Monday, October 30, 2006

California foreclosures surge 171 percent in Q3

From the Central Valley Business Times:

More than 37,000 homes went into the foreclosure process in California in the third quarter, a 171 percent increase over the same period in 2005, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine-based foreclosure information company.

"Higher interest rates and a general softening of the real estate market are the two key factors contributing to the 43 percent increase in foreclosure filings from the third quarter of 2005," says James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "What our third quarter research appears to be showing is that the first wave of adjustable rate mortgages is having a negative impact on the number of homes going into foreclosure. With the volume of these loans -- more than $1 trillion of them due to adjust over the next 15 months -- this is a trend that definitely bears watching

Sunday, October 29, 2006

We are different!

I would have posted this story when it initially ran, however, the newspaper chose to not post it on their website.

Home price slump won't stunt Kern

California house prices are expected to decline next year, though a state economist says Kern County's market should fare better than some metro areas.

Robert Kleinhenz, the association's deputy chief economist, said he expects Bakersfield's median house price to remain flat or possibly increase slightly next year.

The area has strong job and population growth, Kleinhenz said, and "that's going to support a market that's a little bit more buoyant."

The median sales price for an existing Bakersfield house was $292,000 in the third quarter of 2006, down 1.2 percent from the same period a year ago, according to a report by local appraiser Gary Crabtree.

Sales of existing homes from July through September were down 25 percent from a year ago, according to Crabtree's study.

Some 741 Kern homeowners received notices of default during that same time, up 105.3 percent from the year before.

"The drop-off in sales in Bakersfield is not quite as severe," Kleinhenz said. "It's actually faring much better than many other central areas."

Local real estate agencies are starting to get more phone calls and hold more open houses.
Activity is increasing, but it hasn't had a dramatic impact on sales yet, local agent Nancy Harper said.

Blogs Scoop Newspaper

The Bakersfield Californian has run the story of A$$ Clown Casey in their real estate section today. This story has been all over the blogosphere for some time now. As usual, the snail news is days/weeks/months behind the real news. How about a local version of this story?

Oh I know why not - We are different here. See the next post (above) "Home Price wont slump Kern"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The high end market is DEAD.

The high end market in town is dead. Here are two excellent examples:

This home was listed in Dec 2005 for $1,150,000. It feel out of escrow and is back on the market for $995,950. That is a 14% haricut.

This home was listed in January 2006, also for $1,150,000. After several prices cuts and gimmick sales tricks (free pool, country club membership), they have decided to drop the price to $949,000. Nice 17% buzzcut!

BYE BYE 2006 - HELLO 2004!

According to this realtor we are now pricing homes at 2004 levels. What about the realtor clowns who claimed prices would go up 20% for the foreseeable future!

Buyers now have the luxury of having more time and more to see. This is a welcome change from the past 3 years where the home buying frenzy gave them too little to chose from and not enough time to make a decision before the house was gone. A common occurance in this market is home sellers offering incentives on their homes such as help with closing costs or flooring allowances. There are many homes on the market priced below appraisal values. Some sellers are pricing at 2004 prices to get a quick sale

Monday, October 09, 2006

Setting the new comps!

Want to learn how to win friends and influence your neighbors? Just check out this craiglist seller who has just set the new comps! This property, if it sells, will be at $138 per square foot. That takes us back to late 2003/ early 2004. So much for that "soft landing"!

$309950 3 BR+Loft Coleman 2100 sq ft 2-Story MOTIVATED

Seller wants to move out of state to be near grandchildren. Currently listed with agent, but listing expires soon and price will come down 6% ($291,500) Best schools in Bakersfield - Columbia Elementary, Fruitvale JH, Liberty HS. Open ceilings, loft overlooking living room (perfect for home office or den/guest area), tiled entry, fireplace open to both living room and family room, ceramic tile entry and kitchen/breakfast nook. Master bedroom with oval tub and separate glass shower, walk-in closet, mirror doors. Quiet cul-de-sac. Mature landscaping, lots of trees. NO AGENTS PLEASE

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bakersfield Operations Involved in this RIF?

Standard Pacific employees notified homebuilder cutting jobs

Company memo sent out earlier this week.
The Orange County Register
Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. has notified employees that it is eliminating some jobs and restructuring others following continued reports of lagging home sales across the nation.
Company officials couldn't be reached to confirm rumors of layoffs in at least three Southern California divisions and one in South Florida.
But a company memo to employees of the Orange County and Coachella Valley operations notified workers of an Oct. 3 "reduction in force."
The company's finances have been hit this year by a slowdown in new home orders and rising cancellations, fueled by a backlog of unsold homes in the existing-homes market, company officials said.
The company reported that net income was down 10 percent in the second quarter of the year and recently announced that orders had fallen 58 percent in July and August.
Company CEO Stephen Scarborough said also in a mid-September Web broadcast that the company's cancellation rate had grown to 50 percent as new-home buyers failed to sell their existing houses.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

George is now talking from both sides of his mouth!

Local weatherman, er... realtor, George Lindsay Young has his newest market update on the web. This is the same guy who called you a "Chicken Little" (see my post on 9/14/2006). Sounds like he is changing his tune:

The Perils of Pricing High

We hear it all the time! In an effort to get top dollar for their home, many sellers will tell us, "My initial listing price isn't that important because the price can always be adjusted down later."

While this may make sense on the surface, a closer look reveals the potential perils of starting out with a listing price that's too high when putting a home on the market.

To unravel the myth that the initial listing price isn't important, we must first take a look at the primary factors that bring buyers and sellers together. While marketing can be vital in attracting unrepresented buyers, the vast majority of buyers are working with and talking to a real estate agent. A professional REALTOR® knows the current inventory and market conditions for any given area. If your home is first offered for sale and is priced too high, those agents are going to show similar homes that are priced more attractively. Your home will be passed over.

Real estate buyers and REALTORS® also tend to pay the most attention to homes that are new to the market. It's been said you only have one chance to make a first impression, and it's no different when selling your home. Very often, REALTORS® and buyers wait with baited breath to see what's new on the market. Enter the market priced too high, and many buyers will simply write off your home as "the home that was overpriced." A price reduction later in the marketing cycle can leave your home overlooked as new and more aggressively priced homes hit the market.

You may be thinking, "Don't the buyers understand that I'm willing to negotiate?" The truth is, many buyers aren't thinking about that. They are comparing your home with similar other homes offered for sale, and will often write an offer for someone else's home with a more realistic asking price.

The other danger of pricing a new listing too high is once you've realized your error, it may be too late to get top dollar. As more time goes by, if you're moving out of area or simply have to sell quickly you may forced to take a much lower offer because you're simply out of time.

Here at Scott Rivera Real Estate Team, when we meet with you to discuss selling your home we take a different approach. Well before we sit down with you to make recommendations regarding the sales price of your home, we roll up our sleeves and do our homework. We make a detailed analysis of market conditions in your neighborhood, and work with you to develop a pricing and marketing strategy that is custom tailored to your home and your needs. That, blended with our aggressive and comprehensive market plan, can often be the best recipe for success to help you sell your home quickly and for the best price possible

Housing bubble collapse could trigger major depression

From today's Central Valley Business Times:

John Rubino is convinced the current retreat in the nation’s housing market has all the signs of a bubble that’s bursting.

Mr. Rubino, a financial writer and advisor, says the bursting could be so severe, that it might trigger if not an actual depression, at least a recession in the United States.

What we’ve ended up with is a classic bubble … with prices being far higher than the average family can afford, especially on the coasts,” he says in a CVBT interview. “It’s very possible a housing bust in 2007 turns into a general recession. You have the real danger of this snowballing into a serious, economy-wide, problem