Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Foreclosure Pricing, Coming Soon to The Westside

The most recent numbers from Dataquick for July of 2008 show:

44.8% of sales in California were Foreclosures.
34.3% drop in Median Sales Price from May 2007
40,219 NODs (Notice of Defaults)
39,507 TS (Total Sales)

Foreclosures are fast becoming the market here in California. As the Mortgage Meltdown migrates inward from outlying areas to the cities, ALL AREAS will be affected. We are in the beginning stages of the mortgage crisis and have only witnessed the first subprime leg. Alt-As, Interest Only, ARMs (pick-a-payments) and Prime mortgages are next. Many affluent buyers have taken advantage of these "creative" financing products and loan resets are due to start this year. Most now believe it will take until 2012, before we work through this batch of bad loans. However, it is my belief it could be quicker and more painful. Here is why. Places in the Inland Empire that have foreclosed are now selling at 50-60% off peak pricing through foreclosure sales. Banks have finally started to unload as they see an area not coming back in the near future. Buyers are picking up properties at significant discounts and actually buying a house to "Live In" instead of speculation. Easy credit and speculation are gone. In some cases, Buyers having already bought an overpriced home, are keeping their payments current, even though terribly upside down. Next, they locate another similar property for 50-60% off, close escrow on it, then allow the first house to go into foreclosure. Problem solved. I like to call it "HIT and RUN".

As banks begin to unload REOs on the Westside, we will see a similar phenomenon. "Educated" affluent buyers, especially with very little money invested, will simply regard it as a business decision to lower their payments and home loan debt. Thus causing more foreclosures and more price declines. And more foreclosures and more price declines, etc.. etc..

The writing is on the wall...


latesummer2009 said...

Foreclosures in California reached a new high in June 2008 with $12,500,000,000 worth of loans repossessed. That is 20% higher than the previous record sent in May 2008.This along with more NODs than Total Sales, spells deep trouble for California.

Anonymous said...

I am a buyer who has been sitting on the sideline for three years now. I wathed the bubble grow and knew that sooner or later it would pop. My question is this- We see how much prices have decliend on a year by year basis, but how much have they declined since 2004 or2005? If I see a condo that sold for, let's say, $475,000 in 2005 what would the value be today?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, When to buy is totally subjective and somewhat speculative. What has worked for me is to buy when buying is cheaper than renting. To make this calculation I include all the costs of homeownership like taces when you sell, 5% or more on maintenance and upkeep which covers the year you have to reroof for example, buying more stuff to fill the home, insurance, etc... Most people grossly underestimate the cost of homeownership and ar ein for a big surprise when they buy. If you make this calculation, then save and invest the difference, you will come out way ahead and be in better shape when you do buy. I recently had to move because my landlord was selling the condo I rent. I really wanted to buy badly, but instead we are renting again. Prices need to drop about 25% for me to have any chance of coming out ahead where I live in West LA. Although we have the money and qualify, I just could not bring myself to throw my money away.

Having moved a lot and bought and sold quite a few homes and rented as well, I think we are looking at years of pain ahead. Until seller psychology fundamentally shifts prices are still too high. It is not unusual as a cycle is progressing for people to become totally discouraged about home buying and prices. Speculators disappear. Renting becomes mroe expensive. This is the time to buy.

Anonymous said...

This lease vs. buy comparison is for the new construction Contemporary Mediterranean home at 2110 Glendon Ave., LA CA 90025. According to the MLS, the home is a 4 bedroom / 4 bath, 3,200 sq ft home on a 5,400sq ft lot. This teardown lot was purchased November 2007 for $915,000 and 9 months later, a custom Contemporary Mediterranean home was on site, completed and offered for sale at $1,795,000.

This house just went up for LEASE on Craigslist for $5,900, asking. This is a great one to compare lease versus buy....

According to the mortgage calculator on this property's selling agent's site, if you put 20% down on the asking price of $1,795,000, you would put down $359,000, and you would pay about $22,000 in property taxes, and your payment would be about $11,500 with a 7.0% Jumbo loan rate on a $1,436,000 loan (and you could deduct interest on $1mm of that). (Property taxes would be about $22,000 per year and most likely not be deductible due to AMT for most people who could afford this house and qualify for this loan.) Interest on the $1,436,000 is $8,376.66 (assuming 7% loan, and $5,833.33 of that is deductible from personal taxes based on the $1,000,000 cap for such deduction. Assuming 40% individual state and Fed combined tax rate, tax savings is $2,333.33 per month for the interest tax deduction.

The pre-tax payment per month on this house, including property taxes, would be about $11,500 and the payment after taxes would be about $9,200. Of course, you would have to put $359,000 of your own money in to get this deal. OR you could put no money down and LEASE it for $5,900 per month. So, $5,900 with no capital commitment (ok, a $13,000 lease deposit) vs. $9,200 with a $359,000 capital payment, let me think....

OK, so to really compare apples to apples, what would the numbers be if you put ZERO down on the house and got a 7% loan anyway? How about... $14,000, and after the $2,333.33 tax deduction on the interest, about $11,666.67.... and the difference would be that you do not have the upside potential (or downside risk) option on the value of the house over time, and you would not have to put any maintenance dollars into the house if you rent (figure $3,500 per year amortized over 10 years, minimum)

hmmm, let me think, lease verus buy.... hmmmmm....


By the way, here is the link to 2110 Glendon for lease:


Anonymous said...

People have been claiming for 2 years (on blogs like this one) that there were going to be all kinds of ARMS re-adjusting on the westside, which would force buyers who couldn't afford their payments to sell or foreclose. But it still has not happened. how many foreclosures have their been in Venice or Santa Monica?
Is there a way to find out how many home sales in the last 2 years were made with funny loans? Maybe there are enough people on this side of town to sustain the boom. We just got outbid on a $1 million property in Venice by someone paying cash.

latesummer2009 said...

You might want to checkout Foreclosure Radar or Realty Trac listed to the right on this blog. They have up-to-date foreclosure activity.

You could always right a backup offer if you really like the property. Many transactions aren't closing now. And, how do you know it was all cash? Maybe they just wrote it up that way, but still have a physical inspection as a way out. I used to always reccommend writing all cash offers and keeping an inspection contingency.

Alt-As start to reset in earnest at the end of this year and into next.

And, who knows, perhaps they did you a favor..