Premium, Not Yet!

The inventory is dropping steadily and as of Sunday morning, it’s at 277. The pundits are dishing out article after article on how it’s a seller and a buyer’s market thanks to low inventory and low interest rates. I get at least two calls a week from Realtors representing foreign buyers who are willing to pay more than the market price for my detached condominium. Does that mean anything and everything will be cleared off the market under reasonable greed?

34 Olivehurst, Irvine CA 92602

(Open House review by Karen on Irvine Housing Blog)

Listing price: $559,000

HOA Dues, monthly: $271

Mello Roos +Property Tax: $656 Monthly

Mortgage, 3.23%: $1,937

Monthly Fixed Expenses: $2,864

Property Details as per MLS:

Bedrooms/ Baths: 3 Bedrooms/ 2.5 Baths

Area: 1500 SF

Builders Tract Name: San Simeon

Builders Tract Code: SANS

Builders Name: California Pacific Homes

Builders Model Code: 1

This is a San Simeon detached condominium in the gated community of Northpark. The house doesn’t have granite countertops or steel appliances, but it has combination wood and carpet flooring. The location isn’t close to any major street. The floor plan allows for ample daylight and air circulation in the house. It’s walkable to Hicks Canyon Elementary, Orchard Hills Middle School and Beckman High School. The MLS listing says in bold that “no children or pets have ever lived in this home”. So I think there won’t be stinky carpet, abstract art on the walls, or even braced dressers in the closet leaving holes in the wall when removed.

But this property has been on the market for 77 days. The asking price is $373/SF.

Here is a list of San Simeon sales in the gated community, and their price/ SF for the year 2012:

02/21/2012 68 Meadow Valley $350/SF

03/20/2012 63 Meadow Valley $354/SF

03/22/2012 40 Arcata $333/SF

06/26/2012 43 Meadow Valley $337/SF

There are no more similar properties listed for sale in the gated community.

The asking price is clearly adding a premium for the low inventory, and the fact that it hasn’t sold yet shows that buyers aren’t that desperate yet. Also, the property does not have three bedrooms as listed, it has a loft that can be converted into a bedroom.

What about the San Simeons on Night Bloom, which is not a gated community, but has the same schools as North Park? Here is a sale history for those properties in 2012:

44 Night Bloom $354/SF

54 Night Bloom $362/SF

20 Night Bloom $343/SF

14 Night Bloom $362/SF

All these properties were true three bedroom detached condominiums, and also newer than the North Park gated community San Simeon properties.

Does that mean the Kool-aid isn’t being passed around yet? No matter what the inventory may look like, and how low the interest rates might be, buyers don’t seem to be ready to pay above the market price. It is completely justified, given the new houses that are being built in Irvine.

What are your thoughts?

Would you be willing to pay a premium for a not-so-premium property?

Do you fear being priced out of the Irvine market?

Comment below, or share your thoughts at Talk Irvine.

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