Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for January 31, 2009

Inventory up just a little bit this week, but not a meaningful increase. Interesting move in Yolo County, where asking prices are increasing. This is due both to a fall in lower-priced inventory and an increase in more expensive listings. Definitely a trend to keep an eye on.

Friday, January 30, 2009

CalPERS Portfolio Down 31.8% From Peak

CalPERS portfolio has lost $81 billion, or 31.8%, since its peak in November 2007 of $255 billion. According to a press release from July 2007:

For the fourth straight year, annual returns were in the double-digits to raise the 10-year average to 9.1 percent. Total assets increased by $128 billion over the past 10 years.
In July 2007, the CalPERS portfolio size was $245 billion, which means it was $117 billion in July 1997. It stands at $174 billion today. That puts their growth rate for the last 11.5 years at 3.72%. They would have done better in t-bills. Keep in mind this calculation is simplistic, and doesn't account for member contributions or outlays.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is a 10% Cut Really That Bad?

State workers unions lost their legal challenge to the Governator's furlough order today. From the judge's ruling (on link yet):

The Governor has express authority to make the challenged order under Government Code sections 1985 1 and 19849. Those statutes are expressly incorporated into the petitioners' MOUs. Moreover, certain of the petitioners' MOUs expressly permit the Governor to reduce employee hours due to lack of funds, or to take any necessary action to carry out its mission in an emergency. The current circumstances constitute an emergency. The challenged order is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. The emergency circumstances authorize the making of the order without prior meet-and-confer efforts. Government Code section 19826(b) does not prohibit an order that reduces the hours employees work, even with a resulting reduction in pay.

SEN and CASE have not proven that non-compliance with the FLSA will actually occur,
and FLSA non-compliance, even if proven, would not necessitate invalidation of the Governor's order, since employees retain all their rights and remedies under the FLSA. Judgment shall be for defendants (respondents) on these causes of action.

As provided in Tirupelle v. Davis (1993), the State Controller is not authorized to refuse to implement an order of the Governor affecting state employee pay that is authorized by law. The Court’s judgment in these matters shall therefore include an order directing the State Controller to implement the Governor's order.
$1.3 billion saved, $44 billion to go.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monterey Village Is Back (mostly)

According to the Sacramento Bee, a vulture fund has purchased half of Monterey Village, the half-built former Dunmore Homes development in Elk Grove:

"A Los Angeles firm has jumped into a macro version of buying a bank repo.

It scooped up 187 home lots and 35 unfinished homes, buying half of a repossessed Elk Grove subdivision named Monterey Village...

Strategic Investment Partners said it will finish homes abandoned during construction when Dunmore ceased operations and closed the sales offices on Sept. 28, 2007. The partners also hired Mode and Durham, a team of Elk Grove real estate agents to sell the project's leftover homes.

"They just went on the market last Saturday," said Lori Mode, a Keller Williams agent. Prices range from $199,000 to $274,000, well below original prices that lured buyers into the gated project."
"Strategic Investment Partners" is surely an optimistic group, as evidenced by the prices they're asking for the completed units:

5200 Ocean Ln
Elk Grove, CA 95757
Asking Price: $342,000
Bedrooms:4    Baths: 2    Sq. feet:2119
Last Listing Date: 2009-01-24
True days on market: 4
# of Times Listed: 1
MLS# 90006558      Google Maps
Assessed Value       Property Tax Bill

5204 Ocean Ln
Elk Grove, CA 95757
Asking Price: $315,000
Bedrooms:3    Baths: 2    Sq. feet:1825
Last Listing Date: 2009-01-24
True days on market: 4
# of Times Listed: 1
MLS# 90006564      Google Maps
Assessed Value       Property Tax Bill

5105 Ocean Ln
Elk Grove, CA 95757
Asking Price: $312,500
Bedrooms:3    Baths: 2    Sq. feet:1825
Last Listing Date: 2009-01-24
True days on market: 4
# of Times Listed: 1
MLS# 90006299      Google Maps
Assessed Value       Property Tax Bill

5213 Ocean Ln
Elk Grove, CA 95757
Asking Price: $274,000
Bedrooms:3    Baths: 2    Sq. feet:1425
Last Listing Date: 2009-01-24
True days on market: 4
# of Times Listed: 1
MLS# 90006307      Google Maps
Assessed Value       Property Tax Bill

5020 Ocean Ln
Elk Grove, CA 95757
Asking Price: $272,000
Bedrooms:3    Baths: 2    Sq. feet:1711
Last Listing Date: 2009-01-24
True days on market: 4
# of Times Listed: 1

Previous Sales:

MLS# 90006569      Google Maps
Assessed Value       Property Tax Bill

Here's what a bank repo is asking right now:

4912 Ocean Ln
Elk Grove, CA 95757
Total Loss: $166,500Percent Loss: 46.8%
Asking Price: $189,000
Bedrooms:3    Baths: 2    Sq. feet:1638
Last Listing Date: 2009-01-24

Listing History:
Down 16.3% from $225,900 On 2009-01-10

True days on market: 18
# of Times Listed: 1

Previous Sales:
Sold on 2007-05-30 for $355,500

MLS# 90001584      Google Maps
Assessed Value       Property Tax Bill

Keep in mind, this "development" is mostly a vacant lot. Here's a photo I took in 2007 flying over Elk Grove in route from LA:

I wish them luck completing what has become an eyesore, although I doubt they'll have much luck at those prices.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Everything Must Go, Craigslist Edition

You know the economy is in trouble when Home Depot is using Craigslist.

Mirrors, Mirrors, Mirrors! - "The West Sacramento Home Depot is having a HUGE blow-out sale of 36inX60in Polished Edge Mirrors! We have a huge overstock of these particular mirrors and need to get rid of them as soon as possible."

Mural ~ Girls ~ Wall decorations - "I am going out of business and am selling "Wallies" brand "Girly Headboard" Murals."

Playgrounds, Swing Sets, Playsystems 40% OFF - "Going out of business. We are having an inventory Close Out!! Everything must go."

2 for 1 DEAL on Ricoh/Aficio Copiers - "Going out of business sale!!! BOTH Ricoh 1060 & Ricoh/Aficio 1232C machines are being sold for ONLY $4950.00!! FREE delivery"

Water Truck - 1975 Peterbilt Model 349 - "Going out of business. Have a 1975 Peterbilt water truck with a 4000 gallon tank"

Landscape supplies, pipe, PVC - "Company going out of business. We have lots of hand tools, pipe, fittings and what ever else goes with landscaping."

Pool table items - all related - "pool table furniture..... brand new ....retails for $800.....going out of business"

GOING OUT OF BUSINESS lots of all kinds of nails bolts and screws - "TOOLS, ELECTRICAL CONECTORS,COUPLINGS, WIRE, and much more!!!!!!!!!"

1997 Nissan Maxima Automatic ***HUGE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!*** - "**I've decided to call it quits!**INVENTORY BLOWOUT!**"

Tree stump grinder - "Almost new with only 160 origonal hours. Going out of business. Must sell!!"

2004 F-250 Crew Cab 6.0 Diesel - "Going out of business and no longer have the need for this big truck."

GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!! - "We have a large selection of NEW and USED cars on sale now!! Get up to $8000 off MSRP on New 07 and 08 Mazda's."


Verizon Retailer going out of business sale - "We have closed doors to our verizon store here in yuba city"

Misc. Tools. GOING OUT OF BUSINESS - "ryobi tools, batterys, chargers, saws"


Monday, January 26, 2009

Unhappy Medium

A number of blogs have quit the scene or are scaling back in some way. While I respect their decisions, this blog has no plans to follow them into the abyss just yet.

The Bubblesphere's first challenge was to give a voice to the other half of the housing debate, and the challenge was met with gusto. What we lacked in credibility we made up for with data, logic, and common sense. Now proven correct, we are looked upon as much more than an alternative to the mainstream.

Ironically, a self-reinforcing byproduct of the housing/credit bubble was a boom in newspaper publishing. One suspected, but never directly proven, reason for all the glowing real estate news articles published during the boom was the tsunami of ad dollars that flowed in. (Often in 2005, I remember the Sacramento Bee Sunday real estate section being thicker than the news sections!) Now the MSM is in deep trouble, and blogs are finding themselves at the vanguard, especially those of us that provide primary content. The Fifth Estate suddenly finds itself filling the vacuum left by the collapse of the Fourth.

It remains to be seen if quality news gathering can take place without the organizing force of editors and the credibility of the masthead. It will certainly be much more chaotic, and priorities will shift accordingly. The national debate will shift based on the whims of anonymous experts.

I want to encourage the Bubble Bloggers to keep at it. While it may not feel like it yet, we've inherited an important burden. The nation was founded by the pamphleteer and the newsman, and we are their legacy going forward. The torch is being passed. Can we carry it?

Blog Links

Bakersfield Bubble: Final Post
Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking: What happened to Bubble Market Inventory Tracker?
Sacramento Landing: 3 Years of Sacramento Land(ing) (Not dead yet!)

MSM Links

Tribune Co. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Seattle P-I workers notified of possible layoffs
Future Bee employee layoffs hinge on economy
Newpaper Death Watch

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for January 24, 2009

Not a whole lot of change over last week, which isn't surprising considering the weather and the fact that we're in the slowest part of the year for real-estate.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

California Employee Furloughs On Hold

California State Controller John Chiang is refusing to implement the Governator's executive order reducing state payroll and hours by 10%, unless ordered by a court (pdf):

After review of the Governor’s Executive Order, the Controller has come to the conclusion that it is not within the fundamental jurisdiction of either the Governor or DPA to unilaterally furlough state employees. This is because the ultimate authority over salaries is placed in the legislature, and "DPA can act only to the extent and in a manner consistent with the legislative delegation of authority." And neither the Governor nor DPA has been able to cite a delegation or authority that supports such action. Therefore, the Controller has no intention of implementing the Governor's furlough plan, absent a ruling to the contrary from a court of law.
Forgive me for being glib, but what good is having a Governor if he's not allowed to govern?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

European Rioting

There have been violent protests in several European countries over the past few days as the economic crisis worsens. Here are some links:

Iceland: Used The Clubs (video)
Lithuania: Protesters clash with riot police (video)
Bulgaria: Anti-government protest turns into riot (video)
Latvia: Officials trade blame for Latvia's riot (video)

Eastern Europe risks further riots as economic crisis bites
Stratfor analysis (mp3 download): Protesting for Change in Europe

It can never happen here, right?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for January 17, 2009

Inventory fell back slightly this week, so confirmation on any trend will have to wait a while. Winter is typically the slowest period in the real estate market, so anything less than a dramatic move in any trend between now and March should be taken with a grain of salt.