Real Estate Market Surprises This Summer – Southern California

Half million dollar house in Salinas, Californ...

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 – Article by CaliforniaGermans contributor Claudia Gardner –   

Though summer is usually considered  a great time for real estate, this July proved to be a challenging surprise. As of August 24th, the New York Times reported: “Housing Sales plunged 25.5% in July”.  In spite of this, local markets in Orange County as well as in Los Angeles have continued to show a substantial amount of sales.  Here are a few examples:   

 July Sales Single Family Homes

Huntington Beach………………………..         126 Sales   

Santa Ana……………………………………..        178 Sales   

Anaheim………………………………………          136 Sales   

Los Angeles…………………………………..          610 Sales   

Long Beach ……………………………………         301 Sales   

 In Orange County and Los Angeles people seem to still be inclined to take advantage of what is really a great time to buy. With interest rates at around 4.5% on a 30 year fixed loan and prices substantially more affordable than some years ago, this is not the time to sit on the sidelines.   

You may be wondering where to find the best purchases available today.  Buyers are always looking for short sales and foreclosures.  Short Sales are properties where, the seller owes more on the property than what it is worth, is no longer able to make the mortgage payment and has no choice but to do a short sale or let it go to foreclosure.  On a short sale the bank needs to approve the short sale, which means they must approve their own loss.  Needless to say the banks are not too eager to do that.  That is why short sales can take anywhere from 60 days to over 1 year to be approved.  And sometimes the bank still forecloses.   

In the past few years the foreclosures available for sale were oftentimes in miserable shape and therefore priced below market value.  Today there are few foreclosures on the market (the banks are holding on to them ) and the ones that are for sale are more often than not remodeled to a certain extent and priced at current market rates.  In conclusion, today it is not necessarily true that short sales and foreclosures are the best properties to save money on.  Standard sales that serve your need for a home can oftentimes be a better purchase, especially if the seller needs to sell soon.   

This article is part of CaliforniaGermans’  monthly column on Real Estate in California. We would love to hear from you and get your feedback.  Please let us know what kind of concerns with the housing market you might have or what Real Estate question is on your mind.  What would you like to have discussed in more detail in this section?  Send us a comment or an email to CaliforniaGermans@gmail.com

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CLAUDIA GARDNER has a professional background in Real Estate and a bachelors degree in Business Administration. Raised by German parents in Brazil, she is fluent in German, Portuguese, English and Spanish. Claudia has lived in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa for the last 34 year and loves selling real estate and helping people with all their real estate needs. More  up to date information on California housing can be found on her e-newsletter: http://claudiagardner.housingtrendsenewsletter.com

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