Laguna Beach Real Estate Update – Sept. ‘09

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Laguna Beach Real Estate Update – Sept. ‘09

Real Estate is Local

The Summer Seasonal Sales Bump Continues into September!!

  • 33 closed sales in September…the highest since June of 2007
  • 60 properties in escrow for the 2nd straight month
  • See attachments for month to month breakdown since 2004
  • One open house this last weekend had 36 parties through the house in three hours
  • One listing in Woods Cove got multiple offers in first week for over listing price of $1.4m

Oct 1 to Oct 8 update – The march continues – 4 sold, 10 went into escrow, 7  pending (where all contingencies have been removed)

The Statistics and Listings

Here’s how it breaks down:

Property inventory has remained around 400 homes (which is a lot to choose from)

Properties sold in ‘09

  • 66 sold and 27 in escrow less than $1m
  • 49 sold and 20 in escrow between $1m and $1.5
  • 28 sold and 6 in escrow between $1.5m and $2m
  • 18 sold and 4 in escrow between $2m and $3m
  • 22 sold and 3 in escrow

7 Foreclosures – up from 1 a couple of months ago  Client Short Page
20 Short Sales – Client Short Page  7 of the 60 properties in escrow are foreclosures and 18 are short sales. 1 of the 33 properties that closed were short sales, 0 foreclosures
The majority of the sales activity has been in the less than $1m but has moved up to the $1m to $1.5m and will probably go up into the $1.5m to $2m range. You get a real house (1,800 sqft. 3/2) in the $1m to $1.5m range vs. a cottage. The $1.5m to $2m you can get 2,600 sqft, 4/2.
Above a $1m, the houses that sold reduced their price 20% off their original listing price and then were negotiated down another 10% off the last listing price.  Time to negotiate
Houses for sale under $1m have an average salesprice per sqft cost of $658. They are sold at $550 a sqft. From $1m to $2m they are priced at $700 a sqft. While the sold houses are $600 a sqft.   People are negotiating.

My comments and observations:

  • People, like my clients, have been watching this market forever, waiting for that that one opportunity to get a ‘toe hold’ in Laguna Beach. They’ve been watching it religiously and are educated on the market. A lot of people are watching the less than a $1m market of which most of the single family residences are in places like Arch Beach Heights, South Laguna or the canyon. Many are biting the bullet and moving up to the low $1m
  • Prices have come down 30%+ from its highs and selling at around 2003 levels, which seems to be the ‘pull the trigger’ point
  • I believe prices on the high end will continue to come down due to the lack of loans and the required down payment and reserves. This will continue to keep that $1m and $2m in compression and present more opportunities for buyers
  • More low interest loans are available for houses less than $2m. This is stimulating sales
  • There is a lot of property inventory to choose from and more keeps coming on
  • There are 5 to 8 foreclosure properties (up from 1 a month) Client Short Page and 21 short sales on the market Client Short Page . I think a lot of people are buying second homes and they’re  from their inland LA and OC houses to the coast. Kids have gone to college and its time to take care of you for once (This is my observation, not fact)

What are your thoughts?  Is it time to look closer? Are the mortgage rates going to stay low? Get your preapproval from the lender? Or are you going to see how it goes? Are you going to time the bottom (Yikees)
Either way, if I can be of assistance please give me a call at 949-290-5317 or email me at

About Author

Sean McCracken

As the OC Realtor I’ll help you find your special OC Coastal home at that special price. With my hand holding, I’ll take you through the buying process for the minimal amount of pain - Call Me @ 949-290-5317

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