First Quarterly Report
Springtime is a wonderful time of renewal — and it appears that our economy and real estate markets are showing signs of gaining momentum. It is happening everywhere here on the Westside.
If you are reading the latest economic news, you will see there is renewed optimism that our economy will continue to strengthen and that home prices will move upward, which has not been the case in recent years. What we have seen in recent months, however, is that over last year, real estate sales volumes have substantially moved upward in three of the communities I report on (Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, and Brentwood), and that median sales prices are holding steady. According to Core Logic, a leading provider of analytics who recently released a new analysis showing an increasing number of homes that have moved from negative equity to positive positions. In the US, over 200,000 homes returned to a state of positive equity during the fourth quarter of 2012. This brings the total number of properties that moved from negative to positive equity positions to 1.7 million at the end of last year. However, we still have approximately 10.6 million homes in the negative zone. All of this shows a glimmer of hope for those who are still fighting negative equity in our communities. There is also news that the mortgage modification rules are being eased. While the current position of the federal regulators is to not reduce the principal amount owed, only the terms of the loans, that too could change. Overall these changes certainly brighten the real estate outlook!
While some economists continue to worry that we are still in a fragile real estate economy and that we may be witnessing a bubble-in-the-making, we can only rely on what we experience in our local communities and neighborhoods. We are seeing a reversal of people who previously were leaving California and are returning to our area, including Silicon Beach (Santa Monica and Venice areas). And as I do twice each month in the SchifferLine, I try to give you the latest statistics and perspectives on what is happening in your community from someone who is in the real estate trenches every day….
In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful spring and please call me and let me know how I can assist you with any of your real estate needs.