Home Sales Data thru 9-11-2007

Median sale price

Sales volume



Prev. 4 weeks

% change

from ’06

Prev. 4 weeks

% change

from ’06











































Those are not the most bullish numbers I have ever seen. They are perhaps the most anemic sales numbers we have seen to date.

Despite the slow sales, declining prices and ballooning inventory, Turtle Ridge (92603) still has a huge number of WTF asking prices.

53 thoughts on “Home Sales Data thru 9-11-2007

  1. Gray

    A bit OT, but symptomatic for the sad state of the mortgage business:
    “Ailing lender’s checks bounce
    Area homeowners’ taxes left unpaid”

    Keep in mind that those checks weren’t generous gifts by “American Home Mortgage”, but that the homeowners actually paid the company for transmitting the tax payments! So, effectively this lender stole his customer’s money in order to survive a little bit longer. Where’s this going to end?

  2. Sue

    Wow, that’s a scary article (exerpt below). Certainly makes you think about the financial health of your mortgage company before you sign …

    If the problem isn’t resolved and homeowners can’t manage to pay the taxes themselves – for a second time – they “risk having their home go up for tax sale,” Robinson said.

    Robinson worries that American Home Mortgage’s bounced checks are just the beginning of an emerging problem prompted by the turmoil in the lending industry this year. He suspects that some lenders short on cash have dipped into escrow funds to cover operating expenses.

    “Who’s watching?” he asked. “I think there’s a problem in our system.”

  3. Trooper

    Yeah, I impound with Countrywide…I’m going to keep my eye on my tax payments (insurance too).

    What a crock that the city isn’t going to notify the delinquent property owners of the missed payment/bounced check from AHM. They have recognized a problem with the lender and at a minimum, should send a letter to the property owner to advise them. When I look at my escrow account, I see a tax payment going out and an insurance payment going out….so I assume they have been paid. But if the check bounced, how the heck am I supposed to know ?!

    Wow…anyone think I should stop impounding with CFC ? If so, is that a difficult process ?

  4. doug r

    So not only does your mortgage company talk you into a mortgage you can’t afford, they steal your money?
    I think some of these guys never planned to stay in the biz past the resets two years down the road. I bet if you check their “assets”, there’s nothing in their name…

  5. Gray

    Scary, indeed!
    This should be all over the media:
    “Homeowners, beware! Even if it’s convenient, don’t let your mortgage lender do your tax payments. You risk to lose your money and to get into default!”

  6. Sue

    Sunbelt City in Grasp of Housing Undertow


    During the boom year of 2005, the take-home pay of Dawn Shevlin’s family reached $350,000. That year, she and her husband bought two pickup trucks and a boat, and started building a custom home on a handsome beachfront lot.

    This year, Shevlin, a real estate agent, sold hardly any homes. Her husband’s carpentry business is “dead in the water.” They have been unable to sell a second home they own.

    Every night, she said, “we fight over every dollar.” With their income below $60,000, they have more bills than they can pay and have ruled out any big purchases. Even dinner at a modest restaurant is too great an extravagance.

    Shevlin says she is trying to get a steady job as an airport security officer, but the competition is fierce. “I’m 45 years old and I feel like I should be going to a higher place in my career,” she said. “Instead I’m taking 20 steps back.”

  7. 306

    Pulling down 350k as RE agent when in reality not even qualified to be $10hr airport security. Sounds about right.

  8. awgee

    “During the boom year of 2005, the take-home pay of Dawn Shevlin’s family reached $350,000. That year, she and her husband bought two pickup trucks and a boat, and started building a custom home on a handsome beachfront lot.”
    Doesn’t it make you wonder how much of this proclaimed great economy was built on this nonsense?

  9. guy001

    I have no sympathy for those people (Shevlin). They made a ton of money and did not save it. Burn Burn Burn. Her career is telling lie, that’s it. Now go out and make $10/hr as she should.

  10. Irvine Soul Brother

    Just a little commentary on the numbers. . .

    Notice how if you look at the whole picture, median price and sales volume statistics, there are 16 numbers– 2 for each zip. In previous weeks, we saw a good mix of positive and negative. So at least if the median price went down, the sales would be up for vice versa. Now, the only two positive numbers of those 16 are 92604’s sales volume (2 more homes sold than a year ago) and 92614 (median sales price was up 60 grand from the previous year).

    If you’re bullish, at least one of the two numbers should be positive across many weeks, I think we’re going to see a lot less of this and very probably negative packs of all 16 (which we haven’t yet). At the very least, say bye-bye to the median sales price values in the positive– we’ll see the last of those very soon, and then not seem them again for a long long time.

    I agree about 92603. Heavily down in both categories. More down in volume suggests that those owners feel all the more entitle to their WTF asking prices. It will be an interesting point when those figures reverse.

  11. And another thing...

    I find it completely incomprehensible that these people did not save a huge portion of this money – what with all the ready information available about mutual funds, SEPs for the self-employed, IRAs, criminy even CDs pay 5% these days. Surely making $350K a year should have prompted them to do some serious research into hiring a financial planner if they didn’t want to do it themselves.

    Easy come, easy go is appropriate here – as well as a fool and his money are soon parted. This tale reminds me of those folks who win the lottery but declare bankruptcy a few years later because they have no comprehension of how to manage money, much less respect and value it.

    People who work hard tend to hang onto their gains because they know how much time and effort it took to make it – not so some people who just happened to have the right job at the right time.

  12. Tyrone

    You reap what you sow. And what did Realtors sow: fraud, artificial price increases, loose lending practices, lies, etc…

    Even while the NAR was pumping the real estate market, they were shamelessly lobbying government for a bailout.

  13. Terry

    Totally off topic and I apologize, but….
    I just moved to SoCal and have a friend from Nebraska coming to visit for Thanksgiving. She’s never seen the ocean. Any ocean. I’d like to take us somewhere on the beach for one day and then up to Palm Springs for one day. Can anyone point me to someplace where we can get hotel rooms on a nice beach with a few interesting things to see?
    I thought about Seaworld and the Zoo in San Diego but that’s really further than I want to go. I live in Riverside County so I thought somewhere in Orange County would be good and you’all seem to be the Orange County experts.
    If you have some suggestions, please drop me a line at sweetbriargirl “at” gmail.com
    And BTW, when I first moved here in June, a real estate agent told me it was “the perfect time to buy” but after discovering this blog I decided to rent. THANKS FOR THAT!


  14. tonye


    Jobs that are in sales and construction tend to be very cyclical.

    If you got both breadwinners in a family making $350K in the same cyclical industry, why didn’t they SAVE money instead of going into a spending spree?

    Figure that $350K after taxes would have yielded about $210K in take home. With the low mortgages in that part of the country, they should have been able to live very well on $90K and save a ton.

    Jeez…. my heart does not cry for those people.

  15. tonye

    92603- Not many homes for sale in TR. A tide of “for sale” signs in TRidge. I think the dropping median price is showing the condos and attached homes in TRidge going into short sales while the more expensive homes may still be going through the process.

    I’d imagine that the people buying into the condos and attached homes would be the most likely to walk in with 100% financing, while the ones buying homes had down payments ( more income to fall back on?).

    Does anyone know the make up of the sales on TRridge? Condos vs. homes?

  16. JimAtLaw

    What exactly do you want to show her?

    I’d consider the Hilton down in Huntington, which has gorgeous beaches, and oceanfront restaurants nearby, or if you’re looking for a more trafficked area with shopping, etc., you could go with something down by the strand in Venice or Manhattan Beach or Redondo, though I’m not sure about hotels over there…

  17. Mousebender

    Aaaaaugh! WHO is getting these deals?!?!?!

    Check the recent history on this University Park property. It was bought in May for $495K. Seller is now asking $580K, and that’s more or less in line with the market as I see on Redfin.


    Sales History

    Date Price Appreciation

    05/22/2007 $495,490 9.8%/yr

    05/19/1997 $195,000 —

    I still think this is a knife-catcher in action at this point in time, but when the market bottoms out, I wouldn’t mind getting in for about $80K below market.

    Is this just the second act of the greedy flipper, someone who comes to the courthouse steps with cash in hand, ready to beat out the middle-class family who has to work during normal auction hours?

    How can middle-class buyers get access to auctioned homes? Can we get preapproved for loans without already having title to property?

  18. Bubblegum

    Exactly, this type of consumer spending was and is IMO unsustainable. The economy has to take a hit and it is. I think many industries from auto, auto aftermarket, home improvement, furniture, landscapers, interior designers, home accessories (Pottery Barn, WSGC, Restoration Hardware), appliances, vacations, jewelry, home theaters and plasma TVs will all see declines.

  19. tonye

    There’s a restaurant at the end of the Newport jetty. That’s a great place to go at sunset in the winter when we’re having a mild Santa Ana wind.

    Drinking champagne, wearing shirt sleeves when the sun sets. The food is OK, but the view is spectacular.

    In Laguna Beach, Las Brisas used to be fine, but now it’s a yuppie hangout.

    In the Hotal Laguna, there’s Clae’s restaurant. It’s right on the cliff with beautiful windows overlooking the ocean. The place is pricey but the food is very good. The hotel is not cheap but very nice.


    Then you got the Ritz Carlton down in Dana Point. The Dining Room is very good too but it has no windows. They do have a lounge nearby with a full set of windows on the ocean. The place is pricey all over.

    Good luck.

  20. tonye

    Yep… I want to buy a new LCD flat screen for my bedroom, but I’m holding off because

    (1) prices on those things go naturally down and
    (2) there’s gonna be some awesome sales this Christmas.

  21. Kirk

    Why shouldn’t mortgage companies be allowed to spend their money how they see fit? I don’t think it’s right to ask the mortgage company to give their customers a free ride by paying their property taxes or the money they owe to the home seller. This is another anti-business stance by liberal rotters. This is why you should never elect anyone who hasn’t subscribed to the proven economic strategy of Atlas Shrugged.

  22. mark

    It’s hard for financially responsible people to understand how people can live solely for today with their finances, but that’s how most Americans live. Of course, none of these people would bother reading blogs like this ’cause “why learn something when you could be spending?”

    This family will manage to get by, remembering fondly the good ‘ole days when they were rich.

    I must admit, life seemed so much easier in college when I was living paycheck-to-paycheck. All I cared about would occur in a week’s timeframe (of course going to college is preparing for the longterm). And I had no concern about wealth creation and preservation.

  23. lawyerliz

    I grew up in Balto. People in Balto mostly don’t have money.
    Homeowners were forced into having escrows. Here (Fla),
    there and everywhere.

    I’m scared, really scared.

    We are only scratching the surface. What else is
    crawling around underneath?

  24. lawyerliz

    It isn’t their money stupid. It’s theft.

    Ayn Rand would never approve of lenders dipping into
    the escrow money for taxes THAT BELONGS TO THE


  25. Major Schadenfreude

    “Doesn’t it make you wonder how much of this proclaimed great economy was built on this nonsense?”

    If the economy slows because this nonsense spending is gone, I would say we either still have a healthy economy or it was never healthy to begin with prior to the housing bubble.

    This Thursday we will see what BB thinks.

  26. lawyerliz

    I wouldn’t impound with Countrywide.

    I wouldn’t impound with Washington Mutual either.

    Trouble is, so many people are so feckless that they
    don’t have the discipline to put the money away for their
    taxes and insurance.

    So lenders require the impounds, and in normal times I
    don’t blame them.

    If you look at your mtges, you will see on a standard
    Fannie-Freddie form, they can compel impounds.

    In normal times, the unfair part of it was that they
    never pay interest on the impounds; it’s free money.

    And, speaking of Ayn Rand, doesn’t she have a whole
    speech about how you have to grow to match your money?
    And be worthy of it?

    Because it is a symbol of value.

    Maybe Francisco D’arcona in Atlas? Rand was a nutter, but
    she got a whole lot of stuff right.

  27. graphrix


    If you haven’t joined the forums here you should. I am sure that this question would get a lot of responses and a bit more lively. Also there are already a bunch of recommendations on things to do, restaurants and a bunch of other stuff.

    As for a recommendation I say Las Brisas for a sunset dinner.

  28. CapitalismWorks

    Go to the rooftop deck as Casa Del Camino. Best view you can find, plus the food is better than Las Brisas.

  29. awgee

    liz – Kirk is a troll who misrepresents the position he disagrees with in order to make that position seem silly.

  30. tonye


    In college I broke all the time… and yet I always got what I needed.

    Maybe IR should use the Stones song:

    “…No, you can’t always get what you want
    You can’t always get what you want
    You can’t always get what you want
    And if you try sometime you find
    You get what you need…”

    As you note, I was more financially secure in college than ever after. I always figured I could drive home, get my laundry done, eat some good meals, get some food to take with me, and mom and dad would slip me 20 bucks each… “don’t tell your dad”.. and “don’t tell your mom:.

    I guess my wants were few and my needs less yet.


  31. NanoWest

    Take her to two harbors on Catalina Island. You can pre-order a thanksgiving dinner and eat it at a picknic table. If you don’t have a boat, you can probably take the ferry.

  32. tonye

    Forget Las Brisas! It used to be a wonderful place up until the early 90s. That’s when it was owned by the same guy who had Cano’s up on PCH by Newport.

    But when he sold out, the quality went down, the place got crowded and today it’s just a yuppie place.

    For Laguna, it’s Clae’s.

    Is Tavern by the Sea still there? That used to be one of favorites too.

    No. man… NO…. FORGET Las Brisas. Fake food, fake people and way too crowded. Besides, it’s cold in the winter out on the patio.

  33. lawyerliz

    More to the point, where is John Galt when
    we need him?

    Alas, there is no super human hero out
    there taking down the system; nothing so

    As Pogo said, we have met the enemy and he is

    Prices going down:

    In Central Fla the news reported that a developer
    had a real fire sale. People who had been unable to
    buy a home purchased 2/2s for as low as 137, at
    auction. Places which had been listed for 270. So
    the 50% mark has been reached in the home of the
    Mouse. And Fla never got as unaffordable as you
    guys in Calif.

    Wonder how the people who bought in the $200s feel.

    I have a client coming in Tues, who bought 8 lots, most
    100% financing, on the west coast of Fla, which is deader
    than dead, and not apt to ever recover. Ever being longer
    than 15 years. The sensible thing for the bank to do is
    suck it in and write the loans down 50%, so they will continue
    to see some money coming in. Do I expect the bank to
    agree? Nope. That means some executive somewhere
    would have to admit that a huge mistake had been made.

    The sucking sound you hear is a half mil of illusory value
    being sucked into a financial black hole. Weren’t her money,
    the seller is the one who made out and the true loser is
    the bank.

    I’m beginning to think that around Christmas, the banking
    system will fail. Gold anyone?

    Instead, they will probably insist on a useless foreclosure,
    and not even a deed in lieu. In Fla, you have to go to court
    to get a foreclosure done. Takes a long time and is expensive.

    By the way, what’s a troll? And, what’s a thread?

  34. Kirk

    Very clever IrvineRenter. You changed my “their” into a “there” to try and discredit me. No one is falling for it though as my objectivism shines through while your liberalism rots away this web site.

  35. lawyerliz

    Oh, I see what a troll is.

    Unless this is satire?

    I like my satire more witty, light and ironic.

    Just in case you weren’t trying to joke, last time
    I thought about it, I figured out it’s not in the mtg
    companies self interest to go out of business.

    And I met my husband at 17 at a Barry Goldwater
    meeting. As you see, I am older than dirt.

    I actually saw Rand in person, in the distance at a speech
    she gave.

    As I said, she got a lot of stuff right, but is basically a fundamentalist aetheist. I disapprove of fundamentalists
    of all stripes.

    Heinlein wrote a very bad novel in 1939, in which he sees
    the future very clearly, and in that future, which hasn’t come
    to be, the money system is backed by a series of commodities, and if you want to exchange your paper money, the govt will hand you a bushel of wheat, a loaf of bread, a jug of wine….
    Not a bad idea, but the govt would let the wheat rot and the wine sour.

    I’m sorry, I ramble when it gets late.

  36. Kirk

    Just in case you weren’t trying to joke, last time I thought about it, I figured out it’s not in the mtg companies self interest to go out of business.

    The only reason American Home Mortgage would go out of business is because of overzealous regulators. In case you haven’t actually read Atlas Shrugged, which apparently you haven’t, that is the core premise of the book: The detriment of a society that interferes with those merely pursuing their self interest – merely trying to make a profit. Ayn Rand appropriately labeled those who griped and interfered as rotters.

    Read the book. It shows how society ruined a perfectly good railroad company simply because it hated their success. Don’t ruin this mortgage company.

  37. lawyerliz

    I see.

    Kirk isn’t worth responding to.

    But I have read Atlas many times. After all
    our books (and everything else) was destroyed
    in Hurricane Andrew, we replaced Atlas, and I
    tried to read it again, and strangely enuf couldn’t.

    The writing was so terrible.

    Anybody else have this experience?

    Not you Kirk. You remind me of the old time hippies,
    messing with the minds of people over 30. Been
    there done that, don’t need to do it again.

    My husband just thinks that what is going on is a
    necessary if painful adjustment in the housing mkt.

    I’m seeing financial Armageddon. (This is a metaphor Kirk,
    look it up in an English book.)

  38. SawItComing

    Its coming but when? Dont forget that everyone buys this stuff on credit and until credit cards, car loans, etc get harder to get, prices on consumer items wont drop to where they should be.

    For example: A few years ago I purchased some ATV’s from the local polaris dealer. I hammered him pretty hard and got a good deal but in the end he told me flatly that for every cash buyer he gets 90 credit buyers; those buyers dont look at the whole price, for them upgrades like a winch and hand warmers are not $475.00…they are $14.50 per month…way less than they spend on beer!

    I think this Christmas will begin to tell the whole story.

  39. Gray

    “Why shouldn’t mortgage companies be allowed to spend their money how they see fit? I don’t think it’s right to ask the mortgage company to give their customers a free ride by paying their property taxes or the money they owe to the home seller.”

    Put your glasses on and read the article again, Troll! The homeowners sent their morgage payments PLUS their taxes to the lender. The mortgage company then was supposed to send the taxes to the collection office. Instead, they misused this money that the customers send them for their own purposes. Afaik such a breach of a fiduciary duty is called fraud. Even among Ayn Rand fans!

    And now go get a nice big piece of soap and wash your mouth.

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