February 10, 2013

The Year Of The Belated Knife Catcher?

Readers suggested a topic on the current housing markets. “Are the reports of short supply and bidding wars true in your area? I thought they were somewhat born out in my area, PHX’ but did quite a bit of looking on zillow last night and saw something I hadn’t been expecting, lots of recent price reductions and a pretty decent supply in my range. Not huge reductions mind you, and not down to where they should be in my opinion, but cut by 5 -15 k in most cases. Is 2013 the year of the belated knife catcher?”

A reply, “Don’t know if you consider this a bidding war: I put in a backup offer (25K over the listing price) on a large piece of ground despite knowing the seller had already accepted an offer. They declined my backup offer because there’s also a third, all cash offer (don’t know the amount). My realtard told me I could up my offer more to stir up the bees nest and I told him every party but me wins in that game so forget it.”

Another said, “We are a town of 110,000 residents…6 or seven square miles I believe…Home to many of the biggest High-Tech companies of the world…We have a grand total of 26 single family residences available in the entire city…So when you put in the mixer, obscenely low interest rates, with high paying jobs, and inventory available near zero guess what happens…A medium size house (1500 sq.ft.) is running in the $550 + square foot range…Smaller homes (1000 sq.ft.) are running in te $600 + range…Bigger homes (2500 sq.ft.) are running in the $450 + range.”

“A home near me that I was watching in 95008 just sold…It was on what is considered a big city lot and had a 1400 square foot house on it that needed a boat load of work top-to-bottom…It was listed for $600,000. and sold for $654,000. with 34 offers many of which were all cash. With that said, I can drive 30 miles away and find foreclosures & short sales…I can drive 60 miles and find good houses for $150. per sq.ft….90 miles and it hits $100. per ft…Kind of a disconnect the likes I have never seen before and I have been in the same zip my entire life.”

The Los Feliz Ledger. “Southern California’s housing market ended 2012 with the highest December home sales in three years, the result of robust investment activity, a record level of cash buyers and more sales gains in move-up markets, according to DataQuick. The median sale price jumped nearly 20% from a year ago, pushed higher by greater demand and the market’s shift away from foreclosure resales and toward more mid- to high-end deals, DataQuick reported.”

“Locally, in the Los Feliz area, 13 homes were sold in December, the latest date for which there is data. The median price sold in December 2012 was $843,000 a 32.6% decline from the same time period in 2011. However, condo sales, although only seven were reported, saw a median price gain of 5.6% to $412,000.”

The Seattle Times. “A condo in downtown’s Four Seasons Private Residences sold earlier this month. Why is that news? Because it was the first sale at the ultraluxury project since October 2010, according to county records. Ten of the Four Seasons’ 36 condos remain for sale, more than four years after the building was completed.”

“Pre-sale buyers, including some of the city’s most prominent citizens, quickly closed on 22 of them, paying anywhere from $1.29 million to $11.4 million. Then the economy tanked and prospective buyers all but disappeared, despite steep price cuts in early 2010. Brokers report some properties are getting multiple offers. And Insignia, the only big project now under construction, isn’t scheduled to be finished until late next year.”

“‘The inventory’s about 10 percent what it was in 2008,’ says James Stroupe, a broker with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. ‘Buyers are really being squeezed.’”

The Boston Globe. “Bob Ford’s three-bedroom Brockton home was built more than 40 years ago. By today’s standards, the modest raised ranch may be considered a starter house. In recent years the property’s value plummeted, from a high of $308,900 in fiscal 2007, when assessments reflected the hot real estate market of 2005, to just $188,300 this fiscal year, a drop of 39 percent. Ford’s annual property tax bill, on the other hand, increased 9.6 percent during the same six-year period, to $3,178 this year, up from $2,900.”

“‘Our tax bills just keep going up, and yet the city claims it’s broke,’ said Ford, 69. ‘Where is all of our money going? No one knows.’”

The Faribault Daily News. “Having gone through years of both housing boom and bust, south central Minnesota now has a rising number of vacant housing units in the area. Across all five counties examined by the Daily News, housing stock has increased during that same 11-year period. But even though there are more housing units in southern Minnesota, a larger percentage of them are empty. For example, Rice County saw more than 4,000 housing units built between 2000 and 2011 — a 21 percent increase. At the same time, the amount of vacancies in Rice County rose from about 1,200 units, to more than 2,200 vacant units — a 91 percent increase.”

“‘The root of it has to do with the simple rule of supply and demand,’ said Bill Effertz, Steele County Assessor. ‘Right now, there is an overabundance of supply.’”

“Although vacancies are notably a growing problem in southern Minnesota, the outlook is not bleak. Minnesota experienced record sales in housing during 2012 as the state claws its way out of the recession. ‘The market has improved,’ Effertz said. ‘But there are many variables that go into it.’”

The Bradenton Herald. “As a Realtor who survived the Great Recession’s housing-driven boom, bubble and burst, with Florida as ground zero, Kelly S. Quigley nonetheless ‘had one of the busiest weeks’ recently in her nearly decade-long career. Quigley and fellow Realtor Linda Roe Dickinson were co-agents for a $1.175 million sale overlooking Longboat Key from the mainland in southern Manatee County.”

“Coldwell’s Barbara Ackerman, a perennial contender and frequent top-producing Realtor in the region, points out that ‘with the recent development of Anna Maria Island, the Manatee end of Longboat has many more dining and shopping opportunities’ than in bygone days. As far as activity in the market goes, ‘with the stock market strong and interest rates so low, there is no question that there is far more interest than even a year ago. If you don’t buy this year, you’ll really be missing out,’ she said.”

Bits Bucket for February 10, 2013

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