6/15/2010

Price and Value -- It's Increasing for Southern California Lately

The buyers' tax credit had an effect: There were more sales. And the low mortgage rates are helping (below 5% with paying one point). Per Dataquick, May sales of houses and condos in Southern California were the highest since May 2006: "...what we saw in May was partly driven by government stimulus".  May's typical monthly mortgage on new purchases was approximately $1293 -- do you remember when it was about $2200?--but that's still an increase from 2 years ago. Home flipping is trending higher--current rules require an investor to wait 90 days. Sales volume is up in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in this category, and so is the median price: $345,000 and $450,000. Although houses and condos cannot be compared across the board in all ways, nor can all geographic areas, this seems to be an overall general trend in price and sales. And, buyers who paid all cash account for over 24% of May sales. That's 10% higher than the 23-year monthly average.  This is not news to those buyers who have submitted offer after offer and continually lose out in the median price range. Will this trend hold, and how much had to do with the tax credit, which ended April 30th?
California Association of Realtors reports that April sales (May's report not out yet) for single family homes statewide increased 21% over previous April, to $306,230, but sales volume decreased statewide by 8.1% from prior April for SFRs. From C.A.R. on May 24th, "Large changes in local median home prices typically indicate both local home price appreciation, and often, large shifts in the composition of housing market activity. Some of the variations in median home prices for April may be exaggerated due to compositional changes in housing demand." So, in other words, real estate is local.

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