Home Buyers: It’s Time to Buy Now!

Home Buyers - Buy NowThe Time to Buy: Today!

David Seaburg, head of sales trading recently said as reported by CNBC, “I think housing stocks are names you should continue to own here, especially in the face of wages improving and jobs growth.”  The consensus by a myriad of experts is that housing is on the verge of breakout. In May, the housing market saw the biggest numbers in years and real estate stock continues to grow. With real estate stock booming, this kicks the economy into high gear and then you guessed it, buyers go out and spend more.

Home Buyers: California is a Hot Market

Are you ready or are you still in a recession mindset? Maybe you are saying, “Well I don’t know if that applies to my corner of the world.” Certainly some markets are still struggling, but there are areas of the country that are very hot right now. Says chief economist at Realtor.com, Jonathan Smoke:

Our early read of real estate trends in June suggests good news ahead for the U.S. residential real estate market, especially in the hottest markets with healthy growth in supply. California again dominated the hottest markets list.

So if you are ready to buy or even poised to sell, now is the time.

Why Buy Now  in Ventura County?

Terry Savage, expert on personal finance, the economy and markets wrote recently on a Huff Post Money Blog,

The time to get into the market is when there is little competition pushing prices higher.

But if you look at the numbers, you have an exceptionally advantageous window of opportunity right now. It does not mean you cannot buy later, but in terms of investment, every economist is saying “get in now.”

As I wrote in my recent blog Housing Market Hits Record Highs, May and June numbers are leading housing experts to sit up and pay attention. According to a recent Metro Study Report, Ventura County closings are up.

Ventura County closings increased from 95 to 183 (+93%), and annual closings increased from 502 to 566 (+12.7%).

We can all focus on the the past mistakes of the 2008 housing crisis but it makes much more sense to embrace that we are in a strong recovery and it’s a time of growth and opportunity. The numbers, while they off to a slow start in January, have been steadily climbing. It is likely now that we are going to continue to prosper. If you are ready to sell, make sure your home’s curb appeal is shinier and more appealing than any others, so you sell at your listed asking price. The competition is tough. Make sure to get the right agent and professionally stage your home so buyers are begging to get in. If you are looking to buy, many of you who are new to Southern California might not know about a community, just a short jaunt from Los Angeles, Westlake Village. If you are looking for a home that includes Southern California resort style living, top schools and a close proximity to Los Angeles, this is the place to view luxury home listings.

For more on Westlake Village and surrounding areas like Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills, contact Lydia Gable today.

 

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Housing Market Hits Record Highs

HomeBuyersFirst Time Home Sales Surge

In May, home sales surged to a 5 ½-year high. This is good news for the market indeed, as more first-time home buyers including the millennials, finally took the plunge going from rental homes to marriage and first homes. Additionally real estate stocks hit a huge multiyear new level high leaving traders to say invest, invest, invest.

As reported by The Business Journals, The National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, said that the increase in new home buyers flooding the market, could signal more recovery on the horizon. He added that:

The return of first-time buyers in May is an encouraging sign and is the result of multiple factors, including strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low down payment programs.

Existing Home Sales Also Hit New Highs

Then just after NARS reported the flood of first time home buyers into the housing market, Reuters reported that ‘sales of existing homes hit their highest level since 2009’. Yun said this was promising although the supply is still short of the demand keeping prices on the higher end.

With all this talk of recovery, if you were one of the cautious hold-outs, now may be the time to buy. If you are considering a new home purchase or perhaps considering buying your first home, think about starting the search now. You could be in a new home just in time for the leaves to change and children to return to school.  If you still aren’t sure but you are at least thinking of buying a home, take a cue from the market numbers. Look at the stock – if you have doubts. The economy is in recovery—it is. It’s not a fluke. A majority of economists agree even while cautious that it’s no longer speculation, we are in the midst of economic recovery. Investors know it, existing home owners know it as they begin to list their homes now increasingly. But where is the best place to hang your hat and call home?

Buy Well, Luxury Living in Ventura County

One of the best recovering areas, not to mention one of most luxurious places to live in the country, is Ventura County. Home sales have been steadily climbing and existing home values have continued to appreciate. In fact the Ventura County Star reported this month that the median home price and value in Ventura County:

…climbed to $500,000 last month, the highest value in eight years, according to data reported Wednesday by the real estate information service CoreLogic.

So if you are young and plan on moving onward and upward, Ventura County is not only a wonderful place to live but also a sound investment for home buyers. More than the investment though, you will be living in an area with a year round perfect climate, beaches and canyon trails nearby, lakes and country clubs only a stone’s throw from your front door, and the best schools, shopping and restaurants in Southern California. What more could you ask for? Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Calabasas – it’s the privilege that comes with working hard and coming home to luxury.

For more information on viewing homes in Ventura County, contact Lydia Gable today. Stay tuned for the next blog which will be posted soon. Feel free to weigh in with your comments here if you live in Westlake Village or surrounding areas and you want to share more about the best area to live work and play.

 

 

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First Quarter Housing Market Update – 2015

 

R.E. Market Update – March 2015

Late 2014 and early 2015 saw some slowdown in the housing market, but it looks like hope springs eternal. April and May could bring much needed relief. Spring is typically a busy time anyway for home buying but we aren’t quite there yet, numbers-wise. In any event, as I have reported for the past few years, here is my housing market update for the first quarter of 2015.

The first quarter report, according to DataQuick saw a marginal improvement month to month –  “an estimated 25,585 new and existing houses and condos sold in California in February 2015, a one percent increase from January 2015.”  Although this percentage is not up or even close to the numbers from 2014, California Association of Realtors (C.A.R) President Chris Kutzkey, says there are encouraging signs. Krutzkey seems to be of the motto, improvement is improvement regardless if it’s year to year or a simple incline from a dip the previous month. He says:

While February’s statewide improvement in the housing market was moderate, it’s an encouraging sign, nevertheless, as we head into the spring home-buying season. On the supply side, housing inventory improved overall with active listings growing at a faster pace of 5.3 percent when compared to last February.  Regionally, both active listings in Southern California and Central Valley increased moderately from last year.

Home Sales in Ventura County

Regionally, in Ventura County the median sold price of existing single-family homes is up for the most part. While the number is not up from February in a month to month comparison, it’s up since last year and compares favorably to most of the counties in Southern California. See the numbers chart from C.A.R.

Los Angeles

$419,260

$441,610

$389,080

-5.1%

7.8%

-0.3%

-3.2%

Orange County

$680,290

$674,340

$677,700

0.9%

0.4%

10.9%

6.3%

Riverside County

$323,220

$306,060

$302,370

5.6%

6.9%

4.3%

-7.7%

San Bernardino

$213,930

$206,660

$186,440

r

3.5%

14.7%

-7.8%

-0.6%

San Diego

$499,000

$496,380

$476,780

0.5%

4.7%

14.8%

5.7%

Ventura

$568,840

$582,630

$558,490

-2.4%

1.9%

-1.7%

6.4%

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage told the Los Angeles Times last week in an article titled, Southern California home prices rise, sales fall in February, that Spring has not quite sprung yet for the housing market – the true tale will be in the inventory numbers. Said LePage:

This feels a lot like early 2014, with home sales off to a slow start. And just like a year ago, one of the big questions hanging over the market is whether we’ll see a sizable jump in inventory this spring and summer.

Says the Times, however, not to fret, C.A.R. reports that there is some good signs on the inventory front. On Monday, C.A.R. reported 5.8 months worth of homes unsold on the market in Southern California, just shy of the six months that economists consider “normal” supply.

The Times also reports the strongest growth is in Riverside County, not surprising since the Millennials have a great impact there and have started buying as I reported in an earlier article from my blog. Also, San Bernardino County hit yearly highs, as did Ventura County where sales grew by 9.8%. Yay us…

Spring Home Buying…

In Westlake Village, Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks, there has definitely been a surge of activity in the housing market especially as spring approached. As early as March, we started experiencing multiple offers on well-priced updated homes.  Inventory is still low, but it is starting to increase slowly.  The interest rates are low – good homes are definitely moving quickly!

Spring has sprung! Typically a busy season, if you’re ready to buy or sell, there is no time like the present. Don’t wait for an analyst to say it’s time, jump in now. You could be in your dream house by summer! And no matter what the “numbers” say, there is no better feeling than coming home.

Lydia Gable is a 2015 Quality Service Certified® Platinum Realtor in Westlake Village. Her proven track record and satisfied clients make her Ventura County’s top ranked real estate agent. If you are interested in viewing properties or listing your home, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Millennial Home Buyers, ‘Y’ the Trend Matters

Millennial Home BuyerThe Millennial Home Buyer

After a bit of delay, a new generation, the Millennial home buyers, have finally entered the housing market. Generation X—those ages 33 to 47—made up the majority of home buyers, (31 %) in 2012 reported by the National Association of REALTORS®. However as of March 2014, the generational trend has shifted says the newest numbers published in the NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends.  The trend now, Gen Y—those 32 and younger—now makes up the majority of home buyers (36 %) followed closely by Generation X. So what does this generational group of buyers forecast for the market? Says CNN Money, Realtor.com Chief Economist, Jonathan Smoke, “predicts that new home sales will climb by 25% next year. And in some markets, the influx of young first-time buyers will be especially significant.” And yes, Los Angeles is included in the 10 hottest housing markets for 2015 due in part to the influx of first-home Millennial buyers. According to the article, the Los Angeles housing market will experience a growth spurt this year due to these new buyers:

Los Angeles 2015 home sales forecast: +6%

By virtue of Los Angeles’ immense size — the metro area population has surpassed 13 million — even moderate household percentage growth translates into a lot of people, which helped put LA on the top 10.

Y Home Buyers: ‘Mobile’ and Timid?

What does the Gen Y home buyer trend signify for the home market overall? A few things – considering Gen X was leading the way for the past few years in what was a depressed economy, this changing of the generational guards could be quite significant for the market. According to NAR, “97 % of these Gen Y buyers are financing their home purchase as opposed to 55 % of the Silent Generation and 88 percent of the overall buyers.” This is quite significant not only for the economy but what it potentially means over the next 5-10 years for Y’s — or Millennials as they are more commonly known—and for the generation behind them, watching their moves carefully. While Gen Y was late to the home buying game and have not lead the race in terms of first-time home buyers percentages tracking, it is likely in part due to the fact that they watched Gen X-ers and Boomers experience a market housing bubble, subsequent market crash, and a depressed economy. And it should also be noted that banks were no longer lending. But, more likely, as they seem to be trend setters, marching to the beat of their own drums, is that some of this waiting may be more attributed to the fact that they watched the generation before and have decided to make their own rules. Keep in mind this is the first truly mobile only generation. NAR says:

Gen Y is most likely among generations to also look online for information about the home buying process. More than half of Gen Y used a mobile device during their home search. Among those who did, 26 percent of Gen Y found the home they ultimately purchased via a mobile device.

‘Move Over Boomers…’

It could be a powerful few years now that Millennials have jumped into the housing market. Millennials are “estimated at between 70 and 80 million people, the biggest population bulge since baby boomers,” according to an article on The Real Deal. Also they are not the city slickers that Gen X was or that speculators portended. These independent spirits crave space and the suburbs over their predecessors who ambitiously headed for the city.

And…quite significantly, while Gen Y surpassed X in the third quarter of 2014 by a few percentage points, says The Real Deal, they were late bloomers waiting longer to buy… Says the feature:

… the home ownership rate for heads of households under 35 was only 36 percent in the third quarter of 2014 was the lowest rate since the U.S. Department of Commerce started tracking the statistic in 1994.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, reported that according to a recent survey of Millennials, they’re not following what speculators and forecasters assumed would be a “city-dweller” trend for this group. The survey released by the National Association of Home Builders, suggested that “based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city.”

Fewer young people are buying homes because women are waiting until later in life to have their first child. The average age of a mother at her first childbirth was 25.4 years in 2010, up from 22.7 in 1980, federal statistics show.

So it looks as though Millennials will be a huge force to watch over the next 10-20 years. Essentially, now that they are having babies and starting families and moving out to the suburbs, Y buyers are driving the housing market.

Finally, watch Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com, talk about the significant of this new influx of buyers. Says Smoke, “The economic opportunity favors the young. Collectively, they will drive housing trends for at least the next 20 years. Move over, baby boomers—there’s a new economic force in town.”

As the market home market continues to grow and change, I’ll continue to keep you posted on the exciting news especially the updates coming from these unconventional home buyers over the next year…

If you are ready to purchase your first home or interested in viewing homes in Ventura County, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Drones in Real Estate Marketing

Dronepic‘Drones Set to Flood the Skies…’

As a Realtor and marketing professional, of course I understand the value of crystal sharp images as a tool in real estate marketing. If anyone had told me ten years ago that in just a mere decade, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would approve the use of drones in real estate marketing by allowing the use of aerial photography for real estate, I certainly would have doubted the sanity of the source. However, here we are a decade later and the FAA has approved (with restrictions) the use of drone photography for commercial users which includes Realtor. But before you go rent a drone for your next hot property, currently there are a litany of restrictions, enough paperwork to keep most newbies out of the friendly skies…at least for now. Not for long I predict—as with any trend this one is building speed quickly—and it’s a competitive industry.

In a recent article titled, Drones set to flood the skies of America under new FAA rules, the reporter claims that these remote controlled robotic quad-copters are set to become common sightings within the next two years. And judging by their popularity for commercial use, it’s likely be less than two years although challenges regarding privacy laws are already be waged in California. Says the article…

Mickey Lindsay, vice president of Oregon First, Realtors, said she is certain that pilotless aircraft “will become a standard tool in property marketing.” While real estate agents and prospective buyers already have access to satellite and street view images, drones may be the best way to capture an overall view of some properties, she noted.

Jackson: ‘Aerial Invasions of Privacy’

As the real estate market continues to rebound and investors flood the California market to scoop up properties, the addition of drone use definitely brings with it a newness and enthusiasm to an industry which has suffered in past years. And this recent ruling over the weekend is exciting to say the least. However, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, says essentially, not so fast. Jackson is proposing stiff privacy regulation following the recent FAA ruling. According to a report by KCRA news, “Jackson has introduced SB 142, which she said would protect people from aerial invasions of privacy.” She told the station:

Suddenly a drone was about 15 feet away, hovering about eyeball to eyeball. If you were to jump over your neighbor’s fence and stand in their yard recording what they had to say, that’s a trespass, Why should it be any different with a drone?

The Final Word on Drones in Real Estate…

As the final word, while the final book on commercial drone use has not been written, I cannot predict with accuracy the future prevalence of drone photography use in the housing market. However, until then, here’s what I do know –

With or without aerial drone photography, I bring 15 years of experience as a business executive in marketing and management and over a decade of real estate experience to all my Westlake Village real estate clients.  If you are interested in purchasing a luxury property in Ventura County, I promise to provide the most up to date, tech-savvy marketing, excellent satellite images, crystal clear professional photos, and a virtually unsurpassed track record of award winning experience. Where are the drones, you ask? Let me get back to you on that…

If you are a prospective home seller and you’re ready to list your home, or you are looking to view homes in and around Westlake Village contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

 

 

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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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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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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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How Much ‘Home’ Will $1 Million Buy in Southern California?

‘The Bedroom Could Fit Inside a Walk-In Closet’

How much home will a million dollars buy in Southern California? In certain coastal areas of Southern California, prepare to appreciate the beach location over the size of the home. Unlike other parts of the country, $1 million in Malibu for instance, won’t buy you a mansion – a quaint cottage home maybe. And in Orange County for example, the home of the famed Real Housewives of OC, whose lifestyle we’ve all become privy to, $1 million doesn’t stretch as far as you might think.

A recent article in the Orange County Register, highlights just how little home $1 million will buy in the OC. Paul Crane, consultant to a group of investors who bought a 1930s era home in Newport Beach says when he stood in the bedroom doorway of a home for lease one block from Newport Beach’s Balboa Peninsula – an exclusive part of Orange County—it was abundantly clear that the buyer was paying for the location not necessarily the home. The price tag: $1 million. His conclusion:

The bedroom could easily fit inside a typical walk-in closet in this city. The residence itself is only 534 square feet. What we would consider a bedroom is maybe not what they considered a bedroom when (the home) was built.

And, points out the author, Marilyn Kalfus:

Twenty six miles inland, $1 million could fetch a ‘highly upgraded,’ 2,800-square-foot, five-bedroom home on half an acre in Fullerton… with a swimming pool and spa – plus a private tennis court.

The Median Home Value in Westlake Village: $847,400′

If you prefer instead that the price match the luxury surroundings and home size, don’t be disheartened quite yet. Travel a bit north of the OC and there are still very exclusive areas in Southern California where $1 million can buy you a beautiful home – quite possibly a beautiful home in a gated community surrounded by lake views, mountain ranges and just minutes from the Pacific Ocean.

Wikipedia describes it well saying, Westlake Village “borders the Malibu hills, and is nine miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.” What else could you want? But that’s only he cherry on the proverbial cake. For $1 million or less, you will live in a gated community among professionals and celebrities alike, just a short ride to Los Angeles and in one of the best school districts in Southern California. In Westlake Village, you can buy a home for less than $1 million and currently the home prices are on the rise. It’s a good time to dip your toe in the market. If you buy now, the valuation—if the market continues to rebound as it’s predicted—should appreciate in a few years if you plan to invest and sell. Of course there are many homes—as is true of any luxury community—in the area that list above $1 million, however there are just as many properties where $1 million will be buy you a luxury home and I promise, your bedroom will be bigger than a closet! Zillow writes, regarding home prices in Westlake Village:

The median home value in Westlake Village is $847,400. Westlake Village home values have gone up 4.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% within the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in Westlake Village is $835,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $894,750.

You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Quality of Life

If you’re curiosity is piqued about what a $1 million looks like in the Westlake Village area, come take a tour of the community. A drive through the neighborhood, the surrounding exquisite scenic views, and the prime location, will leave you wanting more. Take it from me – I not only sell homes in Westlake Village, but I live in the area. My point of view after living in the Conejo Valley for many years: you can’t put a price tag on quality of life!

If you are a potential home buyer, our team will find the right fit for your lifestyle and needs. Lydia Gable specializes in the finest real estate and luxury properties. She is a permanent resident of Conejo Valley who lives and plays where she works. Contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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