Has My Home Lost Value?

The short answer for residents of the San Gabriel Valley is probably yes. If you live in San Bernardino or Riverside Counties, it’s assuredly yes.

Of course, the next question is how much value has my home lost?

Now, the answer gets more complicated because each community and even separate categories within communities have lost differing amounts. Let’s take L.A. County sales. Countywide, prices have plunged 13% since January 2007.

Home values in Glendora’s two ZIP codes, 91740 and 91741, have dropped 12.9% and 26.2% respectively. Why the difference? Though both in the same good school district, a big draw for buyers, values in 91740 are , on average, more doable for first-time buyers while pricier 91741 will require many buyers to purchase using the jumbo loan [any amount over $417,000], which these days carry interest rates at least 1% higher, a double whammy.

Or, maybe 91741 was simply more over-valued, so prices would fall more precipitously. On a more ominous note, prices in January are based for 91740 on only 4 homes, while 91741’s prices are based on the sales of  13 homes. This may well mean that when more homes are factored in, prices are dropping even more than is at first apparent.

Then again, LaVerne prices show a 4% rise over 2007. San Dimas values have dropped 8%. Both these cities share the same school district. Was San Dimas more over-valued? Claremont with the best school district in the foothills shows a 15% drop over 2007 prices. Go figure. Claremont looks like great value for prospective buyers.

In some parts of the county, though, prices have actually gone up. Cerritos and Compton, of all places, have both gained 7.5% over 2007, with median values of $720,000 and $360,000. Brentwood values have jumped 23% rising to a median of $2,100,000, showing that, for now, at least, the rich are not concerned with the latest economic indicators.

Pasadena’s prestigious southwest 91105 ZIP shows a jump of 10.5%  to a median of just over $1,000,000.   Then, there’s South Pasadena with a much better school district, dropping 23% to $758,000 while neighboring San Marino dropped only 8% to a median of $1,320,000.

What’s the reason for the disparities? Most probably volume of sales holds the key to what future values will be. Since August 2007 when the sub-prime crisis hit, sales have been sluggish not to say downright torpid. Many median prices are based as in Burbank 91502 [up 44%!] on too few sales [1]. With all the uncertainty about prices and loan guidelines changing every week buyers are, understandably, loathe to jump into the market. Sales are way down from last year–about 50 or 60% fewer than last year. We won’t know the real story until the buyers come back to the market.   

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