October 21, 2013

Sellers Will Have To Get Realistic

The Press Enterprise reports from California. “The Inland region’s feeding frenzy on house-flipping has subsided, a third-quarter report by RealtyTrac suggests. Bernie Bramante, a Realtor with Rancon Real Estate in Temecula, says he’s seen a shift in the dynamic play out in recent months. Sales were downright frothy at the beginning of the year, he said: ‘Six months ago, everyone had this expectation things would go up 20 percent per year,’ he said. ‘Now prices are at a plateau, and I’m seeing a squeeze with investors, and with flipped homes not getting as big of a return on the investment.’”

“Investors are not out shaking the bushes the way they were earlier this year, he said. ‘It’s having an effect on the volume and the price of homes.’”

Inland News Today. “The run-up in home prices that began early last year may be running out of steam. ‘There are fewer investors and cash buyers out scouring the market. Mortgage rates have risen a percentage point or more since May. And, there’s more inventory with more homes to choose from,’ said DataQuick’s Andrew LePage.”

“LePage says realtors are no longer getting multiple offers and homes are staying on the market longer. Sellers will have to ‘get realistic’ by dropping their asking prices, LePage said.”

Los Angeles Daily News. “DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said that the market is downshifting a bit. ‘I’ve heard of fewer multiple offers and properties are staying on the market a little bit longer,’ he said. ‘And there are some drops in asking prices. Some sellers are really trying to reach for the stars based on the appreciation we were seeing during the summer. The market has cooled somewhat from then.’”

The Mercury News. “A September slowdown in Bay Area home sales and prices is helping buyers begin to turn the tables on sellers. Sales were down from August and the median price for all types of homes across the nine-county Bay Area slid for the second month in a row, DataQuick reported. ‘The pendulum has swung toward the buyer since the summer,’ said DataQuick’s Andrew LePage.”

“Real estate agents report price reductions for higher-priced homes in some parts of the Bay Area, and buyers were encountering less competition from investors. ‘September was slow for everybody,’ said Joe Cutrufelli of Alain Pinel Realtors in Walnut Creek. He said he was glad to see ‘the craziness” end. ‘Frankly, we needed it to happen. Where there were 30 to 40 offers, now it’s down to two or three.’”

“Sales of single-family homes were down from August by double digits in the East Bay, Peninsula and South Bay, while median sale prices were either flat or below their August levels. Inventory around the bay was at its highest level for the year in mid-September, according to ZipRealty. Sales of lower-priced homes still are brisk in Contra Costa County, but at prices above $800,000 sales have slowed, said Don Cruz Datanagan, head of ZipRealty’s East Bay office in Walnut Creek. ‘We have properties in Danville in great neighborhoods that haven’t moved,’ he said. ‘We’re seeing a shift toward a buyers’ market, but just in certain price ranges.’”

“‘There was a time when anybody could put anything on the market and people would line up to buy it. That’s not happening now,’ said Doreen Roberts, a Fremont broker.”

The Press Democrat. “Home sales slowed in September as fewer investors and other buyers hunted for properties in Sonoma County. Demand remains healthy, but ‘we’re not red hot any longer,’ said Tim Freeman, manager of Coldwell Banker in Santa Rosa.”

“‘You don’t see 15 offers on a property anymore,’ said Shawn Hermosillo, an agent with Keller Williams in Santa Rosa. ‘You see one to three offers, or no offers.’”

“The lack of offers often occurs when sellers make their asking prices higher than recent comparable sales. ‘The buyers are smart, and they know if something’s not priced right,’ said Brian Connell, a broker/manager for Frank Howard Allen in Santa Rosa.”

The Sacramento Business Journal. “Speakers from different real estate sectors gave their sense of where the Sacramento region is headed in 2014, with a general sentiment among all: Recovery underway, but it is a long way from complete. The speakers used strong examples and lots of charts at Thursday’s Sacramento Real Estate Connect event to make that point, including Tom Heacox of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank who said that available office space in the region is equal to an entirely vacant downtown Sacramento.”

“Scott Reynolds of Scott Reynolds Commercial Real Estate said he’s recently noticed a lack of shrimp platters from developers throwing parties for new shopping centers.”

Bits Bucket for October 21, 2013

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