193 and Sliding!

While the world is busy counting down to the New Year, we, the residents of Unicornville did a countdown of our own. Lo and behold, the inventory is below 200. 193 properties on the market as of December 31st,2012. Good news for the home owners, and not so bad news for the buyers because the mortgage rates are at their lowest. Fiscal Cliff decisions tomorrow could drive the market either way for 2013 – if we dip into another recession, the projected legendary housing depression of 2012 might happen in 2013, or in 2014 when people start losing jobs again, and run out of benefits thereby stopping the mortgage payments, and foreclosing their properties. But, today, the post is about 2012.

Here is a report card for one my favorite Irvine villages, West Irvine:

Inventory is down by 72.8% Vs 2011.

Median Sold Price is up 37.2% Vs 2011.

Median Sold Price/ SF is up 3.3%.

All properties currently on the market in this village are above $300/SF, and one of them is $401/SF.

There are no condominiums (detached or attached) for sale.

33 Halifax Place, Irvine CA 92602

Listing Price: $619,800

Price/SF: $401/SF

Beds/ Baths: 3 Beds/ 2.5 Bath

Area: 1,545 SF

Lot Size: 3,446 SF

Year Built: 1998

(There are only two pictures of the property on MLS- this is another trend I am observing as the market recovers. Realtors Some Realtors are putting very low quality pictures, and writing substandard descriptions of the property. Those who know the area and have kept a tab on related information will have no problem making a decision, but the Realtors are losing out on the clients who scan the pictures before visiting the property. For a $600,000 listing, the least you can do is spend 60 minutes preparing a detailed listing)

Monthly Expenses:

Mortgage @ 3.193% : $2,142

Property Tax @ 1.0593%: $548

Mello Roos: $89

Home Owner’s Association: $0.0

Total Fixed Monthly Expenses: $2,779

Here is a sales history for the “Liberty” homes in 2012:

26 Bowie Place $347/SF

34 Halifax Place $312/SF

84 Legacy Way $363/SF

87 Legacy Way $337/SF

31 Halifax Place $321/SF

11 Red Coat Place $344/SF

5 Bowie Place $333/SF

165 Church Place $353/SF

If this property sells for $401/SF, it will set a new sales trend and move the range of similar properties up. The first owner who bought in 1998 tripled his money in six years, but the next owner who held the property for eight years will take a loss of $60,000 if it sells at the list price. Timing is everything in real estate. 2006 and 2007 was the time to sell and go away, but once you are used to a life in Irvine, it’s hard to “go away”. And there aren’t many places to go away if you want wide roads, safety and good schools – all that comes with a price tag of $400/SF+.

What are your Real estate plans for 2012?

Are you joining we-the-sheeple of Irvine?

Are you running away from us and settling some place where the grass is greener?

What are your resolutions?

Please comment below, or share your views at Talk Irvine.