SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOUSING MARKET SETTLES TO A STABLE PACE

Home prices grew again in May, but not at last spring’s frenzied pace…there are fewer foreclosures to buy. More home sellers are testing the market, and bidding wars are less frequent.
All of it signals a housing market that’s settling to a more stable, even healthy, pattern, which analysts say is a notable change from the big ups and downs of the last few years.
The market’s not bad. The urgency’s gone. I think that’s a positive thing. – Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Assn. of Realtors
The slowdown has been underway for months, but it showed up in home sales numbers out for May, a big month for the key spring real estate season.
The number of sales fell 15.1%, as investors continued to trickle out of the market and the supply of bargain-rate foreclosures dried up.
“We’re bumping along a ceiling. I really can’t see values going up much more,” said Steven Thomas, of ReportsOnHousing.com, which analyzes Southern California housing markets. “Buyers are homing in on trying to pay a fair value. A year ago, everyone was willing to pay extra. Now that bidding up is not happening.”
This year, instead of competing with 20 other offers, Buyers are competing with 4 or 5 others.The inventory of homes for sale has grown, with more traditional sellers joining the market this spring. That’s giving buyers more to choose from, but it means homes that feel overpriced are starting to sit on the market a little longer.
That’s an unpleasant surprise for some sellers, especially those who valued their homes based on the 2013 market where one puts their home on the market and have 15 offers. Agents more often have to play the bad guy with sellers who think their home is worth more than the market will bear. Buyers have become a lot more savvy.
We’re starting to see more price reductions as sellers lower their sights to compete.
No one is expecting home prices to go down overall. There’s still more demand than supply, and well-priced homes are still selling quickly.
Interpreted from 6/11/14 article by tim.logan@latimes.com

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 10:55 am
Nancy Low | Category: Buyers, Events, News, Sellers

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