Friday, March 27, 2009

Data and regrets

I'm really regretting not recording the LA Times data from DQ news more often.

My only other snapshot is from July 2008.

Why? I'm comparing $/ft^2 both where I want to live and some 'interesting areas.'
I just captured the Febuary data.

Just a few zip codes of interest on home much the SFR $/ft^2 has dropped:

Lancaster 93534, 93535, 93536 are down 26%, 33%, and 22% respectively
Manhattan Beach 90266, is only down to $702/ft^2. (1% drop)
Malibu 90265 is down $501/ft^2 or a 22% drop
Palmdale 93550, 93551, 93552, 93591 are down 33%, 22%, 28%, and 49% respectively
Palos Verdes Pen (90275), down 3% (but very few sales, 7 SFR homes)
Pasadena 91101, 91103, 91104, 91105, 91106, 91107 is down 20%, 14%, UP 37% to $470/ft^2, and down 4%.
RPV 90275 is down to $410/ft^2! or down 18% from July! (My first choice zip to buy.)
Redondo Beach 90277, 90278 is down 5% and 19% (nicer area down more?!? Wait... only three 90277 sales in February...)
Torrance 90501, 90503, 90504, 90505 area mixed, down 6%, NO SALES, down 8%, and the last two are up 5%

There is much more. I really wish I had taken more data for I do not know the month to month variety (extreme due to low Febuary sales). I would also like to compare with February 2007, 2006, 2005 (ok, before I was blogging here).

What does this tell us? Not much. Without knowing normal month to month variation... I could be makign conclusions off 'noise.' But what about the price increases (numbers in bold above)? That is price increase per ft^2. I'm not sure what to make of it yet.

But RPV (90275, had only 12 Single family (SFR) sales and 4 condos in February with inventory of 148 to 153 during the month... (per snapshots by me of ziprealty inventory on 2/1/2009, 2/23, and 2/26). Hmmmm... 164 on the market today.

but 90274 is more interesting. 8 total sales (1 condo) and inventory of:
PVE: 98
Rolling hills 21
Roling Hills estates: 44

Hmmm... 163/8=20 months of inventory. Me thinks the great squish down continues...

Off topic:
I've secured my job, but I will be expected to travel 1/2 time. Certainly not the end of the world, just not my ideal. For example, my lunch today was spent holding my infant daughter on a pony saddle! She loved it. If I'm traveling, such events with 'Daddy' will happen less. One makes choices. Note: New efforts are being done to 'accomodate my preference' to spend more time at our main location. But spring and Summer (at a minimum) will be spent with a lot of road time.

Also, the wife likes the idea of a Macbook. I almost forgot I promised her that our next computer could be a Mac... 'Could be' is becoming 'will be.'

I'll take snapshots more often and I've added Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernadeno counties (its all on the same web page, so why not).

I speculate we are in the last major year of decline. But are we? This doesn't mean rush to buy... (Its best to buy after the bottom.) Late edit: I have posted in the past that, for myself, its best to buy before the bottom for best inventory selection. I still believe this. But its tough to blog with advice for those *really* following and those just reading for the first time. But the trend will be interesting.

I'll restart my 'emotions' series after I travel for a bit more. So do not expect a February update. Overall, people are excited to buy. But I look at those Palmdale $/ft^2 that were once much higher and now are $43 to $94/ft^2. I'd swear I saw it break $300/ft^2, but I didn't save that snapshot of the data.

Oh... notice I never talked median price? Worthless statistic in my opinion.

Got Popcorn?


Rob Dawg said...

Click on the DQNews "archives" on the right hand side. The old press releases are available sometimes back to 2003.

Quartz Hills (West Antelope Valley)
Wrightwood (mountains)
Moreno Valley (IE ground zero)

Rob Dawg said...

BTW, for reference:
Greetings from 93010.

The Anonymous said...

Neil said...(its best to buy after the bottom).

When did you decide this? I caused a near firestorm the other day when I cited your old advice of buying just before the bottom because of increased inventory selection.

I found that particularly relevant given that inventory out here is rapidly rocketing toward 0.

In point of fact, heres a data set that the blogger Kevin provided...

Date Count Median
27-Nov-07 896 $399,900
15-Jan-08 812 $375,000
11-Mar-08 807 $354,900
06-May-08 866 $329,900
15-Jul-08 740 $344,900
10-Sep-08 626 $345,000
10-Nov-08 490 $325,000
16-Dec-08 495 $319,000
26-Jan-09 400 $300,000
02-Mar-09 339 $300,000
23-Mar-09 317 $325,000

Now say that 300K was the bottom, (which yes, we wont know but by hindsight), but lets assume it was. If so, the buyer who bought in November @325K had 490 choices, whereas the buyer today @325K has 317 choices.

Granted, this is likely seasonal price change, but the point still holds. Maybe you just mean where you are where inventory is stable. I take the same conclusion in Arlington where its down, but overall stable.

However, outside the beltway, the inventory peak was Jan 1, and its been declining since. There has been no spring bounce whatsoever.

So I sincerely hope I didnt misquote you before. If I did, I made alot of people mad, but alot of people did take notice too. The decline in inventory out here is unbelievable.

wannabuy said...

The anon,

For myself I agree buy before. You have quoted me correctly. Buy before when inventory is high works; but that requires *really* knowing when the bottom is (or close enough). If one is unsure, its time to best to buy after the bottom.

I'll edit the main body.

Got Popcorn?

The Anonymous said...

Gotit Neil thanks. PWC still has a decent amount of inventory & prices are really starting to firm up. If I was out there looking I wouldnt hesitate to buy.

Im out looking now but only because if PWC really is bottoming, its probably only a matter of months before we see the same thing in Arlington. We'll see...

wannabuy said...

Do follow the data. DC, while the unemployment is increasing, is nothing like what we're seeing in CA.

Oh... ask and you shall receive. I have received a private communication from an individual whom I know who has the DQ zip code data back to 2004!

Got Popcorn?

bearmaster said...


I have pretty much all the DQNews L.A. Times data going back a few years. The problem is, I haven't found it helpful broken out by residential type (SFR or condo) and zip code because the numbers get too small and so when I see Hermosa Beach condo prices shoot up by 50% when 1 condo gets sold, it's meaningless.

(I did miss one month of data towards the end of last year - but that's OK because I can reverse engineer it when the same month this year rolls around...)

I haven't been posting those DQNews zip code SFR and condo charts because I've been so d**m busy!

CAR keeps archives of DQNews city data on its website. I like the city and regional data better because it's aggregated (so there is more of it).

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