Wall Street Journal yesterday – “Stunned Home Buyers”

Skimming the office copy of the Wall Street Journal yesterday, I was surprised to see on Page 1 an article titled “Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars are Back”.

The article said that many buyers are now competing for the same house – but unlike the “go-go years…today’s bidding wars are a result of supply shortages”.

In closing two escrows this month representing buyers of homes in the entry level price point range for single family homes, both parties had to fight to get their home – in both cases offering more than the listed price.

The scenario often goes like this:

After a period of looking to gain a good understanding of value, a buyer will make their first offer. It will generally be under the asking price (plus asking for seller concessions) because the lender or short sale seller “needs to get rid of it” or “it isn’t worth any more than that”.

A week or so later, after hearing their bid wasn’t accepted, we start the process again of looking at new listings, and a new offer is made. This time, we’re more attuned to the other buyers and the offer might be closer to the asking price (and not so much in seller concessions) and maybe again our offer isn’t accepted.

It’s a highly emotional, frustrating experience, but now it’s “game on”. More looking, and finally this time there’s a highly tuned understanding of where the market place is at that moment in time and what it takes to close the deal.

Don and I counsel our buyers upfront about what they may face, but unless you’ve gone through that process, it’s hard to understand how frustrating and emotional it can be.

Many economists believe this lack of inventory and this competition among buyers is signalling that the “housing crisis” is about over. Rents have been rising, spurring more buyers into the market. But with patience,  buyers today are still finding “great deals” out there.

Here’s a link to the article…


Filed under article topic: Buyers,Home buyers
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April newsletter – reflections from Wired magazine

 In our April, 2012 newsletter, Don writes about two articles from April’s Wired magazine that really intrigued him – and it wasn’t about the new super secret NSA building in the Utah desert!

The first was about the Stanford professor who put his graduate AI course online – and got 160,000 students from around the world taking his class!

The second was how the internet, and more specifically reddit.com, changed a man from his “day job” into a Hollywood screenwriter.


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Home sales spike up in March

Home sales spiked up for Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo in March as we start into the spring buying season. Fueled by historically low interest rates, we’re seeing spirited competition at the entry point range for single family homes.

We’re also seeing that the high number of distressed properties are influencing the price points of those homes, forcing traditional sellers to meet those price points or face having their home sit on the market.

The demand locally for available homes is creating a fierce battle between buyers looking for a “good deal” and banks trying to move product quickly. Home prices in Ventura and Oxnard have been steady this first quarter and Camarillo saw in jump in March.

Pending home sales are a leading indicator of current market activity. What is remarkable is the spike in Ventura for homes that are  in escrow for Q1 of this year (263) as compared to Q1 of ’11 (197). See the detailed numbers below.

The percentage of single family homes that were distressed sales in the month of  March are:

Ventura – 47%      Oxnard – 69%      Camarillo – 41%

Sold prices – Single family homes in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo:

Sold prices – Condos in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo:

Numbers sold – Single family homes in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo:

Detailed data for single family homes sold in:

Detailed data for condos sold in:

Detailed monthly data for pendings (in escrow) – single family homes and condos:

All data is taken from the Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo MLS.

Filed under article topic: 2012 Pendings,2012 Solds,Homes sold,Housing Market,Market statistics/Trends,Pending home sales
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Foreclosure activity for Ventura County in March spikes up

March saw a substantial spike in the filings of new foreclosures.  Data from Foreclosure List Service saw that January and February had been around 400 new filings per month or less, but March jumped into the low 500s.

One reason we believe we’re seeing this increase is because now that the major banks have settled their claims with the Federal government and the states, they will move to deal with the “shadow inventory” of non-performing loans. We are seeing individual filings with $50,000 to $100,000 (or more) amounts in default – meaning payments haven’t been made for 2 – 3 years.

Here is the monthly chart.

Here is the quarterly chart.


Filed under article topic: Foreclosures,Housing Market,Market statistics/Trends
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