4209 Via Pinzon - High Res-004

In Escrow: 4209 Via Pinzon, Plus 2 Insights to Today’s Buyers

4209 Via Pinzon - High Res-004

After 2 months of solid activity, 4209 Via Pinzon is in escrow.  This is a great home and the buyers are looking forward to joining this great community.

There are 2 things we have learned over the last 60 days between agent feedback and comments during open houses and meeting with potential buyers that merits sharing, especially if you are considering buying or selling a home in the next 6 – 12 months.

  1. The market is still full of buyers, but they have grown more patient in the last several months.  This is evident in the increased time homes are taking to sell – not just in Valmonte, but throughout the South Bay and Palos Verdes.  With over 300 visitors through the house, it is clear that Valmonte is still generating a lot of interest, but buyers know what they want and are willing to wait for the right property at the right price.  4 months ago, there was half the inventory and a general fear that you may have to wait another 6 months to find a home if you don’t act quickly.  That has certainly changed.
  2. After 43% appreciation over the last 4 years, buyers are beginning to ask the question, how much longer can prices go up?  This is a rational and understandable question given homeowner’s memory of the market crash from 2008 through 2012.  My last post covered this topic in greater detail, but it’s worth addressing again.  A recent statement by CAR  Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young addressed the market by saying “I think we’re getting close to the peak of the market, but we haven’t really had a stellar recovery either.” She went on to address the potential for declines by saying “It’s really going to be more of a slow squeeze than a big drop.”  The market fundamentals are still in place for continued price appreciation, but history tells us that growth cycles typically last 4-5 years and we’re already 4 years in.

So what should you make of all this?  I’m advising my clients on the sell side that the window of opportunity to take advantage of equity appreciation is starting to wind down, but as long as interest rates remain low, there will still be plenty of buyers around.  On the buy side, I’m advising clients that if it’s the right house for your needs and it’s in your budget, it’s worth taking action.  And if the house has been on the market more than 90 days, the next few months may be the best time to take advantage of seller frustration and negotiate the price.

If you need help putting a real estate plan together, send me an email and I’ll create a customized plan for your needs.

Until next time…see you in the neighborhood!

 

4209 Via Pinzon - High Res-004

Valmonte Late Summer Market Update: Did We Just See the Peak?

4209 Via Pinzon - High Res-004

4209 Via Pinzon, $1,450,000 (listed by Kyle Daniels, Ericson Beach Real Estate) http://www.liveinvalmonte.com

As we enjoy the remaining warm days and quiet evenings of another wonderful summer in Valmonte, it’s time to take inventory of the local real estate market and get an idea of where things are headed.  To put things in perspective, we have enjoyed over 43% in average sales price appreciation over the last 4 years.  These rising home prices have largely been driven by limited inventory and low interest rates, which further aided buyer demand.  But as this current growth cycle matures, the $100,000 question is how long can the market continue to rise?  To answer that question, I like to turn to three indicators that give us some historical perspective of what’s statistically going on with the market – month’s supply, list price to sales price ratio, and days on market.

History lesson: Market Cycles

In 2005 and early 2006, our last market peak, homes were selling on average 98% of the asking price in approximately 22 days.  In fact, in the market run up from 2002 through early 2006, homes were selling in an average of 19 days over that time period.  In addition, home prices appreciated 56% and inventory was much like it is today – tight supply with less than 2 month’s worth of inventory.  We can look to less stringent lending standards during that time period as one reason for the shorter days on the market, but clearly demand outpaced supply and sellers were willing and able to take advantage of that imbalance.  Of course, we all know what ensued -the market flattened out for a couple years before dropping nearly 30% over four years, before before seeing a recovery in mid-2012.

But here we are today, sitting comfortably in our newly appreciated homes and feeling pretty smart about our 43% price appreciation over the last four years.  During this growth cycle, homes sold on average in 64 days – three times the amount of time it took in the last bull market.  Months supply is roughly the same as the 2002-06 cycle with around 2 months of inventory available.  

How long will it last?

If you arelike most folks, the memories of the last market crash are hard to shake, and you’re thinking, “how much longer can prices continue to rise?”  Looking at 21 years of sales data from the MLS as our guide, we’ve seen three growth cycles since 1995, each lasting about 4-5 years, followed by 2-3 years of flat growth, then 2-3 years of declining values before the next growth cycle kicks in.  Getting deeper into the weeds, when we look at price/foot comparisons over the same time frame, prices grew over a 10 year cycle before declining for 6 years.  This tells us that the base price tends to expand and contract over a shorter time frame while price/foot changes over longer cycles.  What this means is that if you are a buyer during a down cycle, you are likely getting more home for your dollar while seeing a stronger appreciation if you can make some improvements leading into the next growth cycle.  Just as in stocks, buy low and sell high, right?

Nota bene!

It is important to note, over the last 20 years, the growth cycles have been stronger and lasted longer than the contractions.  And in most cases, price gains have outpaced declines by a factor of 2 to 1.  But if we really step back and look at the net results, if you held a property in Valmonte since 1995, you have enjoyed an average price increase of 192% and a price per foot increase of 178%.  Not too bad for living in a beautiful neighborhood with excellent weather, friendly neighbors, and great schools.

So to answer my own question, if you were to ask me to bet money on how much longer prices will rise, I will be inclined to tell you we are coming to an end of the growth cycle, and that more than likely, we’ll see a leveling out for the next couple of years before we see any downward momentum in home values.  What could change my prediction?  Without a mortgage debt crisis looming like we saw in 2008, the headwinds for price growth today are the potential for rising interest rates and the inability of recent college graduates to pay off student loans to free up more capital to purchase their first home.  When that next reality hits is anyone’s guess, but for now I’m going to enjoy the nice weather and finish a few projects around the house before cooler weather and the holidays come back around.

See you in the neighborhood!

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Prices are up, Inventory is down, but the Summer Selling Season Gives Buyers Hope

Let’s face it, if you are a buyer looking to move to Palos Verdes Estates, and you don’t have over $2 million, it’s a tough market out there.  The same goes for buyers in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and increasingly Redondo Beach.  As for the beach cities, there are at least several lower priced options including condos and town homes that will get you location, views, and that coveted beach zip code many buyers are looking for (may I recommend 446 Palos Verdes Blvd) But if you don’t want to hear your neighbor’s toilet flush or their phone ring, buyers looking to “the Hill” are facing steep competition at the lower entry points to each neighborhood.

Taken as a whole, inventory is down compared to a year ago throughout the South Bay and Palos Verdes.  On the other hand prices are up over 4% in the general area and over 10% in the most popular neighborhoods.  If you are shopping at the entry point to any neighborhood, the competition is stiff, especially under $1.5m. However, there is an interesting trend recently reported by CoreLogic that we are seeing – rising inventory and fewer sales in the higher price ranges.  To illustrate this, look at Manhattan Beach where list prices are averaging $4.3m.  Compared to a year ago, available inventory (and months supply) has nearly doubled from 61 homes to 115 homes.  On the other hand, the number of closed sales remains steady around 31/month.  In Valmonte, where sold homes averaged $1.67m (3 month rolling average), inventory is down over 40% from a year ago and closed sales are up on a monthly basis.  Hmmnnn, are we starting to see signs of a bubble on the high end?

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2517 Via la Selva in Valmonte – ask $1,999,000, SOLD $2,067,000

Fortunately there is some hope on the horizon for those eager buyers as summer approaches.  In the past Valmonte has averaged around 12-13 available homes during the summer months . This summer bump is true for the beach cities as well.  But as prices climb, the buyer pool tends to shrink and homes sit on the market longer.  As a result, prices drop, typically as we head into the holidays and unsold inventory sits.  Is this what we have in store for our market?  Only time will tell, but for now, my buyers are still looking for that perfect Valmonte home for their family and there isn’t much available for them.

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101 Via Colusa – ask $1,250,000; SOLD $1,352,500!

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, please contact Kyle Daniels, Ericson Beach Real Estate, 310.483.3998 or kyle@kyledanielsrealestate.com for a confidential consultation.

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Did the top end of the market peak?

Warning, if you don’t like charts and numbers, you might not like this post. . . . my apologies.  As a trained accountant, I like numbers.  I like charts even more.  Recently, I’ve been reading about and starting to notice a little change in the real estate market.  While the entry level price point in most neighborhoods is still white-hot with busy open houses and multiple bids, the top end of the market is not nearly as crazy.  In fact, there are signs that prices may have hit their peak.

With all the data available, how can we measure craziness?  I like to look at absorption rate, measured as months supply, to gauge the temperature of the market.  In the chart below, I assumed $2 million and above represents the top of the market.  Now this may be more mid-market in Manhattan Beach, but in Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach, this is somewhat of a dividing line in the single-family real estate market.   The chart below shows that compared to a year earlier, the months supply has increased by at least 30%.  In the 4 cities in the chart, this is a direct result of inventories in the $2m plus price range nearly doubling, while the number of closed sales remains mostly flat.

Using the same examples as above, but looking at the price range of $1.5-1.999 million, it’s a different story.  Month’s supply in this price range has dropped, year-over-year, to 2 months supply or less.  Certainly, rising prices hasn’t helped categorically, but I think the reality of there being more buyers than supply of homes is a better explanation for the drop.  The other thing to consider is that in this price range, many homeowners are more likely to be longer term owners and less likely to be looking to move, therefore supply is restricted in this category.

The same goes for the $1.2m to $1.499m price range.  Like its cousin above, month’s supply hasn’t changed much on a year-over-year basis.  Again, this suggests there are far more buyers in this price category relative to the current supply.  I suspect that the multiple bids and heavy competition will continue in this price range until there is a significant change in the market or interest rates jump significantly.

There are some obvious things to point out in all of the charts above.  First, there is market seasonality.  As we are currently starting to see, there is typically more inventory in the spring and summer months compared to winter and fall, usually dropping to a low around the holidays.  I expect that trend to continue this spring and summer; however, it will be interesting to see what happens.  For now, interest rates are low so that should continue to motivate active buyers.  But what I am really curious to see is if the high end market plateaus, and if it will it spread to the lower price categories?  It’s anyone’s guess, and at some point, it’s going to happen.  When is the big question. . . .

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Where did all the sellers go?

So we’re flying out of winter and into spring, and by now we should be watching home listings rise like Daffodils with thoughts of new neighbors and summer barbeques lifting our spirits.  The part about Daffodils and BBQ’s is on target, but the part about homes for sale – nope.  Currently there are only 5 homes on the market in Valmonte – Lunada Bay, Hollywood Riviera, and other parts of the hill aren’t much different.  2 of the current homes are perched above the canyon on Via Alondra and aren’t the most kid friendly homes, and the other 3 require a small mountain of cash to call your own – although they are quite nice homes worth every penny.  So why isn’t anyone else selling?

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3716 Via la Selva recently listed for $2.45m – former residence of Joey Buss of Lakers ownership fame (maybe there were too many Lakers fans in the neighborhood asking him why the team is in the tank?)

If you’ve been following along with my posts, 2015 was a great year, and I would normally expect that to trigger new sellers looking to take advantage of the higher prices.  For the last 2 years inventory of homes for sale has been hovering around 8-13 homes with a high of 18 in the fall of 2014.  But inventory has been in a steady decline, both here in Palos Verdes Estates and the surrounding communities since September of 2015.  That’s not slowing buyer demand.  Interest rates are at or below 4%, and people are out looking for homes.

Why isn’t anyone selling?  That answer to that question is like the snake eating it’s tail.  Without new inventory, would be sellers don’t have a place to go.  In turn, the homes that are for sale are being being driven up to valuations that make it hard for people to make the jump to a new home.  As a result we’re seeing homeowners staying put, choosing to remodel and upgrade their existing homes instead of moving.  I don’t blame anyone for staying.  I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon – we love it here and the kids are not too far off from being immersed in school.  For those that are considering downsizing, the process is a bit easier, but lower priced homes have even more competition and in most cases are seeing multiple offer situations.

Now maybe this is all for naught and there are actually lots of sellers in the shadows waiting until summer to sell?  I personally know of a couple people holding off until school’s out, but that won’t make up for all the demand.   As for the rest of our Valmonte neighbors, please let me know if you are thinking of selling – I have several families that want in on our great little neighborhood.

See you in the neighborhood – KD

 

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3411 la Selva Place – my personal favorite.  Asking $2.75m for a 17,000 foot double lot with pool, guest house, and lots of charm – but you need to bring your hammer for this one – it needs some work.

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Mid February Valmonte update: New listing, closed sale, accepted offer, and price drops

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4208 Via Valmonte – Asking $1,140,000

We’re over halfway through February and Valmonte is slowly waking from a winter slumber.  This past week one new listing came on the market – 4208 Via Valmonte, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, in 1625 square feet and priced at $1,140,000 ($702/foot).  This is a well kept house with pleasant low maintenance landscaping. The house sits back from the street and once inside offers a welcoming floorplan.  The house is mostly original so a new buyer would likely want to spend some money on updates, but the house is move-in ready as it stands.  I expect this to sell quickly and at or over the asking price.

Price drops – Of the remaining 5 homes still on the market (and 2 accepting back-up offers), 2 recently saw price drops.  4240 Via Alondra dropped $100k to $1.399m.  This is a nice home with beautiful canyon views and 2,700 square feet.  4256 Via Alondra, an updated home a few doors away dropped to $1,715,000.  This too features a peaceful setting on the canyon and is updated throughout.  Why aren’t these selling?  Homes on Via Alondra, particularly on the canyon side of the street, don’t have backyards.  With the large number of families looking to move to Valmonte, these homes are at a serious disadvantage.  However, the views and price per foot are attractive and I’m sure a buyer will eventually step forward.

Accepted offer – after less than 2 weeks on the market 2544 Via Anita has an accepted offer.  It’s still contingent on inspections, but it shows a nicely updated home with over 2,700′ with 4 bedrooms on a nice lot has wide appeal at $1.795m. Assuming this closes at or near asking, this represents a nice ROI since this house last sold in November 2013 for $1.399.  After selling costs, that’s over a $200k return for a little less than 2 1/2 years.  Not bad!

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300 Via Alcance – Sold $1,609,000

What sold?  300 Via Alcance, after 208 days on the market, finally has a new family.  Originally sold in September of 2014 for $1.1m, the home was thoroughly updated, the master bedroom enlarged, and came back on the market at $1.899m in June 2015.  While the updates were high end, the $1.899m for 2300′ square feet was pushing the upper limits for a 3 bedroom house in Valmonte on an average sized lot.  After lots of patience and several significant price drops, it finally sold for $1.609m last week.

What’s Next?  We should see another cluster of Via la Selva homes close in the next month or so with 3025 PV Drive North and 2544 Via Anita closing soon after.  This should give us enough data to get an idea of how prices are looking, but so far 2016 is looking to be another good year for Valmonte real estate.  Now if we can just get a few more on the market . . . call me!

 Just for fun – It’s interesting to note the unusual groupings of homes on the market.  Currently, there are 3 homes on Via Anita, 2 on Via Alondra, and 1 on Via Valmonte.  (Via la Selva is so long, there always seems to be a couple there).  While mostly circumstantial, I have noticed a common occurrence that homes sell in bunches on the same street in a short period of time.  In late 2014, 6 came on the market on Via Solano.  In 2015, there was only one new listing.  I wonder what street will be the busy one this year?