L.A. County: December 2008 Home Values

Seal prior to 2004 lawsuit threat
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You guessed it–home values are still going down. December home sales for L.A. County show a median home value of $320,000, down from the $340,000 of november and 36% lower than November of 2007. Of course, neighboring counties are doing worse, some by a wide margin, but that is hardly cause for joy. There’s no doubt we’re all in this together.

As always, some areas are in worse shape than others. By now, we expect to see huge price drops in North L.A. County and we surely do: Lancaster shows medians of $115,000 and $116,000 [93534,93535], representing drops of 50% and 38% respectively over last year, while 93536 shows a median of $199,000, 35% less than last year. This is grim news as it most certainly means foreclosures and short sales for many. Those that remain must somehow deal with a loss of up to 50% of their home’s value over last year. Sadder still is the story in Palmdale where one ZIP[93591] has lost a spectacular 74% of its median home value in one year to arrive at a crushing $65,000.  Other Palmdale areas show losses of 46% to a median of $116,000 [93550]and 35% to a median of $225,000 [93551].

Other areas hard hit by the home value drop include many areas in Los Angeles City, including Hawthorne, Watts and Compton along with others. In our own area, Pomona continues to lead the way down with a 50% drop in 91768 to a median of $173,000, 41% in 91766 to a median of $223,000 and 38% in 91767 to $216,000. Other large drops occurred in Baldwin Park [42% to $235,000], South El Monte [41% to $270,000], Whittier 90602 [47% to $318,000], but, for the most part, the San Gabriel Valley‘s median home values are higher than the county median and have dropped less.

San Dimas, for instance, shows a 14% drop over last year to $465,000, though that is based on very few sales, itself a poor harbinger for the future. Arcadia dropped about 24% to a median of about $750,000 across its two ZIP codes. Monrovia is down 11% to $478,000, again well about the County median.  Covina has lost around 20% to a median in the high $300,000s.  Walnut has actually gained value to a median of $634,000. Guess you’re doing something right, Walnut. Glendora is down a bit over 20% in both 91740 and 91741 to medians of $343,000 and $419,000 respectively. La Verne is down 6% to $465,000 which represents very good value. Buy in LaVerne. Claremont is down a measly 2% to a median of $525,000.

Many of these medians are based on very few sales, so we can expect them to change, possibly radically, inthe near future. South Pasadena, for instance, now is up 11% to a median of $1,200,000, but that is  based on only 3 sales for the whole month. Condo sales have been abysmal, as expected, and many median values are based on 1 or 2 sales. The median condo price in L. A. County is $290, 000, down 25% over November 207. Sales, though, are way off.

It’s clear that the pace of decline is slowing and the median for L. A. County is dragged down by horrendous numbers in some parts of the City of L. A. as well as Palmdale, Lancaster and the high desert areas  like  Littlerock [down 51% to a median of $140,000]. Established suburbs, such as those in the San Gabriel Valley, with good schools, well-managed city governments and alreay-built and paid-for infrastructure are doing much better than outlying districts. It is also true, though, that if our Current Recession deepens cities will be less able to maintain these infrastructure amenities in the face of shrinking  tax base  from closing auto malls, lost retail outlets and rising unemployment.

Statistics provided by MDA DataQuick and are printed in the L.A. Times.

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Why I Love L.A.

You know I was going to write about something else today, something serious and important whatever it was, but I got all turned around when I spotted this little tidbit in the Calendar section of The L. A. Times.

This is so completely zany, I just had to comment. It’s also sweet and certainly soft-headed. The Aero Theatre in Los Angeles has taken note of our tough economic times and is doing its bit. To wit, if you are unemployed, the theatre is offering free admission to the following flicks: Frankenstein with Boris Karloff  and The Mummy with Boris Karloff.

75px-frankensteins_monster_boris_karloff

75px-frankenstein-movie-poster

Then, gratis, the out-of-work could see Sons of the Desert with Laurel & Hardy and It’s a Gift with W.C. Fields. On the weekend, those with Nothing To Do could catch Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire is Roberta and Follow the Fleet.

75px-laurel-hardyfred-gingerfollow-the-fleetSunday there’s Topper and then Holiday with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn… Just bring in your unemployment check stub and it’s all free.


Get it? These are the same films that cheered us up in THE GREAT DEPRESSION….So, all you need to do is prove you’re receiving unemployment and you’re in! Free!

And, what message is there in this exactly? We’re facing another Depression we haven’t got a name for yet? We want to do something of service but we can’t figure out what? Being unemployed means doing nothing?  Grant & Hepburn’s snappy repartee will give us will?  There’s no work, so why bother? Boris Karloff is our ticket to prosperity and good times? This message is so mixed my head is spinning. Though I am sure of one thing: the folks at the Aero mean well and are giving what they have to give…and those really are cool flicks..

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B of A Strikes Again! Outrageous

Wow, as ranted on in a previous post, these fatcats really don’t get it…

How much has B of A gotten from us the taxpayers at this point–$25 billion and then another $25 billion recently to help clean up the Merrill Lynch mess? Check out a previous post on that little detail. You remember Merrill CEO John Thain tanked his  company, sold it to B of A, ran up another $15 billion in 4th quarter losses and then, fired [laid off–what do you say when a big time CEO is jettisoned?]  by B of  A, he first made sure to dole out $4 billion in bonuses to his loyal cohorts. Can’t get too much more clueless or, more likely,  arrogant than that…

But wait, maybe it is possible…Three days after receiving  the first $25 billion from us, the unwashed masses, the inarticulate  taxpayers, the bigwigs at  B of A, along with some fatcats from AIG [remember them?] hosted a conference call with some conservative activists and business representatives. The purpose? Why to make sure that labor’s most cherished legislation would go down in flames, The Employee Free Choice Act, which makes it easier to sign up union members.

Much bushwa has been spewed about unions, mainly, I would guess, from people who don’t need one, who are already rich. The simple fact is that as union membership has declined precipitously in this country, so, too, has the middle class’s slice of the pie. We’ve all heard by now that during Bush’s years the top 400 richest  Americans paid less than 17% of their incomes in taxes while doubling their median incomes to over $2.4 million.  At the same time, middle class income has declined by a median of $2000. Without unions it’s going to go down even further because without unions workers do not stand a chance against well-heeled employers.

Most taxpayers are middle-class or poor and many of these would benefit from unions. So what nerve of  B of A and AIG, beneficiaries of the collective largesse of the American taxpayer, to urge their listeners to send political contributions against the passage of these bill as well as to “vulnerable” Republican campaign war chests. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you

Companies generally have a right to urge others to vote however they want. But, these companies are no longer private. They now belong in large part to the taxpayer. At the very least, their leaders had better shut up about which political party to vote for… How did it happen that Republicans became “vulnerable”, for instance? Even better, these short-sighted, rapacious money-grubbers should start thinking what they can do for the country that just saved their companies’ collective butts  rather than what they can do for themselves…

Anyway, I ‘m mad and I’m not going to take this anymore. B of A needs to straighten up and behave like a good corporate citizen.

B of A–bah, ptui!    images4

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