Sunday, October 12, 2008

DQNews: Los Angeles Beach Cities Resale Activity for August 2008

Thanks to some of you for your emails asking where the heck I am. I have been so busy at work that not only have I not been keeping up the blog but we had to cancel our vacation. Trust me, I'd rather be insanely busy than not have a job at all. Technically, I am a California *state* employee working in the UCLA School of Medicine. But the fiscal and economic future of California is not looking good so I don't know what that says about my future. My position is normally funded by NIH grants, not state budget, so that offers me a bit of protection at least for now.

I am doing a rush job here trying to catch up on data. Once I get through a big finance meeting at work at the end of October, I'll be a bit more relaxed and can devote some time to this again.

It's been easy to let this blog slide as it's been like watching a boring little tugboat sink whereas the spectacle we are witnessing in the global financial markets is like watching the Titanic sink and the Lusitania get torpedoed.

In addition to what I've been going through, my contact at Shorewood Realtors who normally updates the Shorewood website with monthly data has been seriously ill, which I pray is not terminal. I've contacted Shorewood and they are doing their best to fill the gaps, but between losing their data man and witnessing the price action in these markets it's been difficult maintaining their data at the moment.

I've been talking about mass psychology on this blog almost since I started it in late 2005. What's happening to peoples' 401k accounts and stock investments is going to have a profound impact on their desire to speculate in the housing market. I'll try to talk about this more in detail later after I get caught up.

Anyway, here's the August home sale story.

Here's the Southland data for August. Sales volume remains generally up over a year ago although the L.A. Business Journal story suggests that volume is starting to slide a bit again.

                  Sales Volume              Median Price
All homes      Jul-07     Jul-08     %Chng      Jul-07     Jul-08      %Chng
Los Angeles    6,809      6,592      -3.2%    $547,500   $400,000     -26.90%
Orange         2,391      2,799      17.1%    $640,000   $461,000     -28.00%
Riverside      2,769      4,116      48.6%    $399,000   $260,000     -34.80%
San Bernardino 2,008      2,521      25.5%    $355,000   $230,000     -35.20%
San Diego      3,106      3,431      10.5%    $489,000   $364,000     -25.60%
Ventura          784        870      11.0%    $582,500   $420,000     -27.90%
SoCal         17,867     20,329      13.8%    $505,000   $348,000     -31.10%

Here are the detailed RESALE statistics for the beach cities and some of the surrounding zip codes (prices are in 1000's):

                         SFR   MEDIAN    %YOY    CONDO  MEDIAN   %YOY  
LA/Westchester    90045   20    $700     -6.5%     1     $413   +16.3%
El Segundo        90245    4    $795    -13.8%     5     $450   -27.3%
Hawthorne         90250   23    $375    -28.2%     1     $425   -11.3%  
Hermosa Beach     90254    8    $920    -24.0%     6   $1,095    -6.4%  
Lawndale          90260    8    $365    -33.6%     2     $405    -9.7%  
Manhattan Beach   90266   36  $1,163    -31.2%     9   $1,029   -40.2%  
Palos Verdes Pen. 90274   17  $1,275    -12.1%     5     $580     N/A  
Rancho P.V.       90275   17  $1,053    -10.0%     8     $350   -55.4%   
Redondo Beach     90277    8    $900    -18.2%    20     $615   -23.1%   
Redondo Beach     90278   18    $620    -22.3%    24     $673    -4.9%


Blogger Mike D. said...

Good to have you back.

I'm really interested to see what the October and November numbers are going to look like. Any anecdotal evidence out there from anyone about how the financial crisis is affecting local RE activity? My gut tells me that sales are going to fall off even further, but I have nothing to back it up.

I just can't imagine stretching to buy a home in this market. It just seems so much more risky than it did even a few months ago. I imagine that down the road the events of the past few weeks will be seen as a major tipping point in the nicer markets like South Bay and the Westside.

7:19 AM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger bearmaster said...

Thanks for the kind words Mike.

One thing I think will pull the rug out from under potential homebuyers is the job market. Right now unemployment is 7.7% in the state.

In this week's L.A. Business Journal, which has September sales info, it sounds like sales volume picked up again.

But more well-to-do buyers were already starting to get frightened of what was happening in the financial markets and it was affecting their home buying decisions. And this was BEFORE the true October crash.

After I crunch through my own numbers I'll have a better sense of where we are. The market is not dead but it's being severely tested as you can imagine.

8:25 AM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger whereareyou said...

Thanks for updating us! I was worried! When the financial world fell I really wanted to get your insights on the relationship to the market. I wonder if you have any predictions about when the bottom will hit. Don't update us until you finish your job though LOL we can't afford to lose more jobs!

8:08 PM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger bearmaster said...

Thank you whereareyou. I am doing my best to get caught up.

9:08 PM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger wannabuy said...

Welcome back!

One thing I think will pull the rug out from under potential homebuyers is the job market. Right now unemployment is 7.7% in the state.

Wait... aerospace layoffs 2Q2009 and 3Q2009. :( I hope both you and yours due well through the downturn.

Thanks again for the early advice... Those that think this is about to "V-recover" need to wake up. But then again, we have two whole generations who do not remember a recession and how many really remember the 1974 recession? Not many...

I'm becoming obsessed with an idea that this is a worse version of the 1907 Bank Panic. Yikes!

All anecdotal evidence is that down payment requirements were cranked up between August and the end of September. To say the least, the floor has been removed. My tag line never made more sense:

Got Popcorn?

2:04 PM, October 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:26 PM, December 11, 2008  
Blogger wannabuy said...


Happy Holidays!

We hope you're back posting soon.

Got Popcorn?

4:21 PM, December 23, 2008  
Blogger Dun Aryeh said...

good post

10:02 AM, January 26, 2009  

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