Equal Housing Opportunity
AV News Briefs - By Frank Donato
 

Frank Donato is a long time Valley Resident and Businessman, and a V.P. Account Manager for Fidelity National Title. Frank currently serves as A.V.E.K. Water Board Director (since 1987), and has served as A.V. Fair Director (1997-2001) and North County General Plan Advisory Council Member (1981-1986). Frank is also a Wine Grape Grower and Consultant and Owner/Partner of Antelope Valley Winery. We thank Frank for sharing his knowledge and unique perspective on current issues!

Email Frank Visit Frank's Website

Second Quarter 2007 Antelope Valley News: April


May 8th- The City of Palmdale and United Airlines announce that flights out of Palmdale to San Francisco will begin June 7th. From the SF hub, Antelope Valley residents can fly anywhere in the world. According to posted prices, one can fly to San Francisco out of Palmdale for $170. Palmdale does have some advantages though. Free parking and getting through security and onto the plane will be quick as compared to other much busier airports. Palmdale also has the advantage of almost traffic free driving, saving time and aggravation. United Airlines has committed to fly out of Palmdale no less than 18 months. City officials believe, that in using Palmdale, customers will save up to 2 to 3 hours by avoiding LA's traffic and LAX's security lines. I attended the Open house with over 500 people in attendance over the three hours. To order tickets, www.United.com

April 2007

April 4th- The AV's wholesaler of water, The Antelope Valley East Kern Water District, has taken the lead in water banking, having put a 1400 acre parcel into escrow, in hopes that the newly formed AV Joint Powers Authority will see the wisdom in this and join. The parcel is located in Kern County, between 60th St West and 120th St West, between Rosamond Blvd and Ave B. The land was previously farmland for onions and carrots. AVEK is currently moving through it's of contingencies and when done, full intends to close escrow. Thus far, the property has passed AVEK water percolation requirements, absorbing two feet of water per day. The AV Joint Powers Authority is a coalition of the AV's three State Water Contractors, AVEK, Palmdale Water District, and Littlerock Creek Irrigation District.

April 5th- Two commercial developers trying to rezone residential acreage to commercial in the west Lancaster-Quartz Hill area, will pay $574,000 for two Environmental Impact Reports for the two properties. The properties in question are the SE corner of 60th St West & Ave L and the NW corner of 60th St West & Ave L. At the SE corner, a Super Target is planned; at the NW corner a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Both sites are right across the street from Quartz Hill High School, which has led to some protesting. The Wal-Mart site is 40 acres while the Target site, in total, is 70 acres. The Target site may be scaled back.

April 9th- The planning for the 700 mile high speed rail system, which would connect the Bay area with the San Diego area, is moving ahead, albeit at a snails pace. Because of the high cost of the project, and projects that are deemed to have a greater short term priority, the high rail system has only fading support from Cal Gov Schwarzenegger. The down payment for the system will come from $10B in bonds if the issue passes the voter' approval in Nov of 2008. The state's high speed rail authority will continue to receive some funding, if only a trickle, to keep the planning moving forward in the advent another funding source is found. In early April, when France successfully unveiled its 350 mph high speed rail, a delegation of Californians were present for the demonstration. Some hope this will help to rekindle high speed rail interest here. As the route now stands, cities on the route are, from north to south: Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Merced, Fresno, Tulare, Bakersfield, Palmdale, Sylmar, Los Angeles, Riverside or Temecula, possibly Irvine, than on to San Diego. As of April 24th, each segment of the railway system had project level studies ongoing. An example of a segment would be Palmdale to LA. In many cases, the railway system will use existing rail corridors where feasible. The system, for safety purposes, will run either above or below road grade. This will avoid accidents at cross-roads. The electrically powered train will use the same technology already proven successful in Europe and Asia. The first test of the systems financial viability comes in the Nov 08 election, where a $9.5B bond issue is on the ballot. It would take state legislation to get the bond issue removed from the ballot.

April 11th-
The City of Lancaster has announced that they will host the 2009 US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships. The tournament will bring 256 teams, 6,000 players, and 15,000 visitors from the 14 western states to Lancaster. Undoubtedly, this is soak up every available hotel and motel room in the AV. Restaurants will be jam packed and gas stations active. The economic impact for the City of Lancaster is expected to be in the $13M to $16M range.

April 11th- Investor Tom McGarrey has built and is offering for sale, 21 light industrial condos in the Lancaster Business Park. Ten of the 21 units have already been sold. The units range in size from 1,680 to 4,620 sq feet. Each unit has 18 foot clear high ceilings, office space, bathrooms, 480 volts per unit, and 12' x 14' loading doors. An 1,800 sq ft unit is available for $289,800 ($161 per sq ft), while a 4,543 sq ft unit is listed at $685,993 ($151 per sq ft). Owning ones own location, versus leasing, is that the businesses location is stable, ownership has tax advantages, overhead costs are locked in or fixed. There is also the possibility that the unit itself will appreciate in value, especially if the unit is located in a professional business park.

April 23rd- A private Los Angeles based firm, Western Development and Storage, is finalizing an engineering design for a 1,500 acre water bank. The water would be transported by the California Aqueduct and piped into manmade basins. From there, the water would soak into the ground and recharge the underground water table. The water bank location will be located between 150th St West and 170th St West, and from Ave A to Holiday Ave. The idea was first conceived in 2001 and has been 6 years in the making. The company is hopeful to break ground on the project later this year. The acreage was purchased from Van Dam Farms as agricultural acreage was chosen to minimize any environmental impact. The area can store up to 500,000 of acre feet of water. One acre foot of water equals 326,000 gallons, which is about the amount of water used by the average AV single family home in one year. The plan is to maintain the 500,000 acre feet of water which would help carry the AV through any 5 year drought period. Without touching the 500,000 acre feet of water, Western's plan is to add 100,000 acre per year, but to also draw that much out to sell to water resellers.

May 1st- The State Dept of Finance releases updated population figures for Palmdale and Lancaster. Last year, in 2006, Palmdale grew 3% to raise it's population to 145,468. Lancaster grew 3.8% and now has a population of 143,818. California City, the other incorporated city in the AV, grew 8.9% to 13,123. By percentage growth, California City is the state's 12th fastest growing city. In comparison, Los Angeles County grew less than 1% to 10.33M people. As a state, California grew 1.3% and now totals 37.66M people.

May 2nd- Located on the perimeter of the AV Mall, Palmdale's latest restaurant, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, opens to the public. The 8,500 sq ft building has high ceilings, an elevated bar, several flat panel tv's, works of art, and a colorful mural. The restaurant is known for it's variety of entrees and large portions. Seating capacity is 265.

May 4th- A primary land owner in the proposed west Lancaster shopping center called Amargosa Creek, Frank Visco, has entered into a letter of intent to sell his portion of the 100 + acre site. Visco will sell his 32.5 acres to Laguna developer Wood Investments. The property is along 10th St West, north of Ave L. The portion of the center acquired by Wood Investments is described as "first phase" which would include the sale of "soft goods" in Dept stores and some full service restaurants. Wood, who has developed more than 30 anchored shopping centers in southern California, say they are hopeful to soon have a major retailer signed up for the center. Wood has developed two other shopping centers in the AV, the Vons's center at 40th St West & Ave L, and the Wal Mart center at 20th St East & Ave J. Of the new center, Wood said, "It will be the type of retail that doesn't presently exist here in the AV." Neither party would release or discuss the dollar figure being paid for the land.
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National Housing Market

The following housing data is subject to large sampling and other statistical errors. Substantial revisions in this data are common. It can take up to 6 months to firmly establish a new trend in sales activity. The following data in on the NATIONAL housing market, and may or may not be in "sync" with the AV housing market.

March housing starts
(Commerce Dept), released April 17th, were up for the second month in a row at +.8% to an annual rate of 1.518M. The number was slightly higher than forecast. Year over year, starts are down 23%. While some housing analysts were overjoyed with the number, one declaring, "the free fall is over," and another saying, "The steep housing plunge has now found a floor", it may be too early to draw such conclusions. One should be cautious here, as foreclosures are beginning to accelerate. In the Midwest, starts were up a whopping 44%; starts in the other regions of the country were down between 3%-5%. Housing analysts believe that the weak housing market is taking off 1% from GDP growth. With lending standards being tightened, most homebuilders are luke warm at best regarding future sales.

March building permits
, (considered a leading indicator and a signal of future activity) also released April 17th, were also up +.8%, to an annual rate of 1.544M. Compared to March of 2006, permits are down -26%. Bill Hampel, chief economist for the Credit Union National Association, said that March will be the strongest month for new housing for some time to come, and expects home prices to be flat to falling.

March existing home sales (Natl Asso of Realtors), released April 24th, "plunge" -8.4% to an annual rate of 6.12M, the lowest number since June of 2004. At that time though, ex home sales were going the other way, on the way up, not down. On a percentage basis, it was the largest decline in 18 years, January of 1989, which back then, was the start of a housing recession. The report was much weaker than expected. The median price of a home fell .3% to $217,000. Year over year, prices have been lower for 8 straight months which is the longest negative streak in the history of this report, some 39 yrs. Year over year, existing home sales are down 11.3%. Regionally, sales fell in all four areas of the country. Midwest -10.9%, West 9.1%, South 8.2%, and in the Northeast ex home sales fell 6.2%. Not one housing analysts dared to say a bottom is forming in the existing home market. No, not yet.

March new home sales (Commerce Dept.), released April 25th, rises + 2.6% to a average annual rate of 858,000. The increase was only 1/2 of what was expected. The median sales price rose to $254,000, a gain of 6.4% vs same period a year ago. Although prices have risen vs last year, sales of new homes are down -23.5% vs one year ago. The NE led the way with a +50% increase in new home sales; the Midwest was up +9.8%, in the South they were down -2.9%, and in the west new home sales were down 9/10 of one percent. Analysts say that better than normal weather was helpful in raising sales.

Antelope Valley Home Market News

Antelope Valley's 2006 Top Ten Builders & Their Percent of Market Share

KB Homes- 15.1% of all new homes in the AV in 2006
D.R. Horton- 14%
Beazer Homes- 7.7%
Lennar Homes- 7.6%
Richmond American- 7.5%
Pacific Communities- 6.1%
Frontier Homes- 5.8%
K Hovnanian- 5.6%
Trimark Pacific Homes- 5.4%
Pulte Homes- 4.4%

Antelope Valley Q1 Building Permits- Single Family Homes

Palmdale- 295, up +2.8% vs Q1 of 2006
Lancaster- 273, down -57% vs Q1 of 2006
Unincorporated areas- 117, down -12.7% vs Q1 of 2006
Total of all areas- down -35.8% vs Q1 of 2006

AV Sub-Prime Loans Made in 2006

Regarding the issue of sub loans and the Antelope Valley, data has been released that show the AV's exposure to sub loans.

Area Total sub-prime loans Percentage of all loans made Percentage of loans 60+ days delinquent
East Lancaster 4,731 41.5% 11.6%
Mid Lancaster 4,545 41.4% 11.8%
West Lancaster 3,765 34% 12%
East Palmdale 2,431 36% 11.98%
Mid Palmdale 4,749 42.5% 11.9%
West Palmdale 2,741 36.3% 13.65%
Littlerock 786 41.5% 7.86%
Lake Los Angeles 606 45.8% 12.1%
Rosamond 904 35.3% 7.4%

California Foreclosures

On April 16th, Dataquick real estate information services released it's latest data on the
foreclosures in California. In the Q1 of 2007 vs Q1 of 2007, statewide foreclosures are
up 148%. Here is how the rising foreclosures break down by the 6 southern Cal counties,
and also Kern County.

Los Angeles- + 110%
Orange- + 138%
Riverside- +156%
San Bernardino- + 161%
San Diego- + 156%
Ventura- +123%
Kern- +424%

In all of California, only five counties had rises below 100%. Eight counties had rises of over 200%. Another affordable housing area, Kern County, is leading the state in foreclosures. In Kern, 1 in 83 homes are in some stage of foreclosure. Statewide, that number is 1 home in 152. Nationwide, it is 1 home in 264. Bakersfield broker, Betty Byrom, owner of Peoples Realty, who has been in the real estate business for 31 years said, "The last time we had something like this was in 1993, but it wasn't like this (this bad). We're going have a lot more. It's going get worse before it gets better (speaking of the Bakersfield housing market). There is more than a two years supply of inventory
on the market."

On April 26th, the North LA County Economic Outlook conference was held at the Essex House Hotel & Convention Center in Lancaster. A recurring theme addressed by every speaker were the problems in the housing market. The general theme of the conference was that, save the housing market, the California economy was strong and doing fine. The issues facing the housing market are rising supply and weakening demand which has been caused by the following: tightening credit standards which will limit the availability of credit, rising foreclosures, & rising supply in the existing home market as that market has slowed as well. All of this, as one would expect, has led to a weakening in home prices.

At the April 26th conference, one economist revealed the following numbers now facing the AV housing market:
- currently there are 500 foreclosures
- on top of that, there are 1800 Notices of Default
- 8,000 new homes are in form of construction, from vacant pad to framing etc
- and the existing home market is also sluggish

Add all of this up, and you get a potential housing environment where supply could swamp demand, which would of course lead to lower housing prices. Will it be as bad or worse than the mid 1990's housing market, where foreclosures depressed the entire market? Right now, it is just too difficult (early) to tell. This market cycle does have one thing going for it that the early 1990's market did not: low unemployment and a jobs market that is still creating new jobs. On the flip side, when an owner does lose their home through foreclosure, and they still have a job (which is common now), worst case, they become a renter. Over the coming months this could lead to a stronger rental market. The supply of new renters though, will be created faster than the available housing.

Commentary on AV Housing

These numbers are eye opening. In some areas, the percentage of sub-prime loans made are almost 1/2 of all loans made in 2006. Opinions vary widely on what this means. Some residential brokers/agents are likening this to the Saving & Loan debacle of the early 1990's. Others refer to the potential problem as "overblown" or say the risk is exaggerated. One analysts said that it is unlikely a surge in foreclosure sales will occur unless there is a substantial rise in job losses. A study by the UCLA Economic Dept shows that the biggest surges in mortgage defaults are in areas where new homes are a large share of total sales, i.e., an area like the AV. Sub-prime lending topped out in 2005 when $795B in loans were made. In 2006, $665B in sub-prime loans were made, with estimates for 2007 to be $400B. With lenders finally seeing the light, and tightening lending standards, the specter of a credit crunch is possible. A credit crunch occurs when qualified borrowers just cannot borrow due to new lending standards or lack of capital to pay down an existing mortgage to refinance. Ready access to credit dries up. In this type of environment, residential sales would also fall in number, then prices would fall too. The life blood of the residential real estate market is ready access to money, money to buy, money to give sellers liquidity. When this access to capital is cut back, the whole real estate market suffers. The pain will go on until all or most of the problem loans have worked their way through the process, by default then foreclosure. Think of the sub loan market as an apple tree. The tree has good apples and bad apples. To clean out the bad apples, one must shake the tree and take some short term pain for long term gain. How long will this take? That depends upon how many of these loans actually go to foreclosure. No one knows for sure. Just two or there per neighborhood can bring down appraised market values, and start a downward spiral of falling market values.

An AV broker who owns a large retail residential brokerage office in Lancaster said, "The biggest problem here, is that we are all unsure of just how bad the foreclosure problem is going to get. It is getting worse day by day. More homes are getting foreclosed on in an already saturated market. There is no way to measure it. I have a few agents who represent banks with foreclosed homes that are working 18 hours per day. This market does not have to be a disaster, but it could be. It depends upon how many owners walk away from their homes because they no longer can afford the monthly payment and cannot refinance due to lack of capital."

In the US Congress, some House & Senate members are coming out in favor of some type of bailout of the sub-prime lending mess. It is estimated that it will take $120B to clean up the mess. This means tax payer monies would be used to save homeowners and banks from the foreclosure process. While this may sound like a good and altruistic idea, helping homeowners save their homes, this poses a longer term problem. Bail outs eliminate pain. If no one suffers any pain; if no one is forced to take a loss here; if banks, lenders, and borrowers get off the hook and are not taught a lesson here, not held accountable for their actions, then we could once again revisit this problem in the next boom cycle. If lenders and borrowers are to learn a lesson here, then someone has to take a loss, someone has to take some pain.

Antelope Valley Average Incomes by Zip Code*

93551, west Palmdale- $95,128
93550, mid Palmdale- $51,019
93552, east Palmdale- $64,083

93536, west Lancaster- $81,652
93534, mid Lancaster- $50,394
93535, east Lancaster- $52,436

*source is the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance

AV New Home Sales Data - as of April 22nd, 2007
(source: The New Housing Monitor, Frank Donato)

-New Homes sold year to date - 829
-New homes sold since last month- 146
-New homes selling per day in 2007 - 7.4
-New homes projected to sell this year at current sales pace- 2,701
-New home sales year to date vs same period in 2006 (-41%)
-Number of "new home" builders in the AV- 38
-Number of open subdivisions with sales in Q 1 2007- 76

2006 - total of all new homes sold- 2,584
2005 - total of all new homes sold- 4,579
2004 - total of all new homes sold- 2,503
2003 - total of all new homes sold- 1,820
2002- total of all new homes sold- 1,162
1990- total of all new homes sold- 4,900 +

Home builders in the AV (alphabetical order)
American Premier
Beazer Homes
Capital Pacific Homes
D R Horton
Eliopoulos Enterprises
Empire Homes (Anaverde)Fieldstone Communities
Fieldstone Communities
First Pacifica
Forecast Homes
Frontier Homes
Gibraltar Homes
Grenhill Development
Harris Homes
Hearthside Homes
John Laing Homes
KB Homes
K. Hovnanian Co.
Larwin Co
Lennar Corp.
Matthews Homes
MBK Homes
Mitchell Development
New West Builders
Odyssey Homes
Pacific Communities
Pacific Gateway Homes
Pinnacle Communities
Pulte Homes
Rancho Vista Development
Richmond American
Rising Star Communities
Standard Pacific
Stratham Group
Sun Cal Communities (Ritter Ranch)
Tandis Homes
Trimark
US Home Corp.
Warmington Homes
Western Pacific
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Antelope Valley Land Market

"Supply and demand, in the end, determines the value of all things."
- Adam Smith, "Wealth of Nations"
18th century Scottish economist

Supply closed out April at 3,249, which is up 90 listings, or +2.8% from last month. This is the highest supply since last December's 3,263. The high in this cycle was 3,373 in November of last year. While it appears that supply is leveling out in the 3,000 area, that is still a lot of available property. At the April sales pace, this represents a 20 month supply of land listings. Up until last December, supply had risen 19 consecutive months. Year over year, April 2007 vs April 2006, supply is up 394 listings, or +13.8%. With the slow down in land sales now approaching two years, year over year comparisons are not so dramatic as they were one year ago. Since the April 2005 low of 1,751 land listings, supply has risen 85% or by a total of 1,498 listings over the last 24 months. With land prices in some areas having gone up by 5 or 10 fold, rising supply was a natural consequence. In April the amount of time needed to sell all standing inventory, or active land listings, rose to 19.9 months from last month's 18.7 months. As recently as just last June, less than one year ago, this number was at 11 months to sell all standing inventory. In April of 2006, this number was in single digits, at just over 8 months. This means, that in less than a year, the time needed to sell all inventory, has almost doubled. April of 2005 was when this indicator peaked in strength, when all land listings could have been sold in just 5.6 months. Historically, rising supply, when accompanied with weakening demand, has eventually lead to a weakening of prices. In any market, excess supply, eventually, will shift pricing power from sellers to buyers.
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Supply numbers in perspective:
Supply change vs last month: + 2.8%
Supply change, year to date: - 1/2 %
Supply in Apr 07 vs Apr 06: + 13.8%
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Supply at end Apr 2007- 3,249
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Supply at the end of 2006- 3,263
Supply at the end of 2005- 2,264
Supply at the end of 2004: 1,902
Supply at the end of 2003: 1,607
Supply at the end of 2002: 1,770
Supply at the end of 2001: 1,665
Supply at the end of 2000: 1,800
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Why is the supply number important? The market value of all things, eventually, comes down to the basic principle of supply and demand. The supply number helps to tell us the psychological condition of buyers and sellers, by its change and it's rate of change. In combining this data with the demand number below, we can assess the current status of the land market. When supply numbers approach historical highs and lows, they can also be useful in signaling major turning points. Example: at the peak of the 1988-90 market, supply made a low in May of 1989 at 587. In hindsight, May 1989 was at or near the point of peak speculation in our market, as demand over-whelmed supply, drawing it down. The value in following supply, is not in the number itself. The value comes from the magnitude of change, and that change in relation to demand.
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Demand in April (163) fell 7 sales, a fractional decrease of less than 1/2% which in not statistical meaningful. Prior to April, sales had risen 3 consecutive months. Thus far, the land market has held the 150 area of monthly sales which approximately represents a 50% sales decline vs the peak year of 2005. While sales are down dramatically from the 2005 levels, there are still very good in relation to the 2000 to 2004 period. At the 150 area, our market is active and fairly liquid, allowing properly priced land to sell. The next level of import would be 200 sales per month. Prior to this breakdown in volume last July, the land market recorded over 200 land sales per month 19 months in a row, a streak that started in Dec 2004. To get back above the 200 sales per month level would be a very bullish indicator. The 3 month average is 163 sales. The 6 month average is 155. Since the peak of April 2006, at 323 land sales, monthly land sales are now down - 49%.

Avg days on the market- 171 days, rising 1 day from March's 170 days.

Demand numbers in perspective:
Land sales year to date- 638
Apr 2007 vs Apr 2006 - 49% (down)
Land sales pace for 2007- 1914
Land sales in all of 2006- 2,648
Land sales in all of 2005- 3,376
Land sales in all of 2004- 2,372
Land sales in all of 2003- 1,240
Land sales in all of 2002- 679
Land sales in all of 2001- 407
Land sales in all of 2000- 307
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Average land sales (in 2007) per month- 159
Average land sales (in 2006) per month- 221
Average land sales (in 2005) per month- 281
Average land sales (in 2004) per month- 198
Average land sales (in 2003) per month- 103
Average land sales (in 2002) per month- 56
Average land sales (in 2001) per month- 34
Average land sales (in 2000) per month- 26
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Quik Sum of Land Market

The overall supply and demand structure of the market remains unchanged. Although off its high, supply still remains near all time highs and gives no indications that it is about to trend downward. It will take years to work supply back below the 2,000 level. How do we get there? Historically, a slowing market will cause many sellers to capitulate and give up, taking their properties off the market. In this current market, I would like to emphasize to sellers, who may becoming impatient, DO NOT give up and take your property off of the market. A lot of property is still selling, 150 + pieces per month as a matter of fact. The time to give up is when demand weakens dramatically, making it almost statistically impossible for a parcel to sell. We are no where near that type of market now.

When one considers all of the problems facing the housing market, demand for land is holding up quite well. For the most part, land sales are range bound in the 150 to 170 area. Six of the past seven months have had sales within this range.
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The market has four main characteristics that I watch. A question often asked is, "Are we in a seller's market or a buyer's market?" Let's take a look at the four major factors of the land market and how they stack up for both buyers and sellers.

-Supply numbers- very near the record high levels set in Q 4 of last year
For Buyers, rate this area an "B", more listings means more choice for buyers (in certain areas)
For Sellers, rate this area an "F", high supply means sellers have more competition

-Demand numbers- at 163, this is fairly good; enough land is selling so that properly priced parcels can sell
For Buyers- rate this area a "C", parcels can still disappear (sell) if buyers hesitate
For Sellers- rate this area a "B", although sales have fallen about 50% since 2005, market is still active

-Quality of Supply- poor, very poor. To illustrate this, only 27% of March's solds are reported below, with 61% of all of April's sales not worthy in quality of location to report. Think of it this
way: most "penny stock" quotes don't appear in your local paper. The predominance
of poor quality demand is typical late cycle behavior. "Even the turkeys fly."
For Buyers- rate this area a "D", low quality locations dominant the supply
For Sellers- rate this area an "A", as almost any property, properly priced, can sell

-Valuation- a five year bull market has repriced everything to the upside, dramatically increasing risk.
For Buyers- rate this area a "F", finding a bargain priced property is almost impossible
For Sellers- rate this area a "B", selling prices remain very near record price highs

Conclusion: Although weakened from 2005, the market still favors sellers. If the current trend continues, pricing power will gradually shift from sellers to buyers. For buyers, this market still has too much risk. When housing has made a clear bottom, and the economy begins to grow faster, we will be able to accurately measure risk. Presently, with no bottom in sight in the housing / foreclosure market and land prices still near record valuations, staying on the sidelines and building cash reserves is the most prudent action one can take.
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The AV is the only real place of substantial size that Los Angeles County has left for growth, and unlike many locales around southern California, growth in the AV is welcome. The AV today, regardless of where we are in the economic-real estate cycle, still has a great growth story and a great future. If you missed the bull market of 2001-2005, we are gradually working our way towards a buyer's market. At the very least, if not a buyer's market, it will be a better buying opportunity than we have now. Better values should arise over time. Over the next several months to years, bargains will make themselves available. The knowledgeable and courageous will snap them up, knowing from market history, that buyer's markets, like seller's markets, don't last forever either. The bull markets we have had in land have one thing in common: the old price highs of the previous bull market have been exceeded by ensuing next bull market. In between, there are price pull backs, which creates value and opportunity. This is when one should build their inventory and get prepared for the next bull market. This is how big money is made in AV land; not by chasing after property at or near record high prices.


- Frank Donato, April/May 2007

Information presented above has been compiled from reputable sources, and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All opinions expressed are those of the Author.