February 26, 2006

HP readers - post your local conditions here

Sea of for sale signs or still hot?

Realtors scrambling for new employement or shopping for new Lexuses?

Neighbors starting to freak out, or bragging about huge gains still?


Anonymous said...

Charlotte, NC - This has been a rational market for several years. There are neighborhoods with extreme valuation changes like Chantilly, Plaza-Midwood, Dilworth with 20% appreciation, but due to gentrification and "new money" moving in. Most of the city sees modest 4 to 5 percent gains. It's really not hard at all to buy a nice 3 br 2 single family home with garage, for $150K.

Where we might be seeing a bubble is with uptown condominiums... prices in the $250-$350K range which sounds very expensive to locals, although not perhaps to the northeasterners mving here.

On the whole though, I think even with the uptown condos we will not see a collapse... just moderation in pricing once a "resale market" becomes established. As long as the big corps in uptown are maintaining full employement, anyway.

Anonymous said...

At the Jersey Shore, (Monmouth/ Ocean), the houses stay on the market much longer, then reduce. Some of the newer listings are asking ridiculous prices b/c the summer "buying" season is approaching. Realtors are still insisting, "the seasonal rush is coming", "you will never loose your value in this area", "pay your own mortgage (don't rent)","this one won't last", etc.
Almost every realtor I talk to will not admit to a bubble - they are all think the summer rush will bring in loads of buyers.
The houses I have looked at are all disgusting, so much updating to be done. I check them out on zillow.com data, and they are overpriced by @$150k. Every realtor I talk to about the high prices gets very offended. I'll mention making a lower offer and they go,..."well, how low!?" Like I have some nerve! They also tell me all the great things I can do to make the house nicer, (add on, remove wall, new kitchen)... No shit! Of course I am thinking about removing the linolium from the floors, but I am not adding that expense to the ridiculous asking price, I use that to take off $$ from the asking price.
I don't know what to believe.
I certainly do not trust anything the realtors say. I watch them them drive up to meet me (in their expensive cars), then listen to them make their sales pitch. It is obvious most of them have little education, no class and no morales. It is creepy having to listen to them try to sell me on a nasty house. I feel like I am in a cheap, used car lot and want to run like hell.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Pasadena California. South Orange Grove Blvd. Not too many signs out there. I reported on a condo a way back that just fell out of escrow. Original ask 1.3+mil,2 reductions to around 7 or 800K, now back on the market with no flyer and no realtor name or reduced sign. Next door a flipper condo came on for $798 that was bought in November for $650. This place was a shi% hole. The guy that sold it smoked like a chimeney in there for 20 years and had 2 dogs. It still has the faint smell of crap. Ghost open house this Saturday. The weather is like Spring here. I think the NAR will try to postpone spring till september 2018.

Anonymous said...

The realtors have been brain washed by NAR propoganda. Add to this the low entry level of their job and bingo. Houston, we have a wanker. Add to that their past success and just see how many folks like them. I think we are looking at the bad rap occupation of the future. Move over used car dealer.

cereal said...

realtors who rent should keep an eye on their own future and look for ways to drive down house prices. they've got to have some sense that things are winding down, and they will never ever afford a house either.

so when these people are waiting tables at denny's next year they can at least have a shot at buying a $75,000 condo.

Anonymous said...

Florida panhandle coast here. Prices have gone up insanely these past few years, and there are about 50 condo projects either in planning or under construction here. (There's a concrete wall running for miles along the beach, which now has all the charm of an inner city.)

Condo sales are down, though, and rumor has it that people are walking away from their deposits. Many of these projects are too far along to abandon, though, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Only a few months ago, when "investors" and "snowbirds" were grabbing up everything with both hands, houses often sold within days, but now they are sitting, sitting, sitting. Sellers are making reductions, but not enough to matter in a market that is overvalued by 45% and where, it seems, everything is suddenly for sale. There are currently about 7,000 MLS listings here, in an area with a total population of only about 170,000. According to one of the area newspapers, sales here were down 20% in the last quarter of 2005.

The biggest developer in the area is St. Joe Company, which throws up the very expensive fake "communities" designed to present a Disneyfied version of rural Florida. Their stock has dropped by a quarter since last summer, but they're still building like gangbusters.

Despite all this, the local realtors and construction people, who make up 15% of the local workforce, are keeping up the happytalk, telling everyone who will listen that spring is coming and things will take off again.

We shall see soon enough.

nycazblogger said...

Phoenix - It appears as if 1 out of every 4 houses have "For Sale" signs here. Over the last 13 months, prices have gone insane. I rent in an investor owned condo/townehouse complex that converted about 10 months ago. Many units still unoccupied. Most are for rent through investors. This weekend there are three open houses in the complex. I'm near the Paradise Valley Mall and these units are nice, they're extremely overpriced at $350K, but slowly going down. They've been available for 10 months. Behind this complex is a brand new one going up that I'm curious if it will be completed. There are several condo conversions in the area that sit empty with extremely overvalued asking prices. It seems when I talk to people in the area they have no clue about what appears to me as an obvious blow-up in the near future. Almost half of the people I know are employed in some way by the housing market. Mortgage brokers are becoming more agressive in finding new clients and realtors that were arrogant just months ago are now trying to hide their desperation by pretending to be friendly. Price reductions and motivated sellers everywhere here.

BigDaddy63 said...

I listened to a local real estate agent/broker/mortgage guy/'expert" on the radio today. According to him (lol) this is nothing more than a "lull" in the market- a "leveling off". This should be seen as a buying opportunity. He also told people that wanted to purchase a second home to convert their fixed 15 and 30 year mortgages ( one was a 15 year 5% one) to I/O's and use the equity to buy the second home.

We are not at the point where reality has set in yet.

Anonymous said...

I agree with bigdaddy63, huge denial going on about the market. Even so, these realtors should be more honest. They still can sell houses, but now have to work for the money...no more sitting back and letting the MLS sell. Scare tactics aimed at buyers aren't working anymore.
I own a home on the east coast in FL and there is so much for sale and homes aren't selling. I am now waiting for prices to adjust in NJ before I buy here. I am in no hurry to throw my money away. If I see a listing expire that I am interested in, I'll approach owner and cut out the realtor, automatically taking 5-6% off the price. As far as I can tell, nothing on the coast of NJ is moving quickly either.

Rob Dawg said...

Ventura County, saw something new this morning; a "For Sale" sign with a placard reading: BACK ON MARKET. As if falling out of escrow was a good thing.

blogger said...

nyazblogger - I saw those apartments go condo. great stock art photography in the one page az republic ads. the standard 'pre-public release' reservations.

$350k or $3000 a month in carrying costs for an apartment that rents for what - $1000 a month?

Anonymous said...

Westlake Village, CA where avg home is $1.1M: some price reductions, some sellers pulling homes off the market after no bites in the past 4-5 months. One I walk past almost daily was priced at $979K last August, now priced at $849K with different realtor and open houses are slow to empty. I imagine the "staging" profession/painters/etc are booming right now and there will be a lot more put on the market when spring hits. People with kids seem content to stay put and wait it out, but young single people are ready to move to cheaper states when they can. Countrywide, which has its headquarters down the road, is relocating some of its people to cheaper labor markets, and this results in a fair amount of downsizing because people with kids don't really want to relocate to Appalacia or Mongolia.

Anonymous said...

The last time there were any real estate bubbles in Texas were in 1985 before the oil bust and in 2000 before the dot.com bust. Prices in most areas have not recovered to 2000 levels, and in some extreme cases have not even recovered to 1985 levels. You can still buy those nice homes with granite countertops in Texas for $100 per square foot if you shop wisely.

Anonymous said...

maui HI, houses & condos seem to sit on the market forever. Only people who can afford are from the mainland. Prices dont seem to have dropped.

Anonymous said...

Not a ton of inventory on the market but what is here is behaving very oddly:

I've been watching the craftsmans in a certain neighborhood (like a 12 block radius) since fall.

As a point of reference, these are homes that were @160- 180K 8 years ago.

So in Fall '05 they're on the market for 700-800K. And just sitting and sitting.

By mid-Feb. '06 the same type of houses are coming up with 500-550K price tags.

The people who listed a few months back at 7-800 have not lowered their prices (well, one did-10K drop!!??!!!).

So now a buyer can look at 2 practically identical houses across the street from each other. One's 750K, the other 550K.

Neither is selling. There is some massive confusion going on here about what's a right price for a house and apparently the buyers are just as confused as anyone cuz nobody's running to snatch up the 500K "deal".

I've been watching RE for almost 30 years and have never seen anything as bizarre as this market.

Anonymous said...

Here at southern York County PA,30 miles north of Baltimore bubbleland, its confusedly mixed.
One house,1 to 2 acre lot,rediculous
price,sells in a week. Another almost identical house,1 to 2 acre lot,rediculous price,sits for six months/a year or more,no offers. Same goes for reasonably priced(for this area) homes, or just plain land with nothing on it. We are getting a large influx of Baltimore/Washington idiots who seem to think its worth the 2-3 hour commute one way. Some downright worthless propertys have sold for unbelievably amazing amounts lately with no one living in them (obvious flippers from down Balt/Wash way.) Other fairly nice places with fair prices are going begging.You could probably say that this is a semi(or percentage) bubble area. I think if we were not so close to the Balt/Wash bubble, prices would be stagnate,if not in the minus column. No bread-and-butter jobs in this area, and no reason to move here. You stay here only because its 'home'! The only thing rising is the property tax assessments whenever a flipper/investor pays too much for a place down the same road you live on. And of course,once the taxes go up,they DO NOT go back down,EVER!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been watching, Philadelphia, PA; Venice, FL; and Spokane, WA:

Philly has many houses on the market but they do not seem to be going down in price, this story is repeated in WA and FL.

Don't know what's going on. And I don't know who can afford these homes when we make 500,000 a year and would never dream of paying over a million for a home.

Anonymous said...

Sacramento,Ca-I am 39 sos to say I have seen this happen before would be inaccurate. I was more or less a casual observer. There are a couple stages to a real estate bust. The first is the top which has clearly come. The second is when there are 10 and 15 % price reductions adn everyone who buys believes they got a great deal (This is what we are experiencing right now). Next is the pending recession or worse when prices crash. Don't scratch your head and wonder why the market doesn't crash this Spring. The economy will falter a few quarters after construciont slows. That is a occurring right now ( durable goods orders were down 10 % last month). Think this year is ugly? Wait until 2007.

Anonymous said...

Dupage, IL

Dupage Reduced Total

1/31/05 1398 7573
2/1/05 1404 7588
2/2/06 1429 7635
2/3/05 1437 7655
2/6/06 1429 7659
2/7/06 1446 7694
2/8/06 1449 7709
2/9/06 1474 7729
2/10/06 1503 7774
2/13/06 1528 7815
2/14/06 1539 7850
2/15/06 1556 7879
2/16/06 1596 7901
2/17/06 1611 7932
2/21/06 1654 7994
2/22/06 1701 8050
2/23/06 1730 8079
2/24/06 1739 8083
2/27/06 1766 8117

Can you see the trend, not a day goes by without more houses on the market or listings with decreases.

Said thing is only one Chicago builder has seen the light, 20k (was 35k) price cuts.


Anonymous said...

I've been watching houses around Arlington Va (and a few neighborhoods in DC). Houses below 515k still selling but there is almost nothing in that range. Tons of stuff above it and not moving. Why? because if there are only 25 houses priced below 515k and 200 or so above who is going to move into the higher? Just those 5 (and they appear to be seniors going into nursing homes judging from how small, old and unkept the houses are). Also, a fair amount that first appeared to be bought actually were relisted on MLS after about a week.

Anonymous said...

Southern Jersey Shore (Atlantic, Cape May) seeing huge inventory increases. The Press of Atlantic City reported last week that the Ocean City, NJ market has already seen prices fall by 10% since summer. Even more amazing, the Realtors quoted in the article still insist real estate is a no lose siuation!? Are they for real? Also recntly reported was that the Atlantic City regional market is overvalued by 58% considering demographics, incomes, ect. Real estate never goes down though. Please.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:16:

Yes, I have seen the same thing on the Seattle MLS, properties taken off and then re-listed under a different number in a week or 2.

Most are re-listed with a lower price. But one came back on (after several price reductions under it's first go-around) at a slightly higher price than it's final price at the previous # !

Buyers are going to have to be very careful in researching property pricing history before buying if they're out they're looking right now.

Who the heck would want to buy a house for the 625K Asking Price this week if it was on the market 2 weeks ago for 618K !?!?

You get the feeling everyone is just hop-skotching around cuz they don't know where the heck this things gonna land.

skytrekker said...

Central north eastern CT here....
Priced stopped rising third quarter 2005- inventories up the most since 1997-1998. Market has slowed, but appreciation here though rapid since 2002- is at least rational, with median incomes able to afford prices. Downside -few new jobs being created. Real estate is not an important cog to the local economy. Unless you work at HD or Lowes, or a sub/ contractor. They will hurt soon.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the two posts about Seattle - didn't sellers in Seattle get the bubble memo?

Anything in the 400-500k are moving but anything above 600k are sitting.

A lot of denial in the sellers still

Anonymous said...

I live in Grand Juction, CO, and house prices here have been appreciating at 15%-20% a year since '01. This is well above the state average and IMO much of it has been fueled by refugees from CA. Locals earn an average of $15/hr, so not many are looking for those $600K homes! There seems to be a big divergence developing between the asking prices for resales and the price of new homes. In one case a 2100SF resale is listed at $480K, and two blocks away a similar 2200SF new home is listed at $670K. BTW Zillow values the $480K stucco palace at $361K - LOL!

answer-man said...

ps I'm having a little trouble sending comments so if I do it twice please excuse me and I apologize.

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