December 18, 2014

It Is Turning Out To Be A Disaster

The Manteca Bulletin reports from California. “Folks who can only afford $500,000 homes are riffraff. Sounds crazy? It doesn’t if you are in Pleasanton and are among those speaking out against plans to build more affordable housing in the community of 70,000 where the medium income household income is $113,345 and the median home value is $813,000. An argument advanced by one Pleasanton resident speaking out against more affordable housing was that $500,000 homes attracted Central Valley riffraff. Whoa. Middle income families in Manteca would have a struggle paying the median Pleasanton rent of $2,500 let alone the mortgage payment on an $813,000 home.”

The Mercury News. “While price increases took a bit of a breather during the late fall and early winter, there’s little sign the hot market that’s causing such pain for buyers will end any time soon. Prices reached all-time highs in San Mateo County in October and Santa Clara County in June, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. Sales last month were at their lowest level for a November since 2007-08 in the East Bay and South Bay, according to the report. ‘Around here, there’s a bazillion buyers, and there’s nothing to buy,’ said Colleen Larkin of Thornwall Properties in Berkeley. ‘I don’t think it’s going to end.’”

The Press Democrat. “The Sonoma County housing market is ending 2014 much as it began the year, with slightly lower sales, higher prices and a marked drop in the number of economically distressed properties. But while selection remains tight, buyers this fall have shown a reluctance to pay more for a home than the recent sales price of comparable properties. ‘Last year no one was dropping their price,’ said Tom Kemper, manager of the Coldwell Banker office in Santa Rosa. But this fall many sellers have done so after first trying to get more money than a neighbor did for a comparable home.”

“Buyers, said Kemper, seem to be telling sellers ‘we’re not going to pay 20 grand more than the last guy just because you want it.’”

The Sacramento Bee. “Sacramento County’s housing market continued its traditional seasonal slowdown in November, with the number of sales falling significantly compared with October, CoreLogic DataQuick reported. Sales of all homes – new, resale and condos – in Sacramento County totaled 1,459, down 22 percent from 1,871 in October. That was the worst November since 2007, when 1,341 sold.”

“The story was the same throughout the Sacramento region and statewide. There were 527 closings in Placer County in November, down 27.4 percent from 726 in October. El Dorado County saw a 38.6 percent decline, from 311 in October to 191 last month. The monthly drop was nearly 19 percent in Yolo County, with 144 closings in November vs. 177 in October. CoreLogic DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage noted that year-over-year home sales in Sacramento County were down in 10 of the 11 months reported so far this year; the only exception was a tiny 0.2 percent rise in September.”

The Daily Bulletin. “Home sales across Southern California sank to their lowest level for a November in seven years and prices showed more signs of flattening as the market’s slump dragged on, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. Sales of new and previously owned houses and condominiums fell 9.5 percent from a year ago in the six-county region with Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties posting the biggest declines at 10 percent. ‘It is turning out to be, I guess you could say, a disaster,’ Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said of the region’s market.”

The Union Tribune. “The pace of home-price appreciation in San Diego County fell last month to its lowest rate since June 2012, the period just before real-estate investors pushed annual gains into the double digits for a nearly 18 month stretch. From October to November, home prices fell $10,000, and activity dropped by 19 percent to 2,675 transactions. ‘Interest rates, price appreciation, household income, inflation, all of these things are fairly stable right now so there’s no particular motivating factor to move somebody up or down in price or in or out of the market,’ said Mark Goldman, a loan officer and real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University. ‘Now owner occupants look more to the purchase price of a home as an alternative for purchasing shelter, as opposed to a speculative investment of purchasing a home that will go up in value.’”

Bits Bucket for December 18, 2014

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