Monday, March 31, 2008

Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for March 29, 2008

Spring has sprung. There was a 5.2% increase in inventory last week:

Many of the new listings were in the lower price ranges:

You can see by this listings map that the lower priced listings remain geographically concentrated in the so-called "bad areas" of North Highlands, Oak Park, South Sacramento, and Del Paso Heights:

What we have here is a classic bifurcated market, where house prices in less-desirable areas are in free-fall as inventory skyrockets, while house prices in the "good areas" remain high amidst low inventory.

The increase in lower priced listings has once again begun to drag down the overall market price indicators. The median asking price for a house in Sacramento County is now $245,000. The average price is $300K:

Market stress continued to increase last week, with total asking price losses in Sacramento County alone rapidly approaching half a billion dollars:

After rising slightly since the beginning of the year, flipper market share has stabilized, suggesting that banks have begun to increase their market presence. Indeed, the SIT days since last sale (which includes flippers) dropped sharply last week and grew only slightly this week. Sacramento County Sellers In Trouble edged slightly closer to the magic 50% level, with over 5,100 listings, or 49% taking a loss on their sale.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dramatic Fire Photos From KB Home's Ascent project in Los Angeles

Via Rob Dawg and L.A. Curbed. A large fire burned down a portion of a KB Homes condo project called "Ascent" this morning, even as their stock rose by 7%. This story has been pretty well-covered, but I thought you guys might be interested in these amazing photos I pulled from the project's web cam. They were taken at around 15-minute intervals, starting at 8:37AM:

Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for March 22, 2008

Inventory continued to climb this week, reaching over 15,100 for the first time in six weeks. Overall market prices remained steady for the fourth week in a row, as pricier inventory is once again appearing on the market:

The troubled indicators were mixed last week, with losses both in total dollar value and percent showing some moderation. SIT market share remained steady at 48% of listed inventory, while FIT market share held at around 23% of inventory. SIT total inventory held steady or declined slightly in all counties save Yolo, which showed a sharp increase. The average days-since-last-sale value for SIT listings took a sharp dive. Given the relative stability in SIT inventory levels, this would be indicative of a high turnover rate for such inventory.

I will go out on a limb at this point and predict that the "dead cat bounce" period is nearly over. While there have been signs of stabilization, the fact that inventory is once again increasing, while SIT market share is still nearly 50% of inventory tells me that the sales rate is still too low to make a difference in the overall market.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Craigslist Trolling

More fun with Craigslist. This time, I only picked items selling for more than $5,000 (except for the cruise one, which I feel compelled to list for some reason. :) Many of the cars and boats were purchased very recently, which is an indication of how sudden the bursting of the bubble feels to these guys. At least they're trying to do the right thing...

50+ MPG, nothing beats it!! $4800 OBO - With the price of gas the way it is these days, we're all looking for ways to save money. Me, I need to sell this bike to pay my mortgage. I'm working two jobs and never have anytime to ride it anyways. Purchased April 26, 2007 (less than a year old)
1972 DODGE CHALLENGER - $6000 - I really don't want to do this but I need to sell it to pay the mortgage.
Carnival Cruise - $200 - Cruise Certificate for Sale $200 ($1,200.00value) We purchased those in bulk as promotion for our mortgage business and now that we are closing we are selling them.
SLICK 2006 g35 6MT RWD - $29990 - Asking Price - $29,990 (including over $5k in upgrades!) I am the original owner. This car his been babied since day one. Always cleaned/waxed regularly, lubed with synthetic, etc. I hate to see her go, but I need more mortgage money.
My Loss - YOUR GAIN !! 1998 Bayliner - $12000 - The housing market has got me in a pinch and I am forced to sell my boat. 1998 23 foot Cierra Sunbridge Bayliner. I paid $27,000 cash for this baby two years ago...
2000 eliminator daytona 502 whippled 92 mph - $50000 - IN THE MORTGAGE BUSINESS MUST SELL ALL TOYS
The Perfect M3 Coupe! - $45500 - Time to sell to take on mortgage. The car is absolutely perfect; fast, eye catching, very cool!
Chevy Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt 2002 - $10500 - Runs excelent! Need to pay mortgage! My loss is your gain!
Like New CBR 1000RR - $7500 - Ur right..Prob. too much bike for you!It will def. outrun cop cars and anything else on the street, trust me on that! I will part with this beast for 7500 due to a stupid mortgage payment.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for March 15, 2008

Whew! It took me longer than I thought to finalize the new asking price distribution graph. After the debacle last week, I need a break from code jockeying. Anywho, submitted for your approval:

Note: The data used in these graphs are derived in exactly the same way.

Clearly bulk inventory is moving toward the lower end of the cost curve, especially in Sacramento County. Notice how the $0-$200K point became unstuck only by the end of the third quarter 2007. Yolo County is also showing some dislocation at the lower end. El Dorado and Placer Counties are remarkably stable considering the conditions in the surrounding counties, although Placer is showing some acceleration below $500K.

I would like to thank Average Buyer once again for the inspiration. If you guys have any other suggestions on better ways to look at the data, please let me know.

As for market stress indicators, here are the final revised graphs:

As you can see, all the series have been revised significantly downward since the release. It does appear that a significant inflection point occurred at the beginning of the year in both FIT and SIT market share, but the dollar loss and days since last sale measures continue to deteriorate. Interestingly, inventory growth has completely stalled, and asking price drops are moderating:

It looks like a spring dead-cat bounce is underway. Gather ye rosebuds.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Housing Market Metric

Inspired by Average Buyer and her work with the Zillow data, I recreated her asking price distribution graph with data going back to April of 2006:

Lower-priced listings are becoming dominant in Sacramento County, with nearly 75% of all listings asking $350,000 or less.

This is a rough cut of the graph; I will add a cleaner version with the other three counties when I do the weekly stats.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Housing Subsidy Riot: Sign of Things to Come?

Not Sacramento-related, but worth pondering. In Boca Raton, FL, a huge riot broke out when the Boca Raton Housing Authority (one of only two city offices without a web site, along with the PIO... WTF?) ran out of applications for subsidized housing:

BOCA RATON — A crowd of more than 500 people waiting for hours this morning for housing voucher applications were dispersed by police in riot gear at the Boca Raton Housing Authority when the applications ran out sooner than expected.

"Leave or face arrest," police officers shouted at the crowd as they urged them out of the housing authority parking lot. People were made to leave the vicinity altogether, with officers forcing them to cross the street and move toward their cars.

The overwhelming turnout of people desperate for housing money came as little surprise to Suzanne Cabrera, president of the Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County.

"This is an indication that housing it's still a huge problem," Cabrera said this afternoon. "It's a reflection of people's concern for housing, their uncertainty. I got people today asking me: was this my last chance to get housing I can afford?"

Several other things, such as mortgage foreclosures and high gas prices, are contributing to that feeling of insecurity and desperation, she said.

So whenever word gets out that voucher applications are being handed out, which she said doesn't happen very often, people get full of hope.

A cursory search of Boca Raton shows around 1,500 vacant foreclosed houses available for purchase in the city, and over 26,000 houses for sale in Palm Beach County.