Real Estate News: Yes, The Market Is In A Recovery

Real Estate News – If you look solely at good old-fashioned, non-distressed sales, October was up over September and last year: It’s beginning to look a lot like a recovery…

Real Estate News:
Yes, The Market Is In A Recovery

Real Estate News | Brion Costa

In Spite Of Some “Resting” Signals, The Market Is Definitely In Recovery Mode

In spite of some recent news … some appearing in these pages … that might be construed as “negative” as far as the current real estate market is concerned, things are still in a “recovery” and “uptrend” mode.

In recent weeks we’ve seen prices in many areas … such as Southern California … rise to rates that have slowed buyer activity in many ranges. We’ve heard how many Middle Class buyers are being priced out of neighborhoods that they would traditionally have been comfortable purchase locations. We’ve heard how, here in Southern California much of the “investor driven” market has cooled. These things are all true.

However, what is also true is that these appear to be “short term” adjustment behaviors, and not indicators of a change in long term market trends. If we back up and take a “longer” view of the market, looking nationwide and not at any one particular area, we are still in an “uptrend” and definitely in “recovery mode”.

Here’s a report from Jonathan Smoke that appeared in today’s

Market Update: It’s Beginning to Look Like a Recovery | Nov 21, 2014

” The new home market is finally improving, as demonstrated by single-family housing starts—the number of privately owned housing units on which construction has begun. Single-family starts in October were at the second-highest level in more than six years. Homebuilders are encouraged by this increase in activity, as builder confidence also improved this month.” …

Read More Here:

All Markets Advance In Fits And Starts … A Rest Builds A Solid Foundation

No market builds from the sub-basement to the clouds in a uniform, ever-advancing manner. There are always market “retracements”, “pull backs”, and “adjustments”. Multiple and complex “fundamentals” underlie the real estate market and combine to create complicated “technicals” which all translates in common market movement. The real estate market we’re experiencing now is solid, on the upswing in the long term, and currently taking a slight rest to build a better, more solid foundation.

Next year should see some nice sales numbers in both activity and prices.

Southern California Home Sales: Middle Class Priced Out Of Most Of The Area

Southern California Home Sales – San Gabriel Valley, Westside, are least-affordable slices of SoCal housing market..

Southern California Home Sales:
So Cal Not Affordable By Middle Class

San Gabriel Valley Veterans Day | Brion Costa

The Good News Is … It’s Not Getting Any Worse

Trulia has released a new report, and the numbers are not good for the Southern California Real Estate market … at least as far as its relationship with the Middle Class is concerned. If we consider that a $54K a year houshold income is “Middle Class” … then the Middle Class is priced out of most homes in L.A. County. It’s also apparently priced out of most homes in Orange, Ventura, and San Diego counties as well.

Here’s a report from Tim Logan that appeared in today’s L.A. Times:

Barely 1 in 5 L.A. Homes Affordable To Middle Class, Study Finds | Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times      Nov 18, 2014, 6:00 AM PST

“The report also tracked affordability by area code within L.A. County. They found that in the 626 – Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley – just 11% of median-income-earning households could afford a typical house. In the 310 – the Westside and beach towns – 14% could. In the 213 – Downtown and Central L.A. – that figure was 16% while in 818 and 747 in the San Fernando Valley, it’s 16%.” …

Read More Here:–oneinfive-la-homes-affordable-20141117-story.html

Interest Rates Are Mitigating Effects … But Can This Last?

Costs of ownership in the area are skyrocketing. It’s only the fact that interest rates have ramained at bargain basement prices that have kept them somewhat in check. But this is an effect that won’t last forever. Even though home price gains are slowing, they are still growing faster than incomes. Unless incomes can grow at a faster rate, homeownership in Southern California looks to become more of a dream and less of a reality for many in the future.

San Gabriel Valley Veterans Day: What's Open and What's Closed

Veterans Day In The San Gabriel Valley – A Quick List Of What’s Open And What’s Closed On Veterans Day.

San Gabriel Valley Veteran’s Day:
What’s Open & What’s Closed

San Gabriel Valley Veterans Day | Brion Costa

A List Of Operating And Non-Operating Services

Today is Veteran’s Day. There are many events and activities ongoing … and also the usual confusion about just what services … like libraries, banks, government offices … are operating and which are not.

Linda Gold at The Pasadena Star News has put together a helpful list:

What’s Open, Closed On Veterans Day In The San Gabriel Valley | Pasadena Star-News

Pasadena Star-News      11/06/14, 4:21 PM PST

“When in doubt, call your destination prior to Tuesday, Nov. 11. Banks will be closed. California and U.S. government offices and courts will be closed. City offices and libraries will be closed.” …

Read More Here:

Check First

It’s probably safe to expect most government offices … city, county, state, and federal … to be closed. Most schools will be as well. A good rule to adopt is to simply check first by calling before you make a trip somewhere.

San Gabriel Valley Recreation: Cool Things To Do In The SGV

Things To Do In The San Gabriel Valley – What are your favorite recreational spots in the San Gabriel Valley? Share them in the comments below!

San Gabriel Valley Recreation:
Cool Things To Do In The SGV

San Gabriel Valley Recreation | Brion Costa

Recreational Opportunities Run The Gamut In The San Gabriel Valley

Today I’m sharing an article from the website of K-EARTH 101, a local radio station and CBS affiliate. It’s a good article highlighting several great “things to do” in our local area … from restaurants to the nostalgic Vineland Drive-In Theater … but that’s really not why I’m sharing this.

Get the introduction! WOW!

“An often-overlooked part of Los Angeles located in eastern part of the county, The San Gabriel Valley is actually larger than its San Fernando counterpart at 284.13 square miles. Most people just don’t know that much about it.

Pardon my French … but what the hell? The article was written by Clarissa Wei, and she speaks about the San Gabriel Valley as if it’s Mars. Most folks who live in “other” parts of L.A. are well-aware that being a “Westsider” or “Valley-ite” can sometimes become almost a cult status, but this is ridiculous. Am I detecting a bit of a snob problem, Ms Wei?

I am just kidding around here, but on the serious side, how can you live anywhere in L.A. and be ignorant of the San Gabriel Valley? That opening sentence struck me as very strange. I have no idea which “most people” Ms. Wei spends her time with, but I will say they’re apparently a bit insular and and a very ill-informed crowd.

All that said … here’s the article, and it’s got some great suggestions of stuff to do in the SGV.

Top 7 Things To Do In The San Gabriel Valley | K-EARTH 101 – CBS

K-EARTH101      November 7, 2014 12:30 PM

“VINELAND DRIVE-IN – Located in the City of Industry, this classic drive-in movie theater is open seven days a week and shows the latest blockbusters under the night’s sky. A swap meet by day and a movie venue by night, the admission is notably cheaper than regular theaters and the benefit is you get to watch from the comfort of your own car.”

Read More Here:

Never A Dull Moment

All kidding aside, from an evening spent with the family at a nostalig drive-in theater that shows today’s first-run releases, to hiking the miles and miles of gorgeous wilderness trails you can easily access in the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains, the San Gabriel Valley is jam packed with a wide variety of things to do for everyone in the family. Keep your eyes on this spot for our continuing recommendations.

Until then … see you at the Drive-In!

Southern California Home Sales: Sellers Are Lowering Prices

Southern California Home Sales – “More than a third of sellers in Orange County dropped their price in July. Los Angeles and Inland Empire sellers were not far behind, with some 25% of sellers in each metro dropping their listing price in order to get buyers in the door.”

Southern California Home Sales:
Sellers Are Lowering Prices

Southern California Home Sales | Brion Costa

Seller’s Price Adjustments Indicate Changing Market

One of the first indicators that a market might be changing … or at least making adjustments … is the number of sellers making Pricing Adjustments to their listed properties. This is a good indicator that the seller and Realtor involved have made a determination that market conditions have changed since the property entered the market, and that they have changed enough to warrant a price reduction to put the listing more in line with market activity.

We’re seeing this kind of activity now. Actually, it’s being seen in most all metro areas across the country, and Southern California and the San Gabriel Valley are no exceptions.

Here’s an article by Josh Ritnimit from the Pasadena Independent:

Price Drops Indicate a Shifting San Gabriel Valley Real Estate Market | Pasadena Independent

Pasadena Independent      November 4, 2014

“Homes for sale in the major San Gabriel Valley markets are no exception. As of mid-September, 35% of all Pasadena homes listed for sale dropped at least once in price and a staggering 40% of all Monrovia homes for sale had price drops. Not even the seemingly bullet-proof Arcadia market is immune. Of the 236 homes currently for sale in Arcadia, 76 have dropped their price – almost 32%!”

Read More Here:

A Less Volitile, More Steady Market Is Good News

This is not bad news for the San Gabriel Valley real estate market. In fact, it’s good news. We’ve seen a fairly long period of really fast activity and steeply rising prices. Now, lots of activity and high value are good things, but even good things need to be tempered with moderation. When prices and activity rise too quickly, we get “bubbles” and resulting market volatility. Too much volatility and we get unpredictability and an unstable market. All rising markets need to make readjustments to maintain stability.

The fact that many sellers are making adjustments to accommodate a maket that is growing in a slower, more dependable manner is good news. A healthy adjustment to our recent market activity will provide some “breathing room” for buyers and sellers, and indicates we’ve got a good, solid foundation being built under the market for the foreseeable future.