Click here for Dataquick’s latest press release – some excerpts:

La Jolla, CA—Southern California home sales dropped in October to their lowest level in three years amid doubts about the drawn-out market recovery, tight mortgage lending policies and expired government incentives. The median price paid for a home rose on a year-over-year basis for the 11th consecutive month, but at this year’s slowest pace, a real estate information service reported.

“In addition to a lousy economy, the housing market still has a couple of nasty bottlenecks it has to contend with. First, sales of newly-built homes are at a low, mostly because builders can’t build at a low enough price to compete with the inventory of resale homes, many of which are short sales or foreclosures,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

“Also, lenders still haven’t opened the mortgage money spigot for buying move-up and prestige properties. These properties have come down in value by about half as much as entry-level homes. But trying to finance a higher-end purchase can be a real grind, even for well-qualified buyers with a 20 percent down payment,” he said. 

High-end sales would be stronger if adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and “jumbo” loans were easier to obtain. Both have become much more difficult to get since the the credit crunch hit three years ago.

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Hopefully some day it will occur to these ivory-tower types that the main problem today is that the current home sellers are asking too much – that’s why sales are lagging.  As long as you qualify, banks are happy to give you a mortgage, although, yes, they may put you through a bit of a “grind”.  But what do you expect? Mortgage underwriters are running scared, and they are double-checking every file.

The banks have money – if the list prices were closer to recent comps, there would be more sales.

The data backs me up, but it’s the numerous stories heard here and elsewhere about how ridiculous elective-sellers are being about their pricing.  They insist on tacking on the extra 10% to 20% to their list prices with no justification or comps to back them up – and the listing agents go along. 

Today’s data tidbit:

Active SD detached and attached listings: 12,157, with list prices averaging $332/sf.

October SD detached and attached solds: 2,412, averaging $238/sf

A pricing difference of 39% between actives and solds!

 

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Jim the Realtor
Jim is a long-time local realtor who comments daily here on his blog, bubbleinfo.com which began in September, 2005. Stick around!

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