Home values in L.A. County for the past year have gone in one direction only–DOWN. How good it would be to hear that surrounding counties had escaped the carnage. Alas! Such is not the case. The most recent home values from MDA Dataquick as reported in the L.A. Times tell the same tedious tale: prices have sunk quickly and deeply in all the Southland. Not one single county has escaped…
Orange County, for instance, long-considered a bastion of opulence, has done better than most with median home value losing only 25% over 2008 to $513,000 for a single family home. As always, some areas are harder hit than others. Anaheim has lost 40% for a median home value of $330,000 bested only by Santa Ana with losses of 45% and 47% in its two ZIPs to a median of about $295,000 to gain the title of worst performing area in the county. Best performances were turned in by parts of Huntington Beach and the entire City of Irvine with a median value of over $650,000 showing that it is still a most desirable city to live in. Super best performance accolades go to the perennial winer, Newport Beach with 2 ZIPs [92663, 92657] actually gaining in value 13% and 3% to attain medians of $2 million and $2.34 million respectively. Wow, talk about your rich getting richer….
Our neighbor Riverside has maintained its titel of Sick Man of Southland by losing 37% of its median home value in the past year, sinking to $245,000. That has happened, of course, because Riverside until recently was one of the fastest growing counties in the US adding thousands of new homes to its existing housing stock over the last 10 to 15 years. Recent buyers, of course, are the most likely to have exotic financing, zero down financing, option ARMs and the rest of the panoply of financial instruments that have gotten us into this mess in the first place.
Some areas of Riverside County are doing far worse than even the dismal median. Many areas have lost over or close to 50% of value in one year: Moreno Valley, Hemet, Perris, North Palm Springs, Nuevo, Mountain Center. The City of Riverside itself has lost in most ZIPs more than the median of the county. The desert communities, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, LaQuinta, Indian Wells and Palm Springs, populated by well-off seniors, has so far escaped the worst of the downturn. Can that immunity last?
Then, there’s beautiful Santa Barbara County so much of which is rural. Countywide, the median home value has plummeted 45% with areas like Santa Maria and Guadalupe leading the way with dips of 30% and 50% to about $275,000 and $178,000 median respectively. Even Summerland has slipped 59.5% to a median of a measly $1.18 million. Santa Barbara City with its 7 ZIPs shows all losing value yet 4 still have medians over $1 million and the others all have medians over $700,000. We’re crying for you, Santa Barbara, but not too much.
Last year Fun City, San Diego, had already lost plenty, so this year’s figures are piled on previous losses. Countywide, San Diego’s median home value has decreased 25% to $385,000. Of course, San Diego County has many beautiful and pricey beach cities which aren’t doing too badly. Solana Beach, for instance, just north of Del Mar, actually gained 17% to a median home value of $1.7 million while Del Mar dipped 3% to $1.4 million. La Jolla dipped 11% to $1.5 million. Point Loma is down 3.6% to $825,000. Oceanside really hit the skids this year, though with losses over 30% in all ZIPs to medians on the mid $300,000. The beach cities saved San Diego County which otherwise would be posting much greater median slides as San Diego also has many new homes built in the past 5 years.