Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inland SoCal: House Prices at 20 Year Low

by Bill McBride on 6/10/2009 01:47:00 AM

When I saw the title of the following article, I was wary that the median price was being distorted by the mix of homes being sold (a mix of more low end homes lowers the median). But Peter Hong at the LA Times gives some specific examples of prices going back 20 years or more.

From the LA Times: Median home prices drop below 1989 levels in some parts of Southland

To return to the past, take a stroll down Mulberry Avenue in Lancaster. John A. Beatrice, 55, bought his spacious two-story Spanish-style house there brand-new for $120,000 in 1989. It was a price he could comfortably afford, and he planned on staying through retirement, so he wasn't worried about price swings.
...
But he never imagined his neighborhood would drop off the charts. In April, a slightly larger home two doors away sold for $66,500. That's just over half the $130,000 it went for new in 1992. In 2005, that house sold for $330,000.
And another example ...
[Patricia] Hynes bought her three-bedroom home in Lancaster brand-new for $119,000 in 1989 ... Her home is an island in a sea of repos. Houses on both sides have fallen into foreclosure; one is priced $10,000 less than the amount she paid 20 years ago.

Nearby, a four-bedroom, 2,100-square-foot home sold in May for $89,000.
Most of these areas are suffering negative absorption (families are moving out) and are the least desirable areas in SoCal. And there are more foreclosures coming ...
Another tsunami of foreclosures is threatening to swamp an already saturated market. In Palmdale and Lancaster, 903 homes were sold in April, but according to ForeclosureRadar, more than 7,500 are in some stage of foreclosure.

Some buyers who thought they were getting bargains didn't. In Lancaster, Beatrice's eldest son, Daniel, bought a house near his father's for $175,000 in April 2008; comparable properties are now selling for about $95,000.
Get ready for 1979 prices!

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