January 27, 2006

The median home price for a single-family house in San Luis Obispo County fell nearly 12 percent in December, or more than $70,000


Pop.

Amazing numbers, and amazingly mind-numbing comments from the local realtors

All is well... All is well. Remain calm... Remain calm..

Not sure about you, but when I hear that, I run for the nearest life boat

The median home price for a single-family house in San Luis Obispo County fell nearly 12 percent in December, or more than $70,000, but local real estate professionals warn that it is too early to determine if the market is headed downward.

The $534,930 median home price -- the statistical point where half of the homes sell for more and half for less -- declined 11.6 percent from the November price of about $605,160, according to the California Association of Realtors.

Nonetheless, it still represents a 12.5 percent increase from December 2004 when the median-priced home sold for nearly $475,610. The December 2005 figure was the lowest monthly median price registered since May 2005.

In another measure of the local housing market, permits for new homes were down 14.4 percent in 2005 for the county, with 1,937 permits. The steepest decline in the county was for the city of San Luis Obispo, which saw permit activity fall 69.6 percent to 35 from 115 permits in 2004.

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dow almost at 11,000 again......what is up with that?

AmazingRuss said...

Wouldn't know there's been a drop to look at the listings...nice trailers are still listed for 400k.

Saw a nasty trailer for 200k. I don't know what lot rent was.

Contemplating a travel trailer and parking it on my friend's land if we lose our sweet rental ranchito.

000000000000000000000000000000000000 said...

San Luis has high prices and lots of low paying jobs. I think 1/2 the homes there are second or investment homes for L-Aliens. I remember in the crash of 91 the county went upside down and didn’t recover for 10 years. I know one family from there that were RE appraisers that never recovered to this day! It's pretty, but I am not comfortable living upwind from a nuclear power plant, or in a town with badly polluted ground water.

cereal said...

what devestment said.

i would bet there's a few santa maria commuters up there.

it's a very cool little westwood village sort of place. most of the architecture in town is old historical stuff. and it's got some great sidewalk open pit bbq's. but it's also the kind of place that should cost maybe $175k for a simple 2 + 2 older home in town.

same goes for pismo and that whole area

AmazingRuss said...

I live rather close to the nuke plant...until recently, the little evacuation plans they sent out didn't even have any suggestions for the zone I live in. I am greatly comforted that we now have an 'approved' escape route :)

There are a lot of seriously crappy old houses around here...falling down 30's stuff with halfassed addons and gramma houses in back.

As for the charm, the chains are taking over downtown...it is less and less the funky college town it once was...and more and more the generic face of Santa Barbara.

Traffic is getting bad, and drivers are getting mean. I remember being amazed at how polite everyone was 15 years ago when I moved here, but thats over with. The music scene has pretty much died, as the cool bars have closed and been replaced with gucci little shops that sell yuppie shopping trophies. The office space is wall to wall mortage and realty companies...almost everything else is spendy furniture stores.

I suppose it looks like heaven to folks from the city, but it is turning into a typical Generica town. It's sad...it used to be a really cool little town.

cereal said...

amazingruss,

that sucks. i used to like slo when it was a little on the funky side. old tear down houses and all. i suppose pismo can still get a little seedy around the pier. or have they ruined that too?

AmazingRuss said...

Thankfully, the Redneck Riviera is alive and well. The did tear down one old building, but appear to be using the space for parking.

They completely razed most of front street in Avila Beach though...seems Unocal had been leaking something toxic into the sand there for a couple decades and had to dig it out.

All the businesses are in a stucco strip-thing, and they are building a couple of hotels with decent looking farmhouse arhitecture. Avila may have been a bit TOO funky for me before, so I'm ambivalent about the change.

Philip John said...

""A one-month adjustment does not justify fear that the bubble is bursting..." said Lenny Jones, the vice chairman for region 31 (representing San Luis Obispo County) for the state association of Realtors."

- so there IS a bubble... just declining prices don't mean its popped?!?

Got to love Vice Chairman for State Association of Realtors.

Idiots.

Jamret Tanner said...

This is some frightening data. My wife and I are in escrow in Orange County and this information scares the heck out of me. Local economists in Southern California can't agree if there will be a retrenchment or just a slowing of the real estate market. I hope it is the latter

-JT
www.4mysales.com

cereal said...

jamret -

welcome. what's going on with the escrow?

Anonymous said...

The article didn't have the de rigeur "soft landing" descriptor. Maybe it's edited for length.

OTOH, I am suddenly aware just in the past week from reading this article and a couple of others here and there that housing is a good investment -- over a ten-year period, that is, rather than what previously has presumably been a period of time as short as you like.

Kinda like the mutual fund ads that stopped trumpeting their 1-, 2-, and 5-year return rates after 2000.

Out at the peak said...

Someone tried to defend this data by saying the volume is really low so a median price jump can be drastic.

If the volume is that low, then I think they are even in more trouble.

Dogcrap Green said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dogcrap Green said...

I have to admit when I see some of these prices I think people must be insane.

You can sell that house out there and damn near retire, or move to Baltimore and buy a nice house for $200,000 and still be able to make $75,000 a year. (Any college grad with 5 plus years can make that here).

The bubble is not every where. If you choose to live in it. You choose your own fate.

Robert Coté said...

Dogcrap Green (No dogs crap is brown) said;

You can sell that house out there and damn near retire, or move to Baltimore and buy a nice house for $200,000

I suggest you check the weather, taxes, crime, congestion and other such quality of life retirement indicators before making that suggestion.

Say you bought in SLO 1986, 20 years at age 35. You are living in 2200 sq ft on a half acre and paying
$400/mo in mortgage and $130/mo in taxes.

Weather: http://tinyurl.com/8r4kx

and still be able to make $75,000 a year. (Any college grad with 5 plus years can make that here).

Yeah but to live in Baltimore. For all the talk of insane prices we all have to admit that some part of California housing high sales prices is a premium because it is a nicer place to live and some of it is because total costs of ownership are lower.

Dogcrap Green said...

Nicer my ass.

How can living next door to a Californian be nicer than living on the east coast?

We have not even started on the food, the pollution, the liberals, the lack of culture, and so on and so on.

Come on, nobody can follow your logic.

Robert Coté said...

Dogcrap living up to his name exuded the following;

Nicer my ass.

How can living next door to a Californian be nicer than living on the east coast?


If you have to ask about the comparative crime rates you aren't prepared to discuss this calmly. you are in greater denial than the real estate no bubble believers.

We have not even started on the food, the pollution, the liberals, the lack of culture, and so on and so on.

No "we" haven't. Perhaps you can start off with some specific examples comparing the wine of the SLO region to that of Baltimore's fortified wine industry? Or maybe you want to compare politically conservative SLO to solidly liberal Baltimore politics? Maybe SLO's coastline including Hearst Castle versus the Baltimore docks? You aren't even serious. You are just trying to start a fight and your assertions are so ill supported I refuse to take them seriously.

Come on, nobody can follow your logic.

Nothing like a little direct personal insult when the facts are all against you. I laid out a common and practical list of reasons and the math to back them up as to why cashing out of SLO to retire to Baltimore is unrealistic. You take offense, tough. support your claims if you disagree. It is uncouth to to just spout of childish "is not! is not wah! and you are a stinky poo!" type replies.

AmazingRuss said...

I was surprised to learn that there are more rednecks in California than there are in my native Wyoming. California is huge, and 90% rural. Your television won't show you this.

The closer in to the cities you get, the wackier people are, but out in the vast rural expanse, everybody is pretty sane. My neigbors are ranchers and apple farmers...salt of the earth folks. This is the last frontier on earth, and where the descendents of all those crazy pioneers that got up and went for something better ended up.

Its expensive here relative to other places because its really nice although I think it has been run up beyond reason by speculators who think that will protect them. I'm betting it will revert to mean, which is more expensive than most places, but well worth the premium.

I could never live in some eastern urban armpit like Baltimore...where I am now, I get the privelege of blasting away at coyotes and wild pigs from my porch (coyotes tryin to eat the cats, pigs dig up the lawn). I suspect I would be in trouble if I were to deal with urban pests (bums, freaks, loiterers) in this manner.

But hey, to each his own. If you dig Baltimore, stay in Baltimore. We can do without more freaky cityfolk anyhow.

Anonymous said...

The locals told me that your skin and flesh fall off before nuclear warning sirens go off. Is that true or just a ploy to attract foreign investors?

Wes D said...

I was surprised to learn (upon moving to FL) that FL is in the top 10 states for cattle ranching. Florida is a very rural state. Similar to CA, when one see FL on TV it's the beaches, Miami, or something to do with the big rat (Mickey Mouse). Anyone who says FL is running out of buildable land is stupid. It's just not true. Land might be a little tight in Miami due to the everglades which some would like to cement over but it's not true anywhere else in the state.

It's amazing the difference 2 miles can make. Take I-4 between Tampa and Orlando, which was built north of the original highway, 92. I-4 is surrounded on both sides by mostly decent housing, open fields, and some kind of chain restaurant at every exit. Look at 92. On both sides are trailers with shot out windows, car salvage yards, broke and poor building supplies, etc. Certainly not the pictures that you would ever see in a Florida tourism brochure.

Florida is also full of rednecks. I live in a yuppie subdivision but about a mile down the road is a salvage yard though and a shooting club. I went over there once to do a little shooting and low and behold, I would have thought I was in Texas if I didn't know any better. Big old pickup trucks were in the lot surrounded by people carrying 10 gun cases to the range. On the other side of this range is a trailer park that looks like something out of a horror movie. Ahhh, gotta love the competing people here.

Dogcrap Green said...

I can buy a bottle of wine in my liquor store and it will taste just as good as your bottle of wine.

Try buying a good crab cake where you are at.

Now back to the "bubble". Baltimore is still appreciating in value thanks to our PREVIOUS high crime rate. We were never to high price to begin with. It has been over a year since there was a murder within a few blocks of me. Things are changing in the city. Check it out.

I saw the bubble about to pop down in DC and moved back up to Baltimore. My house in 2004 cost a whopping $116,000. Now there is a house down the street selling for $189,000. My house is a three story colonial on 1/3 of an acre. Blue collar folks can make an easy $50,000. Non-professional white collar makes between $50,000 and $75,000, and professionals make between $75,000 and $150,000 around here. The income to house price ratio is what you buble bursters dream of.

I see no reason why my house won't continue to rise at the current rate of 15% per year for years to come.



by the way me and half my neighbors are republicans. there are many neighbrhoods here with 33% repubicans. we have a republican as governor. that got elected based on his ability, not because he is clown from Hollywood.

AmazingRuss said...

"The locals told me that your skin and flesh fall off before nuclear warning sirens go off. Is that true or just a ploy to attract foreign investors?"

Actually, the hair goes first. I'm not worried though...mail pattern baldness will get it before the radiation.

The nice thing about living near the plant is food stays fresh forever! No more moldy berries!

And Mr. Baltimore: When was the last time you wore shorts, or drove with the top down? August? What you been watching on tv to fill the hours :P

000000000000000000000000000000000000 said...

I don’t give a crap where you live, it's always better with money! Baltimore, I salute your crab cakes. San Luis, your nuclear berries. The point is economic problems really take a bite out of my food budget.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Baltimore a few times a year for a week at at time. I'm sure the city suits you fine but for most people, CA is a much more desireable place to live. That is reflected in the property values here.

My option is that row houses are ugly, bars on most of the street corners is a bad thing, and nightlife should be more than dive bars. I also think cold weather sucks, muggy weather is worse.. I can go on.

You certainly could buy wine at the liquor store because you probably have a liquor store or bar in your neighborhood.

Lack of culture? Food? Compared to CA? Are you serious? How many world class restuarants are in Baltimore vs. LA? There is more cultural diversity here than in any other place in the world. Pollution - actually, that is much less of an issue now in So Cal. Baltimore does have a great rep: crime and AIDs cases (highest in the country).

And anyone can make $75k in Baltimore? Maybe. It could just be the creative industry that we are in but we are constantly trying to hire there and the lack of talent is a huge obstacle to growth.

CA by itself is the 5th largest economy in the world. And it's nice to wear sunglasses, drive with the top down, and eat outside near the ocean in the heart of winter. It will be 70 degress and sunny tomorrow. Can't wait to experience another perfect day in my spacious suburban house with a 2 car garage, pool, and good-sized backyard. Maybe I'll take the Ferrari for a spin. Enjoy Balitmore. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm in Baltimore a few times a year for a week at at time. I'm sure the city suits you fine but for most people, CA is a much more desireable place to live. That is reflected in the property values here.

My option is that row houses are ugly, bars on most of the street corners is a bad thing, and nightlife should be more than dive bars. I also think cold weather sucks, muggy weather is worse.. I can go on.

You certainly could buy wine at the liquor store because you probably have a liquor store or bar in your neighborhood.

Lack of culture? Food? Compared to CA? Are you serious? How many world class restuarants are in Baltimore vs. LA? There is more cultural diversity here than in any other place in the world. Pollution - actually, that is much less of an issue now in So Cal. Baltimore does have a great rep: crime and AIDs cases (highest in the country).

And anyone can make $75k in Baltimore? Maybe. It could just be the creative industry that we are in but we are constantly trying to hire there and the lack of talent is a huge obstacle to growth.

CA by itself is the 5th largest economy in the world. And it's nice to wear sunglasses, drive with the top down, and eat outside near the ocean in the heart of winter. It will be 70 degress and sunny tomorrow. Can't wait to experience another perfect day in my spacious suburban house with a 2 car garage, pool, and good-sized backyard. Maybe I'll take the Ferrari for a spin. Enjoy Balitmore. ;)

Anonymous said...

It's so true I had to say it twice...

Please delete accidental repost.

skytrekker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wes D said...

Dogcrap - get real.

"I see no reason why my house won't continue to rise at the current rate of 15% per year for years to come."

Baltimore will be hit hard too. Like you said earlier, many people are communting to DC. Once the prices in DC move back to reasonable levels what will keep those people from buying in DC? If the DC economy tanks who will have jobs in Baltimore? IIRC Baltimore was nothing but slums until the yuppies moved in, built Camden Yards, and the famous riverwalk.

skytrekker said...

California has a great climate

I love it! But the quality of life beyond that is horrible- housing is vastly overpriced and totally not affordable. I live in Connecticut-just NE of Hartford by 17 miles. Yes we have a winter (if thats what want you call this winter!) Mild- a bit wet- but not cold- You can buy a wonderful new colonial in eastern Connecticut on nearly 2 acres 2500 square feet for 310K- you have Boston at less then 2 hours away- Hartford and Providence with more culture then any place in California an hour or less- the ocean and golden beaches of Connecticut and Rhode Island less then an hour away- all at affordable prices! And a mild climate that is becoming milder as climate change kicks in. California is nice- but the prices one must pay is far too high-perhaps that is why I see so many California plates locally.

Dogcrap Green said...

skytrekker,

You are dancing around my point.

So many people allow "their" real estate agent to tell them what they can afford to buy. imagine if instead of someone in Boston being told he could spend $900,000, if instead he would first see what he could buy for $300,000. If he can't buy something he like, move up to $350,000, and may be he has to raise his price.

I did this when I was told they would be happy to loan me $500,000. I started at $100,000 edge my way up to $116,000. Now how the hell can you lose money on a $116,000 house? It risen ebough already in 18 months to where it would have to fall 33% before I start squeeling.

I put up with the commute for a bit to DC, but then found the job in Baltimore for equal pay. Amazing we both live near one of the greatest housing bubles on the plant. Me with DC and you with Boston. yet people here can only dream of our affordable housing.

The housing bubble only exist if you choose to become a victem. There are so many options out there to seek shelter from the storm. I can only laugh when someone responds by bragging about how much money he spends on his sports car and bad hair plugs. These fools are a real estate agents dream. They a shamed into spending more than their friends. They are the creators of the bubbles.

I came back on line to get back into the grove of handicaping sporting events. Checkout my blog and make some money while your at it.

skytrekker said...
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skytrekker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
skytrekker said...
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skytrekker said...

dogcrap
the housing market in New England is very 'unique'. Yes Boston is very pricey- yet still 200K per median less then California. Providence is 'high' at a median price at 285K- other then that the priciest metro area in New England is Fairfield Connecticut-near NYC. The Hartford Metro area, parts of western Connectuct and the 'quiet corner' of eastern CT- are really not high. A nice townhouse here can be had for well under 200K- And a 'palatial' homes in eastern CT can be bought for well under 400K. Today you have to be smart in not only economics but geography (my college minor) when you buy property. No need to move to Indiana or Kentucky- there are affordable locales in the wonderful 'BosWas' corridor that are surprisingly not bubble like in price. I may be biased- but the BOSWASH corridor is really the most disreable place to live in the USA. The region along the pacific coast from SD to San Fran has the best climate- and up to Seattle second best for climate- and overall second to BOSWASH in all attributes.

Grinch34 said...

Skytrekker, I did not know that a lot of Calafornia people are moving to Conneticut. Interesting!!!

skytrekker said...

Harrison Ford and his sweetheart just bought an 'estate' in rural eastern Connecticut near Pomfret- John Travolta has had a home in rural Windham county in eastern CT for years- Among others like Renne' and Kenny C- before they split up. Yes I see at least 1-2 cars with California plates here every day- in the town of Vernon just16 miles east of Hartford.
Why? Hmmm housing is a bargain- a new colonial in Coventry (eastern CT) on 2 acres, peaceful, wooded, over 2500 square feet -3-4 bedrooms 2.5 baths double garage, hardwood floors, fireplace, basement- try about 385K or less. Mild climate- not cold like Vermont- near the sea- less then an hour from the culture of Hartford and Providence. less then 2 hours from the 'Hub' Boston, great places to eat, museums, wineries- no freeways- nice lifestyle- but close to wonderful urban amenities. Better then anything in the heartland- where the news says many Californians are 'moving to'

read this from the L.A Times

New England's quiet corner
Alex Hershey, Lonely Planet

Although three-quarters of the state is rural, Connecticut is not the first place that springs to mind when one thinks of off-the-beaten-track New England; Mystic and the Foxwoods casino lure most visitors to the Nutmeg State. But quirky treasures abound in northeastern Connecticut, otherwise known as the Quiet Corner — a place of verdant farmland, rolling meadows, reasonably priced antiques and, most significant, an air of timelessness.


Wanderlust welcomed

Perhaps nowhere else in New England will you find such a charming valley — rife with herbariums and greenhouses, pick-your-own orchards and old-fashioned ice cream parlors, dusty antique shops and agreeable B&Bs — so close to major urban areas (an hour's drive from Hartford, Conn., or Boston). Here are some of the area's prime draws, but wandering without a destination is also strongly encouraged.

Herbal essence

First stop is the town of Coventry. Lovers of herbs in all their fresh or dried majesty dare not miss Caprilands, a spectacular herb farm. More than two-dozen themed gardens — such as the Shakespeare and the Bridal — span the 50-acre property. Reserve at least a week in advance for a spot at the Saturday luncheon lectures ($25) or Sunday high teas ($15).

Country roads

Designated by Scenic America, an organization dedicated to preserving beauty and character, as a Top 10 scenic byway, two-lane Connecticut 169 meanders north-south; in particular, the 12 or so miles between Brooklyn and Woodstock induce sighs of contentment and demand frequent pullovers. Brooklyn is home to one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the country, where skillet tossing and lawn-mower racing share the bill with traditional livestock and produce events.

Drinks and a hayride

Brooklyn may best be known, however, for the Golden Lamb Buttery, where dinner is more than just a plate of food. Guests mingle over drinks and head out for a hayride before dining on the award-winning fare. You'll need to reserve several weeks ahead for the experience. Even if you can't squeeze in a meal at the 1,000-acre working farm, do drive a few miles up Wolf Den Road to be rewarded with views of pastoral perfection.

Help wanted

If your fingers are itching for some manual labor, pull over at one of the myriad pick-your-own sites, such as Woodstock Orchards in Woodstock (blueberries in July and August; apples Sept. 1 through Oct. 17) or Lapsley Orchard (200 acres of apples in the Bush Hill Historic District) in Pomfret Center. If you're feeling lazy, stock up on all sorts of produce at the orchards' stands. For mementos that will last longer than the car ride home, nearby Putnam attracts antique hunters to its idyllic streets.

Where to stay

Cozy bed-and-breakfasts abound, although many require a two-night stay. Check websites for special packages. Friendship Valley Inn has five rooms with private baths, and a full gourmet breakfast is included; double rooms from $140; 60 Pomfret Road, Brooklyn, CT 06234; (860) 779-9696, http://www.friendshipvalleyinn.com . Feather Hill B&B is a spacious, casual country inn; double rooms from $110; 151 Masahmoquet Road, Pomfret, CT 06259, (866) 963-0522, http://www.featherhillbedandbreakfast.com . Close to the University of Connecticut is the Fitch House, a Greek Revival home built in 1836; double rooms from $110; 563 Storrs Road, Mansfield Center, CT 06250, http://www.fitchhouse.com .

Where to eat

The Vanilla Bean Café serves lunch and dinner in a converted 19th century farmhouse, with evening meals in the $14 to $20 range; at the intersection of Connecticut 44 and 169, (860) 928-1562, http://www.thevanillabeancafe.com . Reserve as early as possible for the Golden Lamb Buttery, lunch from $25 Tuesdays through Saturdays, prix fixe dinner $65 Fridays and Saturdays only; 499 Wolf Den Road, Brooklyn; (860) 774-4423.

Getting there

America West, United, US Airways, Northwest, American, Delta and Southwest offer connecting service between LAX and Hartford; restricted round-trip fares begin at $218.

To learn more

Contact Northeast Connecticut's Quiet Corner (800) 863-6569, http://www.ctquietcorner.org or the Last Green Valley (860) 963-7226, www.thelastgreenvalley.org.

Marvin Gardens said...

Six months ago we moved from the CA sprawl-burbs of SF Bay Area to luxurious Farmington Valley. We experienced vast gains in quality-of-life/cost-of-living balance. It wasn't easy to get over the psychological mindset that California is paradise. The whole process of uprooting and getting used to a new place can be quite overwhelming, but we love it here more and more each day.

Just some of the great things about CT (in random order):
--Abbots Lobster
--Drive to Québec City
--take my daughter sledding
--NYC
--Boston
--Fall foliage
--old taverns
--a sense of history
--hardly any road rage
--no six-lane freeways
--people recognize you and great you by name
--way better pizza
--Luke's Donuts
--Toshi Sushi
--life on a human scale!

Anonymous said...

I heard 500,000 people moved out of California in this boom. Who the heck is moving in, Chinese?

skytrekker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
skytrekker said...

Marvin Gardens

guess I was not wrong about those disccovering Connecticut form CA.
Met a 38 year old man recently born in San Fran. relocated to Eastern Connecticut- loves it- saw a Lexus SUV this morning with CA plates- seems thats the 'choice vehicle' out there now.

The Farmington Valley is very pretty
do try visiting the eastern part of the state- route 169- also pay Sharpe Hill Vineyards in Promfret a visit- charming restuarant- and surprisingly good wines- with the mild winter thus far- next summer might be good for the local vinters. While in eastern CT- venture to Putnam-Antique Capital of the North east- and go to Providence RI its really a wonderful city. Good luck in Connecticut- we have a high quality of life here- you where smart enough to discover that. I was once caught in the 'paradise syndrome' of California- I also got over it many years ago.

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