing "relief" to those who got in over their heads on their mortgages. (You can tell election time is around the corner.) Whether this will mean that weak buyers in the beach cities get to stay in homes they never should have been in in the first place remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I don't know how much longer the high-end markets can prop up Los Angeles County. 90275 (PV area) made a sudden leap up in $$$ volume, as if buyers were literally heading for the hills. Other high-end markets looked a tad weaker this month, but nothing making major headlines.

Redondo Beach and the beach cities combined are up slightly, both in dollar volume and sales volume, over 2006. Considering how bad 2006 was though, that's not saying much. The markets look something like the way it was in 2004 - the thing that's different is the ever bigger and more expensive high-end luxury homes that prop up the local markets.

If you look at the YOY Comparisons list below, you'll readily be able to see which zip codes are currently on a tear. Refer to our real estate tracker, or the Google map tool, if you want to see specifics on a particular zip code covered here.


Compares $$$ volume to the prior year.

Realtors fat and happy...
90094        74.4% Playa Vista
90254        49.4% Hermosa Beach
90064        38.5% Rancho Park/Cheviot Hills
90277        32.9% Redondo Beach (south)
90293        30.0% Playa del Rey

Doing well...
90036        14.6% Park La Brea
90277-90278  11.4% Redondo Beach combined
90291        10.9% Venice
90503         7.9% Torrance
beach cities  5.0% 4 Beach Cities combined

DHanging in there...
90732         3.6% San Pedro/Rancho PV
90034         3.2% Palms

Losing a grip...
90278        -1.6% Redondo Beach (north)
90066        -3.7% Mar Vista
90266        -5.1% Manhattan Beach
90292        -9.5% Marina del Rey

Slip sliding away...
90275       -10.4% Palos Verdes Estates
90505       -14.0% Torrance
90008       -17.7% Baldwin Hills / Leimart Park
SW county   -18.5% Southwest L.A. County
90401-90405 -22.4% Santa Monica combined
90045       -23.0% Westchester
90304       -24.4% Lennox
90230       -25.6% Culver City
90501-90505 -25.7% Torrance Combined
90250       -26.3% Hawthorne
90035       -28.7% West Fairfax
90249       -29.4% Gardena
90501       -29.6% Torrance

Heading for the cliff...
90019       -30.7% Country Club Park/Mid City
90717       -32.3% Lomita
90018       -33.6% Jefferson Park
90007       -34.0% South Central
90044       -34.3% Athens
90232       -38.2% Culver City
90047       -38.9% South Central
90245       -39.8% El Segundo
90016       -40.2% West Adams
90504       -40.8% Torrance
90043       -41.2% Hyde Park, Windsor Hills
90745       -45.2% Carson
90260       -45.4% Lawndale
90062       -47.6% South Central
90056       -48.4% Ladera Heights

Off the cliff...
90037       -51.4% South Central
90746       -54.5% Carson
90303       -54.6% Inglewood
90744       -60.7% Wilmington
90302       -61.6% Inglewood
90301       -63.8% Inglewood
90301-90305 -64.2% Inglewood/Lennox combined
90502       -64.3% Torrance
90305       -78.4% Inglewood


The higher the number, the "stronger" the market has been from 2002 to present.

90094        4.5 Playa Vista
90305        3.2 Inglewood
90044        2.1 Athens
90034        1.9 Palms
90746        1.9 Carson
90292        1.6 Marina del Rey
90047        1.4 South Central
90301-90305  1.4 Inglewood/Lennox combined
90062        1.4 South Central
90502        1.3 Torrance
90304        1.3 Lennox
90018        1.3 Jefferson Park
90303        1.2 Inglewood
90007        1.2 South Central
90745        1.2 Carson
90302        1.1 Inglewood
90301        1.1 Inglewood
90016        1.1 West Adams
90037        1.1 South Central
90250        1.0 Hawthorne
90043        1.0 Hyde Park, Windsor Hills
90249        0.9 Gardena
90732        0.8 San Pedro/Rancho PV
90501        0.8 Torrance
90260        0.8 Lawndale
90230        0.7 Culver City
90503        0.7 Torrance
90008        0.7 Baldwin Hills / Leimart Park
90293        0.6 Playa del Rey
90501-90505  0.6 Torrance Combined
SW county    0.6 Southwest L.A. County
90245        0.5 El Segundo
90036        0.5 Park La Brea
90291        0.5 Venice
90232        0.5 Culver City
90045        0.5 Westchester
90278        0.5 Redondo Beach (north)
90744        0.5 Wilmington
90019        0.5 Country Club Park/Mid City
90066        0.4 Mar Vista
90056        0.4 Ladera Heights
90064        0.4 Rancho Park/Cheviot Hills
90254        0.4 Hermosa Beach
90035        0.4 West Fairfax
90717        0.4 Lomita
90277-90278  0.3 Redondo Beach combined
90504        0.3 Torrance
90401-90405  0.3 Santa Monica combined
90505        0.3 Torrance
90266        0.3 Manhattan Beach
beach cities 0.3 4 Beach Cities combined
90277        0.2 Redondo Beach (south)
90275        0.1 Palos Verdes Estates