Southern California Cities in Escrow

This little piggy goes to market
Here's the general trend of current pending sales of several cities noted through the SoCalMLS record, first taking all residential and commercial properties at all prices, and second looking at condos and houses in escrow and listed over $750,000 (second group for some cities):

  • Long Beach - 19% (approx. 576 plus 2499 active); 12% (30 pending, 213 active)

  • Norwalk - 21% (approx. 134 plus 493 active)

  • Cerritos - 31% (approx 65 plus 147 active); 21% (76 pending, 281 active)

  • Bellflower - 20% (approx 82 plus 319 active);

  • Cypress - 24% (approx. 57 plus 166 active);

  • Lakewood - 29% (approx. 115 plus 283 active); 17% (2 pending, 10 active)

  • Stanton - 24% (approx. 51, plus 160 active);

  • Seal Beach - 18% (approx. 50 plus 221 active); 23% (10 pending, 33 active)

  • Downey - 20% (approx. 135 plus 554 active); 6% (6 pending, 97 active)

  • Huntington Bch - 20% (250, plus 1014 active); 21% (76 pending, 281 active)

For properties over $750,000, Downey appears to be the least successful in that market. Both Huntington Beach and Long Beach escrows range up to the $5,000,000 price.

This is an "unscientific" local market assessment to take a look at general trends in the area, with the only price breakdown for residential being over or under the $750,000 mark, a completely arbitrary price point based on my personal experience with buyer comments about their affordability.

The first-time buyers and others in the $300,000-$350,000 price range are out in full force, recognizing that with the buyer affordability index at 44% (California Association of Realtors), now is the time to buy. Sales activity is historically higher at this time of year, but my opinion is that the second half of 2008 will fare better than the first half of 2008 and all of 2007. "Short Pay" sales seem to be more than half the market in some areas, but the good news is that some banks are becoming faster and more efficient in handling their approvals and closings on these properties.

Are higher end properties over $750,000 selling slow in all areas (see Dataquick article)? Not in Seal Beach or Huntington Beach--whereas that seems to be true in Long Beach, Downey, Lakewood, with Cerritos doing better in that price range.

Many bank-owned properties right now are a poor reflection on the market, most of them are sold in poor condition with no attempt at any basic carpet and paint clean-up, a minimal cost, so those either invite lowball offers or sit longer on the market.

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