Beach City Digs is THE ORIGINAL "DIGS" REAL ESTATE SITE in the South Bay, with cataloged posts dating from its inception in 2008. It is DAVID WHITE'S one-stop resource for reliable news & thought leadership on real estate in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, & surrounding areas of Southern California's South Bay - - and the broader real estate economy. We present it as an intelligent source of factual, decision-worthy information for all who can benefit from it. Please feel free to share - - nothing "Confidential" here!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Market Update

This past week, both Home Depot, Inc., and Lowe's reported high fourth quarter gains, with profits beating their own revenue projections as well as analysts' estimates, according to a recent Bloomberg Business article. With sales at both home-improvement chains advancing over 7 percent, and more expensive purchases (ranging from 500 to 900 dollars)
surging 10-14 percent, it would appear homeowners are back to building.

What does this mean for housing?  With job and market confidence rising, homeowners are picking up renovation projects they may have been putting off in previous years, when the market was stalling and economy low.  A fourth quarter survey by the National Association of Home Builders showed the number of companies seeing increases in major projects and committed work for the next three months are at all-time highs. 

While only time will tell for sure, these signs seem to point to a perky spring selling season.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Market Update

California home sales and prices start year lower

LOS ANGELES – California’s housing market started the new year still bearing the scars of 2014’s tight housing inventory and low housing affordability as statewide home sales fell from the previous month and year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 351,890 units in January, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  Sales in January were down 3.9 percent from a revised 366,130 in December and down 2.7 percent from a revised 361,790 in January 2014.  Home sales have been below the 400,000 level since November 2013.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the January pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“Despite a leveling off of home prices and continued decline in interest rates in recent months, California’s housing market continues to be constrained by low housing affordability, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey.  “Due to the region’s strong income and job growth, the Bay Area was the least affected by the housing crisis.  But strong housing demand and tight supply in the region also have caused home prices to appreciate at a faster rate than many regions in California, leading to a slide in housing affordability in the area, which in turn, has resulted in a more pronounced slowdown in market activity in recent months.”

The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home fell 5.9 percent from December’s median price of $453,780 to $426,790 in January but was up 3.4 percent from the revised $412,820 recorded in January 2014.  The statewide median home price has been higher on a year-over-year basis for more than two years, but price gains have narrowed significantly in the past year. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

“While the statewide unsold inventory index in January jumped to the highest level in nearly three years, the increase can be attributed in large part due to the drop in sales,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.  “Overall, active listings statewide showed a near double-digit increase from last January, but supply conditions weren’t all positive at the regional level.  While both the Southern California and Central Valley regions showed a clear improvement in their inventory levels when compared to last year, housing supply in the Bay Area remains a concern as active listings declined more than 5 percent in the region, further illustrating the region’s lack of affordable homes for sale.”

Other key facts from C.A.R.’s January 2015 resale housing report include:

• Housing inventory loosened throughout much of the state in January, though the San Francisco Bay area continued to be hamstrung by tight inventory.  The available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale statewide rose from 3.3 months in December to 5 months in January. The index was 4.3 months in January 2014.  The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.  A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.
• The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was extended in January, up from a revised 47.5 days in December to 52.4 days in January and from 44.3 days in January 2014.
• According to C.A.R.’s newest housing market indicator measuring sales-to-list price ratio*, properties are again generally selling below the list price, except in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a lack of homes for sale is keeping sales prices in line with original asking prices.  The statewide measure suggests that homes are selling at a median of 96.9 percent of the list price, down slightly from a ratio of 97.8 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling at original list prices.

• The average California price per square foot** for an existing single-family home was $203 in January 2015, a decrease of 3.5 percent from the previous month, but a 2.7 percent increase from January 2014.  Price per square foot at the state level has been showing an upward trend since early 2012, and has been rising on a year-over-year basis for 36 consecutive months.  In recent months, however, the growth rate in price per square foot has slowed down significantly as home prices leveled off.  San Mateo County had the highest price per square foot in January with $622/sq. ft., followed by Santa Clara ($  The three counties with the lowest price per square foot in January were Lake ($111/sq. ft.), Siskiyou ($110/sq. ft.), and Yuba ($107/sq. ft.).508/sq. ft.), and Santa Cruz ($420/sq. ft.).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Visual Tour Update: 1801 Palm Ave., Manhattan Beach Tree Section

Play VisualTour
Here's a new, improved VisualTour of my beautiful listing at 1801 Palm Avenue in Manhattan Beach.