Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Los Angeles County South Bay Beach Cities Real Estate $$$ Transacted through March 2009

My intent is to publish the dollar volume charts on a quarterly basis. These charts show data through the end of March 2009.

Generally, sales volume has rebounded somewhat. Last year during Q1 sales volume was in the dumpster, so some rebound has been bound to occur.

Dollar volume is climbing up in several areas. When you look at the statistics tables below, you'll notice that the YOY dollar volume has zoomed up past zero in areas such as parts of Torrance; Gardena; Wilmington; Lawndale; Inglewood; Lennox; and Carson. I am stating the obvious when I say that these are not affluent areas of Los Angeles County. I suspect that some falling Ginzu knife shoppers with dreams of becoming landlords (maybe slumlords) are out there shopping. Redondo Beach has climbed back YOY, very close to zero, but this is the "poorest" of the beach cities. In general, YOY dollar volume has not (yet) climbed back for the beach cities, nor for SW Los Angeles County.

YOY Comparisons

These numbers are a YOY comparison of the doubly smooth moving average of dollar volumes. I think of them as "recent pain" (or recent gain) indicators. Notice that I accidentally tallied these backwards. Normally I list these in descending order.

90094         -81.4%       Playa Vista   
90292         -64.6%       Marina del Rey   
90036         -59.8%       Park La Brea   
90501         -59.8%       Torrance   
90007         -56.2%       South Central   
90293         -53.6%       Playa del Rey   
90291         -53.0%       Venice   
90254         -52.4%       Hermosa Beach   
90056         -51.0%       Ladera Heights   
90302         -48.6%       Inglewood   
90062         -48.6%       South Central   
90245         -48.4%       El Segundo   
90019         -44.6%       Country Club Park/Mid City   
90064         -42.4%       Rancho Park/Cheviot Hills   
90301         -42.3%       Inglewood   
90045         -41.3%       Westchester   
90016         -40.8%       West Adams
90066         -39.2%       Mar Vista
90034         -38.1%       Palms
90043         -37.2%       Hyde Park, Windsor Hills
90044         -34.8%       Athens
SW county     -32.7%       Southwest L.A. County
90501-90505   -31.3%       Torrance Combined
90266         -30.9%       Manhattan Beach
90018         -30.8%       Jefferson Park
90037         -29.6%       South Central
90008         -28.9%       Baldwin Hills / Leimart Park
90401-90405   -28.7%       Santa Monica combined
beach cities  -28.5%       4 Beach Cities combined
90505         -25.8%       Torrance
90047         -22.3%       South Central
90275         -20.2%       Palos Verdes Estates
90250         -17.2%       Hawthorne  
90502         -15.9%       Torrance  
90504         -15.5%       Torrance  
90035         -14.1%       West Fairfax  
90717         -12.5%       Lomita  
90278         -10.2%       Redondo Beach (north)  
90277-90278    -8.0%       Redondo Beach combined  
90277          -5.2%       Redondo Beach (south)  
90301-90305    -3.2%       Inglewood/Lennox combined  
90249          -1.7%       Gardena  
90503           2.3%       Torrance  
90732           2.8%       San Pedro/Rancho PV  
90232           3.3%       Culver City  
90230           3.9%       Culver City  
90247           8.6%       Gardena  
90746          15.7%       Carson  
90744          18.7%       Wilmington   
90731          22.4%       San Pedro   
90260          25.0%       Lawndale   
90304          36.7%       Lennox   
90305          59.7%       Inglewood   
90745          69.6%       Carson   
90303         122.2%       Inglewood 

Relative Strength

This is a longer-term view of the strength of dollar volume in a given zip code. For this month 4.9 is the strongest (suffering the least amount of chronic pain) and -0.3 is the weakest (suffering the most chronic pain). Think of it is as the area above 0 on the YOY graph with the area below 0 of the YOY graph subtracted out.

90094           4.9  Playa Vista   
90247           2.9  Gardena   
90305           2.3  Inglewood   
90034           1.4  Palms   
90746           1.1  Carson   
90044           1.0  Athens   
90292           0.9  Marina del Rey   
90745           0.6  Carson   
90502           0.5  Torrance   
90304           0.5  Lennox   
90744           0.4  Wilmington   
90301-90305     0.4  Inglewood/Lennox combined   
90047           0.4  South Central   
90303           0.4  Inglewood   
90501           0.3  Torrance   
90007           0.3  South Central   
90249           0.3  Gardena   
90018           0.3  Jefferson Park   
90062           0.3  South Central   
90250           0.3  Hawthorne   
90016           0.2  West Adams   
90732           0.2  San Pedro/Rancho PV   
90302           0.2  Inglewood   
90064           0.2  Rancho Park/Cheviot Hills   
90232           0.2  Culver City   
90301           0.1  Inglewood   
90260           0.1  Lawndale   
90293           0.1  Playa del Rey   
90254           0.1  Hermosa Beach   
90043           0.1  Hyde Park, Windsor Hills   
90230           0.1  Culver City   
90503           0.0  Torrance   
90245           0.0  El Segundo   
90045           0.0  Westchester   
90291           0.0  Venice   
90019           0.0  Country Club Park/Mid City   
90501-90505     0.0  Torrance Combined   
90008           0.0  Baldwin Hills / Leimart Park   
90505          -0.1  Torrance   
90278          -0.1  Redondo Beach (north)   
SW county      -0.1  Southwest L.A. County   
90066          -0.1  Mar Vista   
90035          -0.1  West Fairfax   
90401-90405    -0.1  Santa Monica combined   
90037          -0.2  South Central   
90277-90278    -0.2  Redondo Beach combined   
90036          -0.2  Park La Brea   
90056          -0.2  Ladera Heights   
beach cities   -0.3  4 Beach Cities combined   
90277          -0.3  Redondo Beach (south)   
90275          -0.3  Palos Verdes Estates   
90504          -0.3  Torrance   
90731          -0.3  San Pedro   
90717          -0.3  Lomita   
90266          -0.3  Manhattan Beach   

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Your South Bay housing bubble blogger, courtesy of the South Bay Tea Party

Hi everybody!

Recall that last week I posted announcements about the South Bay Tea Party to be held on April 15. The reason why I volunteered to help organize this event was because we need to hold Washington and Wall Street crooks accountable for their toxic contributions to the economic mess we now face - including housing prices that in my opinion are still way too high. We need balance sheets to come clean in order to restore some health and sanity to our asset markets - including our housing markets. Financial fraud, reckless spending, pork, borrowing, and money printing MUST stop.

Here's a report on what happened immediately before and at the South Bay Tea Party.

Yours truly fulfilled her secret fantasy of becoming a sign twirler and stood at the corner of Aviation and Rosecrans on the evening of Tuesday, April 14, fighting the wind and freezing her ass off, advertising this event. I made signs with an Alice in Wonderland theme (she had a famous tea party, you know!) so I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts. One of my signs said "NO bailouts for weasels! OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" which unfortunately, was not photographed.

On the day of the event itself, somewhere between 1000 and 1500 people showed up.

The wind was hellacious and did not let up all day, making it just about impossible to put up our banner and hold up signs, but we somehow managed. The sand was blowing into our faces and eyes making things even harder, plus it was quite cold and it got very overcast in the afternoon.

El Segundo Police told us in the morning they got a brief from ACORN saying they might crash our party. The police weren't worried about us - they were worried about ACORN. Ultimately, ACORN and other dissenters did not show up. They probably thought we were too small to mess with.

I ended up out in the parking lot for most of the event helping people register and giving them signs to hold if they wanted. So unfortunately I didn't hear most of the speeches. Tammy Bruce was the guest speaker. There was also a moving speech by a young black man who served in the military, raised in a single-parent household of six kids. I heard some of it, but wasn't able to hear all of it from where I was in the parking lot.

Not a whole lot of press was there, which may have ended up being a good thing. Somebody from USC journalism was there for just about the entire event. Daily Breeze was there, and that reporter in fact interviewed me. I got a kick out of the guy from AP. Turns out he's from Mexico, and he said he left Mexico because of the wacky politics and came here and lamented about how now "this country is being ruined."

Contrary to media reports, this party was not run by any local GOP club. In fact, our organizer told the local GOP chapter when it asked about getting in on the action - thanks but no thanks.

I heard from a friend of a friend who attended a party in NYC that his party "got hijacked by Fox News and the GOP" but that didn't happen here. Our party REMAINED our party. Some of my fellow protesters, staunch Republicans, told me how they've been slamming their phones down on the GOP, vowing not to send another dime to them.

I designed roughly 24 posters for this event. Our living room looks like a cyclone tore through an art supply store. The poster that seemed to really push peoples' buttons the most was my Somali pirates sign. A lot of people, including the two reporters I talked to, took photos of that sign or gave me a thumbs up. The wind was so bad that this strong fellow had to help me hold it up.

Yours truly was also quoted in the Daily Breeze's coverage of this event:

Dockweiler State Beach Tea Party blasts governor's special election, Prop. 1A, by Max Zimbert

1500 people showing up for this event may not seem like much, but let's put that in perspective. I've been a Ron Paul supporter for many years, having donated to his Congressional campaigns on and off since maybe 1998. Before the presidential primaries I registered as a Republican so I could vote for Ron Paul in the primaries. The weekend before the primaries, at the last possible minute, I became a precinct leader and spent that weekend leafletting not only my precinct but helping out another person's precinct. Only then did I realize that there simply were not enough arms, legs, and mouths to spread the idea of limited government reined in by the Constitution. Roughly a year later, our organizer, Nathan Mintz, held his initial meeting with only 2 people. His group of helpers grew to about 12 - including me. Now we had this event, held on a midweek day in freezing windy uncomfortable weather in a location that wasn't exactly obvious or easy to get to. I'd call that progress.

You can view photos we took of the party here. If you like the idea of restoring health to our asset markets - including our housing markets - by stopping reckless borrowing, spending, money printing, and holding politicians accountable for the corruption that runs Washington and Wall Street, join us and sign up at South Bay Tea Party. You can also find us out on Facebook.

I've got the L.A. Business Journal in my backpack and a pile of other stuff to blog about the housing market. I hope to be back in the blogging saddle shortly.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ruxton Lane news

This is the third time I've seen the new 27-unit Ruxton Lane condos go on sale. Long time readers remember my visits there and my posts. If you're curious you can review most of this ongoing story in these links. To make a long story short, I noticed this development in the fall of 2007; prices originally started from about $750,000 to $810,000; the units didn't sell; another realtor took over the sale of the development in the spring of 2008, prices were knocked down, the units still didn't sell; the development foreclosed back to the lender. Now Ruxton is back for a third round.

History of the Ruxton development

23-Sep-2007 Mega Developments
15-Dec-2007 More on the Ruxton Lane Developments
13-Feb -2008 Ruxton Lane Saga continues
25-Mar-2008 Ruxton Pacific Development brings in the Big Guns
12-Feb-2009 Catching up South Bay residential projects

It turns out there was a grand opening last weekend. I was happening to head to Target to get supplies for the upcoming tea party protest, saw the Ruxton signs, and decided to take a quick detour to the development to see what was up.

The flags were out flapping in the breeze and the falling Ginzu knife shoppers were out shopping. 1906 sqft units start from $544,000; 1982 sqft units start from $560,000, and 2003 sqft units start from $606,000.

That's at least a 25% price drop from sale attempt #1 in the fall of 2007, and while that is significant, the neighborhood still sucks and the units are still overpriced in my opinion. Remember, we have been in an excessively credit-fueled economy for God knows how long. Some air has leaked out of the bubble, but not much. You've been seeing lots of press in recent days about a possible bottom in the economy and about hope turning up again. It's springtime. This is the season of hope. There is supposed to be more hope at this time of year!

The biggest rationalization I've been hearing about this potential bottom is that "unemployment is a lagging indicator, so employment statistics will turn up last." They have completely missed the boat in even seeing this downturn coming so how the heck will they know when the economy bottoms? I have an idea. When these idiots stop trying to call a bottom then I will start thinking about a bottom.

In the meantime, you can check out this Daily Breeze article on Ruxton. Apparently eleven (41%) of the units have been sold.

I will be standing on the corner of Aviation and Rosecrans on Tuesday night during rush hour to twirl a sign promoting the tea party protest. I MAY be wearing a costume when I do (I'll know by tomorrow night.) Hope some of you can make it on Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

South Bay Tea Party - "By land and by sea"

This press release was submitted to me by South Bay Tax Day Tea Party:


Friends! Brethren! Countrymen!
“By Land and By Sea” South Bay Tax Day Tea Party Protest
Dockweiler State Beach (off Imperial Highway), El Segundo, CA
April 15, 2009 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

El Segundo, CA April 7, 2009 – The South Bay Tea Party, a bipartisan group of 
concerned local citizens working in conjunction with the national FreedomWorks 
organization, invites all residents of the South Bay and its neighboring communities 
to join us on Wednesday April 15,2009 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m at Dockweiler State Beach 
to peacefully petition our elected officials, and particularly Congresswoman Jane 
Harman who is a self-described Blue Dog Democrat and fiscal conservative, to stop the 
irresponsible bailouts and out of control spending by the Federal Government. Join us
for a unique “by land and by sea” reenactment of the original Boston Tea Party as an
expression of our liberty and a cry of protest that our state and federal 
representatives ignore at their political peril.

In solidarity with Americans attending hundreds of Tax Day Tea Party protests around 
the country the group today announced its strong opposition to government spending in 
Washington and Sacramento and to an increase in taxes that will limit the freedom and 
threaten the livelihood of nearly every American. Nathan Mintz, on behalf of South 
Bay Tea Party, said: “In recent months our elected officials in Sacramento and 
Washington have disregarded the voice of the People and acted with reckless abandon, 
sacrificing the future of our children and our country.”

Tea Party organizers believe that economic and personal liberty are under severe 
attack from California State Legislators, the U.S. Congress and the other branches of 
the Federal Government. California’s Proposition 1A has burdened state residents with 
obscene levels of new taxation. The Federal Government’s Stimulus, recent Omnibus 
Spending Bill, and Budget all passed by congress are borrowing or printing 
unprecedented amounts of money. Yet, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that 
the Stimulus Bill will create few jobs in 2009 and 2010. Instead it will cause 
dangerously high levels of inflation as the Federal Government writes blank checks 
that our children and grandchildren will have to repay.

“We can no longer stand by quietly and allow this to continue unabated,” Mr. Mintz
continues. “Today is the day the silent majority rises up to demand its elected 
officials balance the people's checkbook. The people have had enough. The time to 
voice displeasure with the current political climate, discuss alternative solutions 
and demand constitutionally guaranteed rights is long overdue. That worst of plagues, 
the host of confiscatory taxes levied on the People by the Government, are due this 
day, April 15, 2009, and We the People will no longer remain silent.”
Facebook Page

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

South Bay Tax Day Tea Party - be there!

Folks, I know I've been neglecting the local housing data but I got drafted into an organization that's organizing a Tea Party protest for April 15 - and I want housing bubble bloggers to come!

Here is the link to my organization:

South Bay Tax Day Tea Party

I've been going to planning meetings. When I mentioned that I do this housing bubble blog a few guys in the room responded in recognition - then let it all out. They are young, and probably thinking of having families in the not-to-distant future, and they told me of their frustration in watching home prices just bubble up in craziness over the past several years, knowing they'd never be able to afford anything.

Well this Tea Party is partly about rethinking the role of government in our lives (which gets more corrupt and crooked by the day), and in bringing fiscal sanity back to our economy - starting in Washington. We've been on a downhill slide - oh, maybe since 1913. When fiscal and economic sanity and responsibility are restored, and markets are allowed to seek out and realize their true values, then we'll have created an environment where housing values can return to sane levels.

This Tea Party is about you and for you. Please come!

I've been making posters for this event, many of them inspired by Karl Denninger over at Market Ticker. You can see my posters here: Tea Party Posters