Mortgage Delinquencies Lowest in 6 Years – Good News

Fewer Delinquent Mortgage Payments, Better for You

Reports out this week revealed that fewer U.S. homeowners are delinquent on their mortgage payments. The numbers indicate that the late-payment rate on home loans hit the lowest level in six years the third week in August, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. All good news to report – in fact these latest mortgage delinquency numbers are down from the first quarter of this year, when they were at 3.61 percent.

Housing Market Recovery: It’s REAL

The steady decline in home payment delinquencies, which has been consistent over the past two years, indicates that the American housing market is absolutely in recovery. In case anyone is still leery of a housing bubble, and there are hold-outs, this fact — recovery that is— is further bolstered by the home sales rebounding while foreclosures are steadily declining. Newsday reports that the good news is due in part to a decline and slow elimination of the “bad” home loans of 2008 and earlier, many of which resulted in foreclosures. At this time, some of the delinquency improvement can be directly attributed to more and more of these “bad” loan accounts being closed—most of the homes from this era have been sold or foreclosed upon— and an improvement in job growth and the economy. For those who are still suspect, I should say that this was big enough news that all of the major reporting agencies picked it up as a lead story last week including the Associated Press. Notably, this is definitely not self-adulatory reporting from realty associations in an effort to promote home sales. These are real numbers.

What Does This Mean for Home Owners/Buyers?

What does this mean for you as a home owner or potential home buyer? Well, that’s the best part of this news. Mortgage rates are falling and home values are increasing as a result of fewer delinquencies. According to The Wall Street Journal in an article titled, U.S. Existing-Home Sales Up 2.4% in July, The National Association of Realtors released a statement last week. It read in part:

The U.S. housing recovery gained traction in July as sales of previously owned homes rose to their highest level in 10 months. Not only were sales last month at their highest level since last September, but fewer transactions came from short sales of underwater homes and foreclosures.

Chris Christopher, consumer markets expert at IHS Global, also spoke to Fox News Business last week in the wake of the recent positive reports. He said that many Americans have improved their finances now that we are out of the recession. making them more likely to make on-time mortgage payments. Added Christopher:

What you can see here are consistent improvements; American households are doing relatively better. Household net worth is improving and people who have been foreclosed on have worked their way through the system.

Christopher added that IHS predicts “disposable income will make strong gains in 2013” making everyone more financially comfortable.

Isn’t nice to read some good news for a change?

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected real estate agent in Ventura and Los Angeles counties for over a decade. Lydia has been honored with the Platinum Award from Keller Williams International and a #2 Ranking Individual Agent in Keller Williams Westlake Village. Thinking of purchasing your dream home? Contact Lydia Gable today for consultation or call (818) 934-8902.

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Home Sales: Summer Isn’t Over Yet

It’s not too late to take advantage of the summer home-selling spree which typically amps up from May to August. Assuming you make the right choice by selecting an experienced real estate agent, you could be in a new home by summer’s end. Knowing how to out-list the competition and get your asking price is the first step. But there are many lesser known tips that can move the process long more expeditiously. A recent article in The Huffington Post, titled 6 Seller Secrets for This Summer’s Real Estate Market breaks down the summer home sale in a really accessible way. According to the article—next to choosing your real estate agent—the most important thing is to know your market and know your numbers. Said the feature:

Sixty percent of all homes in 2014 will be bought and sold from May to August.

The article goes on to say that you have the best chance if you put your home on the market at the beginning of the season. However while that is mostly true, you do stand a better chance, I don’t think that it’s so crucial in certain regions like Southern California where the rules can be broken slightly. So sellers, if you want to take advantage of summer home sale season, there’s still time…

Incidentally, I use all of these tips in my work with clients. So I thought I would share. Here are a few of their secrets to the “summer sell”.

  • The Price is Right … Or Is It?

Price it right, price it right! I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing how to price your home. For this you must be willing to have a good, honest conversation with a realtor who knows first-hand what works in the listing area! I live and work in Westlake Village, so when I price a home, I know exactly what I’m talking about. The key thing to remember, says the article:

Look back no more than 60 days. The sale price of homes that sold recently paints a much better picture of what to expect than the price of homes that sold six months ago.

  • Social Media Sells – Make It POP!

Make sure your listing pops on a computer AND on a smartphone. So many more buyers are looking up listings on their iPhone or iPad before they come out to buy. You can’t afford to skip this step. Ask your real estate agent if you can see other similar listings on your phone. Thu Huff Postpiece adds:

Great homes with mediocre quality photos will be quickly discarded and ultimately get less showings.

  • Manage Your Expectations

Don’t expect a bidding war on your home, says the author, Michael Corbett – they are not as common any more. But it is reasonable to expect your home to sell to one fantastic buyer for your desired asking price. While I still have bidding wars on “for sale” homes, he’s right it’s not the market of old. So really the ultimate goal is to SELL and sell well.

Lastly I would add, choose a realtor who knows the market and has weathered the rises and falls. And choose a realtor who really knows the area in which you are selling your home. There is no substitute for an experienced agent who walks the walk and talks the talk! You can’t teach experience…

Lydia Gable is an experienced real estate agent in Westlake Village with over a decade of experience. If you’re ready to sell your home, the real estate agent you choose could be a deciding factor in how quickly your property moves. In today’s world, the housing market is volatile and challenging. Choose an agent who will be with you every step of the way from listing to closing. Lydia Gable works strategically to position your home for sale right down to negotiating so you receive top dollar. Contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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A Snapshot of the Best Places to Live SoCal

Agoura Hills

Agoura Hills is a beautiful and affluent community about one half hour outside of Los Angeles which makes for an easy commute. This Los Angeles County city is home to a state-of-the-art civic center and offers a variety of cultural and outdoor activities for the whole family including horse riding and trails – some of the best. One of the faves is Malibu Riders in Agoura Hills. Take advantage of the 2 hour Malibu Creek ride! Agoura Hills is a very family-friendly community not to mention it boasts 200+ sunny days each year, so of course outdoor activities abound! Some other fun choices offered here include, pee-wee yoga, hiking, fencing, and even senior socials. So if you have an elderly loved one living with you, this is a community where they have options to get out and enjoy. The weather is great and there are fun activities to enjoy. Additionally Agoura Hills is consistently ranked one of the safest cities in the country. Most recently ranked 14 out of the 50 Safest Cities, according to Safewise, “the FBI’s Crime Report states that authorities were made aware of just three robberies in 2011.”

Calabasas

Situated in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley, Calabasas is not only beautiful with a temperate climate, but it’s also a leader in the green movement. Made famous by its one-time residents, the Kardashians and Justin Bieber, it’s so much more than a celebrity haven. Families enjoy its quaint community feel while still being a stone’s throw from the Malibu beach or a short ride to Los Angeles. Another city that consistently makes the “safe” list and ranked 13 out the 50 Safest Cities, Calabasas, according to the latest FBI Crime Report as reported by Safewise, only had three robberies reported to authorities in 2011. Also, for those who care about environmental issues, you will undoubtedly be impressed with all of the green initiatives offered by the city. Lastly, as a resident, you will have the privilege of enjoying sunset concerts at Calabasas Lake, tennis and swimming at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, or day trips to the many parks in the community.

Westlake Village

A little lakeside community surrounded by a golf course and situated between Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills, Westlake is the perfect affluent, Southern California community in which to settle down. Upscale dining and shopping at The Promenade or boating and fishing at Westlake Lake – take your pick! It’s all here. But whether you choose this area for investment or to purchase your dream home, residents have access to North Ranch Country Club and the award winning Westlake Golf Course not to mention it’s only a short 30 minutes to the city of Los Angeles and a short drive to Malibu. Additionally, the public schools are ranked some of the top in the country. According to GreatSchools.com, Westlake Village on average spends $12000 + per student. Several Westlake Village public elementary and high schools ranked 9 out of 10 on their list with 10 being best.

Lydia Gable sells and lists homes in Agoura Hilla, Westlake Village and Calabasas. Even better she lives, works and plays in the Westlake Village. If you need a realtor with years of proven experience and a real appreciation for the community in which you’ll purchase or sell your home, contact Lydia Gable today.

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The ‘Buffett’ Approach to Real Estate Investing

Warren Buffett recently penned a letter for the benefit of those who are interested in real estate investing. Of course I think anyone—not only real estate investors—could find value after reading it just by virtue of his expansive knowledge. Interestingly enough he refers to the experts, the pundits as offering nothing but impediments to success, mere chatter. He implies that you don’t need to be a real estate expert to invest well. The irony is, at least in my humble opinion, that he sounds every bit the expert—which obviously he is—in his attempt to make it accessible for every wo/man. As a realtor, I thought of course that I should share some of what Buffett believes are contributing factors to his own success. It’s an interesting read – I’m neither endorsing it nor refuting it. My aim: simply to share the information.

‘Expectations Proved Out’

As reported by Fortune Magazine, they state that in an “exclusive excerpt from his upcoming shareholder letter, Warren Buffett looks back at a pair of real estate purchases and the lessons they offer for equity investors.” In the letter, Buffett’s annual letter: What you can learn from my real estate investments, Buffett cites two of his early investments—a farm and an NYU property— which he describes as good lifetime investments and both of which he says in terms of the gains, “won’t be dramatic [but] will be solid and satisfactory holdings for my lifetime and, subsequently, for my children and grandchildren.”

Of the 400 acre farm investment which was made in 1986, he says that he had no unusual intelligence to conclude if it was a good or poor investment. He knew nothing about the industry. But he had a son who loved farming, and so he calculated some costs v. ROI numbers. He figured “both how many bushels of corn and soybeans the farm would produce and what the operating costs. Then he held these numbers up against a calculation of the normalized return from the farm which he figured at about 10%. He also thought productivity would improve over time. He says, ‘Both expectations proved out.”

‘Recognize Your Limitations’

Mainly Buffett cites these examples to show that he needed no unusual knowledge or intelligence to conclude that the investment had no downside and potentially had a substantial upside. Almost 30 years later the farm has tripled its earnings and is worth five times more than the original price. He stresses however it was based on his own analysis and business sense not so called fear chatter from experts which seems to be the big takeaway from the letter. Finally he offers these takeaways which I believe are very valuable for any real estate purchase:

  • You don’t need to be an expert. But if you aren’t, recognize your limitations and follow a course certain to work reasonably well. When promised quick profits, respond with a quick “no.”
  • Focus on the future productivity of the asset. If you don’t feel comfortable making a rough estimate of future earnings, forget it and move on.

Know Your Gut and Your Realtor!

Essentially it boils down to this: Do your homework, know what you like, trust your gut and don’t bail on an investment because you listened to other people’s fear. Before you bail, give it time, there will always be less than favorable markets, but trust your own sense and that the market will return.

Many real estate investors could have used his letter a couple years back. Of course it’s easy to have confidence in your investing decisions when your name is Warren Buffett. But none the less, we all have to start somewhere. But I would add one last small note to his infinite wisdom…find a Realtor that can help you figure out your gut!

For information on any information covered in this blog or list a home or view listings in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Summer 2014: The Secret to the Home Sale

In light of my recent article, Summer SoCal Housing Market Update: ‘Normal’, and after readingThe Huffington Post piece titled, 6 Seller Secrets for This Summer’s Real Estate Market, I thought it was the perfect time for a Part 2 to my summer update.

The Huffington Post article points out in part:

Right Now = A Great Time To Sell…Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, so buyers ARE poised to buy and ready to hit the streets.

It’s true – we are now in a very specific seller’s market and it’s likely to turn soon into a buyer’s market. So what are some seller secrets to optimize your listing, get your asking price, and close quickly… especially if you need to move before the kid’s return to school? Skipping the obvious— partner with a very experienced Realtor who knows the area and the market—here are a few tips from experts that I find highly beneficial if you’re ready to sell now.

The Price is Right! Come on Home!

Price your home right. This is such a key factor to a successful home sale and it all rests on choosing the right real estate agent. If you price your home too high or low it’s akin to building a home on quick sand. Says author, Michael Corbett, Trulia’s real estate and lifestyle expert, in TheHuffington Post piece:

This last quarter, prices started to slow nationally — and pricing is a critical component to getting your house sold. With this fluctuating market, you need to look at comps of similar homes in your area.

The Selling Season

Since it is summer, take advantage of that “given”. First, most people are probably hoping to move before the fall season. Also it’s the season to enjoy the outdoors so people are likely to pay more attention to local activities and outdoor fun in the prospective area. If it were Christmas you might have a Poinsettia plant in the foyer. It’s summer so highlight the activities near you – maybe the great schools and camps for children since they will be returning soon or the parks and nature trails surrounding the neighborhood. Take a look at my recent article on Westlake Village, Summer in Westlake Village is Hot, Hot Hot!. As you can see, this area would be irresistible to an nature-lover so you would highlight that in the sale. But no matter where you live, highlight the season. An article on BadgerRealty.com, quotes Karla Badger and suggests this important ‘summer selling tool’.

Just walking into a home with plenty of sunlight and plant-life brings a smile to my face. It allows the home to breath better and can freshen up the home [especially] if it’s been buttoned up all winter.’ Freshly cut grass give a better presentation for drive-bys and adding some flowers or flowering shrubs can complete the look to attract more buyers.

Drive Traffic To Your Open House Not the Beach…

Although this is a prime summer seller’s market, it also presents its challenges. Families have plans that don’t make searching for a home seem like a fun option. The weather is great so when it comes to choosing between the open house or the pool BBQ down the street, the temptation can lean toward relaxation and fun. So how do you ensure the open house is packed? Your realtor must have great online photos, real estate apps, and top marketing skills. Make certain to view your agent’s online listings and ask how they would market the home. Most home buyers now search with home buyer mobile apps. The listings should look stellar whether on iphone or on your computer.

Lydia Gable: Experience Counts

In this summer selling season, choose your realtor well, prepare the home, and just as important, the listing so you can be assured of an optimal sale. If all is done well, you should be ready to settle into your new dream home by the fall just in time for hot chocolate and lovely nights by the fire. Lastly, enjoy the summer and stay safe! Remember, if you need a realtor, choose one who lives and works in the area. Lydia Gable has over a decade of experience in real estate including in a volatile market. Contact Lydia Gable today. If you are searching for a luxury home in the Conejo Valley area, Lydia Gable is the smart choice. Read more here.

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Summer SoCal Housing Market Update: ‘Normal’

The Southern California housing market update for summer 2014, while still hot, has settled from a high boil to a more stabilized ‘normal’ temp – at least compared to last year’s explosive growth. While the numbers aren’t quite on fire, the market is still doing well compared to the dark days of the housing crash. According to a report last week on DQNews:

An estimated 39,254 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in June. That was up 4.0 percent from 37,734 in May, and down 4.3 percent from 41,027 sales in June 2013. June sales have varied from a low of 35,202 in 2008 to a high of 76,669 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 19.8 percent below the average of 48,929 sales for all the months of June since 1988. [But] Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and peak levels reached in the last five years.

A Seller’s Zone: Time to List…

Although the market has cooled slightly over the past month or so, it’s a seller’s zone. Prices have not yet begun to drop. It may take some time for prices to reflect a demand and begin to fall. But you should expect prices to fall—if the index continues to dip— to a Buyer’s zone. How does this affect you? Well, many Ventura County homes appreciated by over 16% over the last three quarters according to regional data reports. So if you’re thinking of selling, your home may now have enough equity to sell without having to do a “short” sale as many owners were so concerned about last year.

Signs Point Upward…

Whether you are interested in selling or buying a home, signs point upward for future market growth. According to the Los Angeles Times in a recent article titled, Good time for home buyers?Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, told the paper,

Inventories are at their highest level in over a year and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country. This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months.

Finally, I am happy to let you know that also, as reported by the Times, “the numbers echo a similar trend in Southern California, which has seen signs of a market returning to normalcy after several up-and-down years.”

The Perfect Temp in Westlake Village!

It’s summer so I’ll enjoy the temperate numbers of the current housing market in my neck of the woods at least for now. After all I live in and work in the best community in the country, Westlake Village, where there’s no shortage of summer fun to be had. But never one to slack on the job, don’t worry, I’ll follow the data closely and continue to keep you posted with regular updates over the coming months. Hopefully the next report will forecast a rapid boil!

If you are looking for a home or ready to sell real estate in the Conejo Valley, don’t hesitate to call Lydia Gable Realty Group Group today and find out how we can help you.

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Summer in Westlake Village is Hot, Hot Hot!

If you are a resident of Westlake Village then you probably already know that this awesome community is about to get a big boost from the new Target retail center. We have all been eagerly awaiting this mall and sources say it’s opening this summer. Might I add that the timing is perfect because Westlake Village is activity-filled all summer long – now add a major retailer, does it get better? If you planning on moving to the area or if you have just relocated, check out all the current and “imminent” summer fun residents can have here!

Bulls-eye: Target Finds a Home in Westlake Village!

Target, In-n-Out and Tilly’s are coming to Westlake as part of the Target-centered mall slated for opening this summer – the date for the grand open is July 27th. Conejo Valley residents are excited about the much awaited opening. An article in the Conejo Valley Happening said:

Dubbed the Shoppes at Westlake Village, the European village-style retail center, will also house the Total Woman Gym & Spa, All Tressed Up Blowdry & Beauty Bar, Hook Burger, Tilly’s, BCBC Nail Spa, Los Agaves Mexican Restaurant, a beauty supply store, some hair salon suites and a couple of Santa Barbara-based restaurants.

And added Dan Selleck, owner of Selleck Development, the developer of the 240,000-sq. ft. upscale shopping and dining development

These are indeed very exciting times for tenants and Westlake residents. It’s really going well and most of the tenants are on track to open at the same time as Target in July or soon after.

A “Free” Trolley for Summer Frolicking

If all the summer shopping and Tar-jay excitement has you tired already, you’ll be happy to hear that Westlake Village is also providing a free summer trolley through August 30th. Dubbed “The Village Trolley” the free tram will run on Friday and Saturday nights from 4:00pm -11pm during the summer. And if that weren’t enough, there will be entertainment on select nights and times. Clickhere to check the entertainment schedule. For more on The Village Trolley route, click here!

A Song for Summer

With all the shopping and Trolley frolicking around Westlake Village this summer, don’t forget to enjoy the Saturday Concerts in the Park planned this summer! Summer evenings in beautiful Westlake Village provide the perfect ambience for a great music series. The 11th Annual TGIF Westlake Village series provides entertainment for the whole family and the performance series is free.

Concerts take place at:

Westlake Village Civic Center,
31200 Oak Crest Drive.
Events start at 7pm

Westlake: Live, Work and Play…

Summers in Westlake Village are only one reason I live, play and work in Westlake Village. If you want to experience the perfect year round climate, golf courses and lake views – and now The Village Trolley, a European shopping village and free concerts all summer, contact Westlake Village Real Estate today to view homes in the area!

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The Luxury Housing Market

‘Luxury Housing Differs with the Local Market’

The luxury housing market is evolving quite rapidly as the economy recovers. A luxury home—if it is to be deemed luxury by savvy home buyers—now requires not only the price point and zip code, but more perks and amenities than ever before, especially in Southern California. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, “luxury housing differs with the local market”. Very recently, a panel of real estate experts addressed the National Assn. of Real Estate Editors at an annual conference. When asked the question: “What is luxury housing?” – posed by Mark Moffa, managing editor of Unique Homes magazine, the responses were more varied than one might expect. According to the Times article titled, Local markets dictate price, features of luxury housing, “luxury housing nationwide has many price points and appearances.” But for the Los Angeles area, one expert pegs the luxury price point as much higher than years past:

Nick Segal of Partners Trust priced the luxury market at about $4 million and up – twice the amount he would have quoted eight years ago.

Ventura County Homes: Luxury Living

While I don’t particularly think Nick Segal’s price point is indicative of homes priced in the Ventura County housing market— more like $1 million, a tad bit lower— luxury is also a relative – it is Southern California after all.Luxury is in the eye of a beholder” was never a truer statement. Here, a home could be in a great location, nicely updated, grand pool, and still only be considered a “regular” home. That being said – in terms of this conference, one should note that the panel’s qualifications for what’s considered luxury was also quite subjective and very specific. Frankly, I think many of their opinions are just that, although it doesn’t make them any less valuable. One panel member agreed that just outside any metropolitan area, a luxury home in an upscale community will probably run about $500,000 in most parts of the country. The bottom-line: a running theme emerged from the conference – amenities and lifestyle are big deciding factors in addition to home size and mere location. Said the Times piece, generators are now becoming more popular in all parts of the country. Whoever thought of a generator as a luxury item? But as homeowners choose to pay higher prices, according to the conference experts, they now want built-in safe-guards for natural disasters. Frank Malpica of ERA Franchise Systems, also weighed in with his opinion adding that physical amenities aren’t the only attributes home owners are insisting upon when viewing luxury properties. Said Malpica, which he attributes to a rush in millennial home buyers, there’s more:

[Buyers] are searching for more lifestyle-related attributes such as lakefront, golf course or riverfront property.

Westlake Village, CA: All the Home Luxury You Need

All things considered, where does one find a home that is just outside a major metropolitan area, with beautiful homes that include lakefront, golf course and riverfront properties? Westlake Village, CA of course… We have all the luxury you need and you don’t need to pay $4 million. Who needs a panel to determine luxury – I live, work and play in Westlake Village! Believe me this is luxurious living!

For more information on any item discussed in the article or to view home listings in and around Ventura County, contact Lydia Gable today.

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Crowdfunding in Real Estate: A New Era of Investing

The Emergence of Crowdfunding in Real Estate

The emergence of crowdfunding as an investment tool for serious real estate players is changing the housing market as we know it. As the market recovers, more investors are coming back but one probably could not have imagined crowdfunding as the next new trend. Crowdfunding has showed up with quite a presence and backing and its making quite the first impression! If you thought crowdfunding was only reserved for the creative inventor or out-of-money filmmaker, you’re a step behind. Quite frankly, admittedly I had not even heard of this very new trend until recently. If it catches on, it could be a game-changer for those investors currently controlling the investment markets in certain areas. It’ll be interesting to see how “at your fingertips” a trade is, but the social media possibilities are exciting for sure.

Not Your Grandmother’s Real Estate Pool

At the moment, most of the crowdfunding sites are reserved for high-stakes players only, but that’s not likely to last according to market experts. While it’s certainly a new arena—one that is evolving quite rapidly—some platforms are beginning to open up the playing field to small-money investors. Because of this, the ramifications in terms of who can invest and international investing possibilities could be enormous. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal profiled one successful entrepreneur—a real estate pioneer when it comes to crowdfunding— who is taking it to the next level. The article titled, Real-Estate Sector Moves Crowdfunding Beyond the Trinkets states that ‘sites have raised more than $135 million in debt and equity’. For the founders of RealtyMogul andEarlyShares, only accredited investors are accepted at this juncture but as the WSJ article points out, they are raising SERIOUS capital.

As with any trend, once it catches on, it’s everyone’s to claim and crowdfunding in real estate is no different. A recent article on Forbes highlights not only the serious money at play, but also the way this crowd funding platform is opening up real estate investing to the masses – globally. “Fundriselast week announced that they raised $31 million from Renren, a Chinese technology firm, Ackman-Ziff (Real Estate Group) and Silverstein Properties (owners of the World Trade Center Twin Towers)”.

The reporter also points out that the field is widening to include all investors. In the article titled,Real Estate Crowdfunding: Post-Valuations Of $100M for Series A?David Drake writes:

The Washington-based company, Fundrise, allows investors, for as little as $100 to as much as $10,000,000, to participate in deals. Until the emergence of crowdfunding, real estate projects, even the smaller ones, have been reserved for high net worth investors and private equity companies.

The Real Estate Fervor: Signs of Recovery?

Whether you are a big-time real estate investor, a market watcher, or a some-time dabbler in housing flips, the fact that new and innovative ways to invest in the housing market and thereby the economy have emerged, is a positive sign of market recovery – not to mention fun market-watching. However if your only goal is to own one property that you call your dream home for the next twenty years, there’s also a special place for you. And with signs of real recovery on the horizon, this is a great time to make the move. Every home purchase is an investment, but more importantly it’s an investment in your future! If you are interested in buying or selling a home in and around Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village or Calabasas, contact Lydia Gable today at Westlake Village Real Estate.

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Housing News: ‘Normal’ is a Good Goal!

This is a market where the transactions are not banks blowing out their supply [of foreclosures], which is very hard to predict. You have a much more normal market.

~ Jerry Nickelsburg, UCLA economics professor

UCLA: Good Housing Forecast for SoCal

Despite all the fear-mongers and housing “experts”, real-life realtors like myself have been reporting for a quite some time, that things are looking up in the housing market. Last week we got written proof from the UCLA Anderson Forecast. It’s really good news, especially for those of you who are still experiencing some trepidation because you’ve been hearing—like most potential home sellers/buyers—that there is impending fear of another housing market bubble. Perhaps this is your moment to exhale. The fear may not only be more than unfounded at least according to this recent paper released by UCLA as part of their quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast (and reported by the Los Angeles Times) but we may be simply, dare I say it, just plain old normal. According to UCLA economics professor Jerry Nickelsburg, sliding home sales volume — the number of homes sold in Southern California dropped 15.1% in May compared to last year’s numbers. The Los Angeles Times points to the data and quotes Nickelsburg, to illustrate the normalization of the market:

…according to San Diego-based DataQuick — [the data] is masking a housing market that is becoming increasingly, as he put it, ‘normal’.

The Housing Crash v. A Normal Market

In case you need more convincing, we are doing better – I am an example of a realtor who is out there daily listing homes and closing rapidly. Buying and selling homes in Southern California is once again a hot trend, I can vouch for that fact. But if you’re still feeling a bit chilly on the topic of a “hot” housing market forecast, then consider this, we are at least headed for normal. Normal in this case, is a very good goal! And, one might argue, if you buy the whole “housing crash” conversation, you have to at least consider the “normalized market” discussion especially when it comes from such notable sources. Nickesburg points out:

We have no expectation of getting back to when we had 1 million people on construction payrolls. But getting back to something like 700,000, we can do. And those are good jobs, reflective of a healthy economy.

The Sun Shines Again on SoCal’s Housing Market

According to the LA Times, while the news from UCLA is not all wonderful for the entire country’s housing crisis, in Southern California, the sun is once again shining. In the final parts of the report, UCLA predicts drops in the unemployment numbers, to a very low 6.8% by next year and even lower to 5.9% by 2016.

Further, they forecast that in West Coast cities like Los Angeles, they are likely to attract large amounts of Chinese investments since the bubble continues to deflate and investors want a sound shell for their money. Long awaited good news – we are normal. Hey we all need a little validation from time to time!

If you have questions about how Lydia Gable can help you buy or sell a home and approach the housing market with a refreshed perspective or if you are looking to buy or sell in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Conejo Valley, Newbury Park, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, or Calabasas, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. Contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment or to view new listings.

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