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I’m telling you it’s true. The slump is over. Don’t believe what you read about a second wave of foreclosures coming and things getting worse. In Southern California, where I live, sales are coming back in a big way. Some data points from my weekend.
1)A friend of mine in Los Angeles just lost out on a house. She made a $1.5 million, all-cash offer on a Hollywood Hills home. That’s the living room in the picture above. The seller——a flipper—-had to lower his price by $200,000, but he still got multiple offers. He interviewed my friend on Sunday. He asked her questions. He wanted to know if she had any reservations about the house or the neighborhood. She later got a text message saying he’d chosen another buyer.
2)I was out in my favorite real estate stomping ground Ontario, California on Sunday. I looked at twenty bank-owned homes. All but a couple—the real pig sties—were under contract, in escrow, or had just sold. The one I liked the best had sixteen offers, some significantly over the asking price. By significant I mean a $94,000 asking price, a $120,000 offer.
3)I mentioned this in an earlier blog but two homes on my block that had languished unsold for months just got sold. One couple moved out last week, the other guy is leaving today. Another friend of mine just sold her house, same deal, no good offers for months, then boom two offers. In all three cases, prices were lowered. In two cases the buyers purchased their house at the top of the market and had to take a small loss, but not a crippling one.
Don’t be surprised if the national stats start to show the market turning.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.