So Cal Home Sales Drop…but Median Price Edges Up

October 19, 2010

La Jolla, CA—Southland home sales dropped for the third month in a row amid renewed doubts about a market that is recovering in fits and starts. The median price moved up on a year-over-year basis for the tenth month in a row and has regained about one-fifth of its peak-to-trough loss. The effects on the market of the latest chapter in the foreclosure crisis are unclear, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 18,091 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in September. That was down 2.4 percent from 18,541 in August, and down 16.0 percent from 21,539 for September 2009, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards but is lower than peak levels reached over the last two years. Financing with multiple mortgages is very low and down payment sizes are stable, MDA DataQuick reported.

Read the whole article at

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Opinions About Obamanomics From an Expert

On Friday, 9/17, Joe Kernan of CNBC’s Sqawk Box interviewed the brilliant,  ebullient  co-founder of Home Depot, Bernie Marcus, about Obamanomics. Marcus knows business well; in 1978, he and two other businessmen started the Home Depot with the dream of building the Walmart of home building products.  He understands, first hand, the struggles of the small business owner.   However, he says,  the President doesn’t.   

Bernie indicates that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Tim Geithner don’t have a clue as to how to jumpstart this economy.  Small business people now are struggling to get ahead, financially, but find they are dealing with new federal regulations almost on a daily basis.  Small business owners tell Bernie that it’s not the unavailability of loans or lack of money that holds them back; it’s the uncertainty of the economic future.  Obamanomics creates a fear of losing everything as the government regulates more,  raises taxes and undermines those who make more than $250,000.

 Businesses are cutting back employees, doubling workloads and cutting costs with no end in sight.  They fear the unfriendly attitude towards creating wealth from this administration will destroy American businesses.   The government needs to get out of the pockets of small business.    For the entire interview, click  HERE

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The Ups and Downs of Short Sales

Jonathan Lansner and Jeff Collins of the the Orange County Register reported stunning numbers, through May,  about the Southern California housing market.  Short sale transactions are up 74 percent in Southern California this year (Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, and Los Angeles counties).

While short sales tend to hurt property values*, increased short sales are likely a good development for an area like Southern California that saw a massive inflation in housing prices during the bubble years.  The increase in short sales serves several constructive purposes:

  • It removes housing inventory from the market, which is a key to some sort housing recovery.
  • It allows underwater home owners to shed onerous debt on houses which will take years to get back to their peak values, if they ever do.
  • The decrease in prices allows many of those who were priced out of the market in the mid-2000s the opportunity to purchase a home.
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Senator Dodd’s Plan to Relocate Americans

Senator Christopher Dodd’s last major piece of legislation, before his retirement, is the SB 1619, the Livable Communities Act, which has been approved by the Senate Banking Committee and now is heading to the Senate floor and has an end goal of controlling all Americans.  The plan is not good for homeowners.

The plan would create a new federal bureaucracy, the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, armed with some $4 billion in federal grants, to pressure local communities into a more “green” development agenda.  It’s plan is supportive of a United Nations Agenda 21, adopted in 1992, outlining the insidious goal of complete control over world populations.

The law is marketed as an effort to fight traffic congestion, strip malls and ugly urban sprawl. It would “encourage” local communities to build high-density population centers linked by mass transit networks.  In other words, it’s goal is to move Americans from rural and suburban areas to the cities, for the sake of ‘saving the earth’.

The bill, approved by the Senate Banking Committee on a party-line vote in August, “is on a fast track,” said Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots group promoting free markets and limited government.  DeWeese said,  “The Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities would end up overseeing development in every community,” he said. “They say it’s voluntary, but it really isn’t. The $4 billion in grants will be used by radical green groups, who helped write it, to force your city council to comply. If your city says no to the pressure to take the grant money, the radical greens will tell your citizens that their city officials are losing them millions of dollars that is owed to the community. Then, when the council caves into the pressure and takes the money, it will force compliance. That is not voluntary, it is blackmail.”

Homeowners would end up paying exorbitant costs and losing control over their own homes, according to DeWeese.

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Cash for Appliances in California

Cash for appliances can save energy and dollars for  California residents.  Offering Californians more choices to save money and energy on new appliance purchases, the California Energy Commission  expanded the Cash for Appliances Rebate program. The Cash for Appliances PLUS rebate program  includes high energy efficient dishwashers, freezers, water heaters, and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Eligible energy efficient appliances and rebate amounts available are: refrigerators $200, clothes washers $100, and room air conditioners up to $50. California Cash for Appliance PLUS rebates include: dishwashers $100, freezers $50, water heaters $300-$750, and HVAC systems: $500-$1000.

Consumers still have up to 120 days from the purchase date to submit their rebate application by mail.

Choices for eligible models include 25 dishwashers, 165 freezers, 258 boilers, 2887 furnaces and more than 300 water heaters including solar. Eligible air conditioning units can be found at:  Choices for current eligible models include: 273 clothes washers, 139 refrigerators, and 314 room air conditioners. A complete list of eligible models can be found at

Consumers will need to work with a licensed California contractor for the installations of water heaters and heating and cooling units. Consumers should check with their local utility and the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and review How to Hire a Contractor

Consumers are eligible for a rebate when they purchase a qualified high energy efficient appliance, water heater, or heating and cooling units, properly recycle their old appliance or system, and submit a complete application package within 120 days of the appliance purchase. Instructions on how to complete an application for the California Cash for Appliances rebate is available here:

For information on how to properly recycle an old appliance, visit:

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J.P. Morgan Chairman slashes his selling price

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has slashed the asking price of his 18-room Chicago Gold Coast home from $9.5 million all the way down to $6.95 million.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the eight-bedroom, 13,500-square-foot mansion now is listed for slightly more than half of Dimon’s original $13.5 million asking price for the home in 2007. Now based in New York, Dimon, 54, paid $4.68 million for the mansion in 2000.

Features in Dimon’s mansion include nine full baths, two half baths, a master suite that takes up the entire second floor, a great room/media room, a wine vault, a gym, a two-bedroom staff quarters with a separate entrance, and a rooftop terrace.

Dimon now lives full-time in New York, where he and his family reside in a co-op unit in a grand courtyard apartment building on Park Avenue in Manhattan that he purchased in late 2004 for $4.875 million.

In April, Dimon had cut the mansion’s listing price from $10.5 million to $9.5 million. Dimon’s newest price reduction occurred on Tuesday.

When Dimon’s mansion first came on the market in 2007, it carried the highest asking price of any residential property inside Chicago’s city limits then on the market. Now, the highest-priced property on the market in the city is Bill Wrigley Jr.’s Gold Coast penthouse, which is available for $14 million.

Coincidentally, the city’s second-highest-priced property — a 13-room, 63rd-floor duplex penthouse in a Gold Coast high-rise — just came on the market this week for $11.5 million. Real estate mogul Richard Klarchek has owned that penthouse since buying it in 1995 for $2.65 million.

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