Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Spring Rebound...Has Again Failed to Materialize"

From sacbee.com:

Sacramento-area escrow closings dipped in April to their lowest levels since 1995 and fell below March sales counts for the second straight year, La Jolla based DataQuick Information Systems reported Wednesday.

It means a much-hoped-for spring rebound in home sales has again failed to materialize this year. Last year, sales of new and existing homes peaked in March before leveling off for the remainder of the year.

DataQuick reported 2,875 new and existing homes changed hands during April in Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. That compared to 3,222 closings in March -- and 3,762 in April 2006. DataQuick figures show April's closings were the fewest since 2,166 in April 1995.
...
The slower sales numbers arrived alongside reports that another 1,500 existing homes went up for sale in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties in April. Sacramento-based TrendGraphix reported 14,026 homes for sale in the four counties as May began - about 1,500 shy of the region's all-time inventory high last July.

19 comments:

anon1137 said...

Loved that piece on 60 Minutes last Sunday about Redfin and discount RE brokers, love the low sales numbers for April.

How long before the RE agents are selling their Lexuses on the corner??

Gwynster said...

1137,

Loved the 60 minutes piece. I don't think they could have picked a worse (or a better depending on how you feel about the NAR) realtor to represent the industry in the piece.

The owner of Redfin is my new hero which is available as close as Dixon. There are a ton of properties there for sale. Dixon is starting to look very very attractive as an alternative to Davis.

Patient Renter said...

"Loved that 60 Minutes piece"

check out the comments:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/11/60minutes/main2790865.shtml?source=mostpop_story#ccmm

norcaljeff said...

I was at a meeting last night and coincidently, there were 3 realtors there. 3 out of 12 total people and this was not even a real estate based meeting. (Shows you how many people in this area are dependent on RE) Well one of the realtors mentioned the 60 Minutes piece and his face turned bright red. He said there wasn't an ounce of truth in that piece. They can't stand the competition! God forbid lower fees in this market after these people made billions over the past 7 years in the RE bubble run up. Greedy s%$#bags.

Gwynster said...

I read a little bit of it last night before starting a new painting. I'm thinking a postmodern take on the classical theme of Christ driving the moneylenders from the temple is in order. The moneylender will be wearing gold jackets.

Enough cabernet and I can find humor in anything >; )

Gwynster said...

hehehe you should have asked if he wanted an extra 1% to cover his "effort" to report all the stagnant pools in the vacant and unsellable properties.

Patient Renter said...

"I'm thinking a postmodern take on the classical theme of Christ driving the moneylenders from the temple is in order"

Hahaha, post a pic to your blog when you're done.

Sippn said...

We can all agree on something - never enough cab.

paranoid renter said...

Prices still need to drop another 20% before I think holding off was a good decision. House I looked at buying at $350K in 6/04 is still at around $440 according to Zillow.

Gwynster said...

PR,

I started looking at just acreage and the price drops are impressive.

Someone here mentioned that builders will begin making smaller, more affordable homes in an effort to just keep the payroll moving.

Take the reductions in land prices with the reduction in the prices of materials with lowered construction employment costs (following Lennar's lead) and that 20% could become 30% off in two years.

I say could be because I doubt permit costs will go down. They may go up as de gubment tries to tax it's way out of it's lost revenue hole.

smf said...

"I say could be because I doubt permit costs will go down. They may go up as de gubment tries to tax it's way out of it's lost revenue hole."

YEP! I work in the design side of construction and have seen how gubs doesn't raise taxes, but do they ever 'increase fees'. And now with less construction, and less fees, government logic dictates that they have to raise them.

Gwynster said...

SMF,

I noticed KHov released some smaller, economical homes in Wes Sac. These had almost no Mello Roos and no or very minor HOA fees.
I liked the floorplans. They made sense and the finishing quality was better then the Beazer homes I've seen.

Lots of people looking at them but no one seemed to be signing anything.

Stuck my head in the other developments in the area and they were dead. The sales people were in their offices filing their nails.

So are we going to see more small developments like what KHov is releasing? And if you work for KHov, please release some in Woodland >; )

anon1137 said...

I looked at the stats by zip (http://www.sacbee.com/static/live/business/real_estate/apr_2007_home_sales.html) and ESac prices are still essentially at their peak. This bubble is going to take a long time to deflate. Unless Gov Ahnold lays off half the state government work force, prices aren't going anywhere until wages catch up, inflation erodes home values, and/or interest rates fall to bring the market back into balance. Most sellers can't budge an inch because they're overleveraged to the hilt. ARM resets will knock a few of them off, but most are frozen in place.

Interesting that the recent economic news is exactly following Thornberg's predictions: housing starts are down, consumer spending is down. Could a recession be on the horizon?

Now I'm going to go back into my hole until the May DQ report comes out.

Brian said...

Those KHov homes in WSac (I live right down the street) are actually moving pretty well, all things considered. I do like the floorplans also.
Compared to the RB and Discovery homes, all bigger on bigger lots, those KHov homes are going gamgbusters.

Gwynster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwynster said...

Brian,

Yep, that was my feeling too.
Everything over 350k is dead quiet. But these smaller floor plans, located outside of a huge planned community,and with reasonable prices seem to be what the Sacramento customer is hungry for. Those megahouses were aimed at a market that wasn't nearly as large as developers expected. Maybe they had a market in EDH and Placerville, certainly not in West Sacramento.

If only there weren't on _that_ side of the causeway, I'd be tempted.

Now the KHOV homes are not doing nearly as well on the Natomas side. I suspect someone got the flooding memo finally. However in Natomas you have SMUD instead of PGE and that right there makes them more appealing. Having lived in both PGE and SMUD districts in the area, I can say the SMUD is far, far preferable.

Now there is a bunch of new development down off Mack road. Isn't that a scary area? My DH asked about those and my first reaction was "when hell freezes over".

That may have been a snap judgment (ok it was) but I know almost nothing about the neighborhoods south of the 50 or 80 except that the traffic is LA-worthy on the 99 and 5 during commuting hours and that South Sac is placing a lot of pressure on the Elk Grove and Pocket areas.

Patient Renter said...

"Most sellers can't budge an inch because they're overleveraged to the hilt. ARM resets will knock a few of them off, but most are frozen in place."

Don't underestimate the power of a rising payment in the face of a declining market. The longer those with ARMs sit and watch their payments rise while values are dropping, the more of them that will throw in the towel.

I know it's hard to imagine someone taking a loss to get rid of a home, but this is exactly what happened in the 90s after the downturn was a few years in!

Cmyst said...

Gwynster said "Now there is a bunch of new development down off Mack road. Isn't that a scary area? My DH asked about those and my first reaction was "when hell freezes over"."

There are some very decent little neighborhoods in South Sac, but if you are in the 300K range I'd just stay away from it. To me, this was the height of craziness, that builders began building along Mack and off Meadowview. That whole relatively new development near John Still south of Meadowview just off I-5 is sliding rapidly into Section 8 housing. It's really awful. Missing screens and windows, junker cars, zombie youth roaming the area.... I can take boisterous youth that plays music and basketball in the driveways. When you stop seeing that, and you start seeing them staggering around wearing heavy coats in 80 degree heat, with those blank stares, that's real bad news for anyone that has to work in the community like I do.

whatsthis said...

I think a bigger storm is coming and we all will be in awww