Doom and gloom? Seems like we’re having that for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Is the situation as dire as the media claims? What has happened to home values anyway?
Los Angeles County–this is the biggest county or one of the biggest in area in the whole country. This geographic diversity means values are all over the place. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at median values for January 2007–down almost 13% countywide over January 2006, now down to $475,000. That’s single family homes [SFRs]. Median condo prices are down 5% to $399,000. So, that’s not so bad, especially considering the 25% increases we experienced for FIVE straight years.
Within this giant county, too, are gigantic variations. In Santa Clarita, site of many brand new homes, prices have tanked–down 30%. In Palos Verdes Peninsula and Rancho Palos Verdes, long-established and desirable communities, prices have spiked 15% and 43% respectively… So, home values in LA County are not uniformly down. Each ZIP merits separate consideration, though most are down.How about the rest of SoCal?Orange County, the big OC–median prices are down 13% for SFRs to a median of $583,000. Condos are down almost 15% to a median $375,000–even lower than in LA County. In the OC prices are down almost across the board–except for, you guessed it, Newport and Corona Del Mar, with a bit of Irvine thrown in. OK, that’s fairly uniform between the counties…
- Let’s check out our friends to the east where we know many home builders were going nuts the last few years, seemingly in a mad rush to pave the entire desert all the way to Arizona…Riverside County is in a strong slide..median SFR home value in January is $315,000, 23% less than 2006. Again, prices here are down in every ZIP. The whole county is involved in this decline.
- How about San Bernardino, also a vast and highly diverse county which includes Big Bear [down 30%], Lake Arrowhead [down 12%], the cheapest ZIPs in the state, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley, Barstow [down 32%, 35%, 54%, 43% respectively]. But, it also includes upscale Rancho Cucamonga [down 20% in some ZIPs, up 18% in 91737], Ontario [down 21%], Upland [down about 15%] and Chino Hills [down 12%].Yes, it’s mostly down to a median value of $279,000 for SFRs [down 24%] but, still, a mixed bag.
And our neighbor to the north–mighty Santa Barbara County, until recently home of the most expensive ZIP in the state? The county is down 30% to a median of $383,000. But, the city of Santa Barbara still sports median prices of over $1,000,000 in 93101 and over $2,000,000 in 93103. True, just a couple of sales, but that jumps the median in those areas up over 100%! The rich are different from you and me…Yes, F. Scott, you were certainly right about that