Home Sales Surge

According to Bloomberg.com, sales of existing U.S. homes jumped more than forecast in July to the highest level in almost two years, signaling the housing crisis that crippled the world’s largest economy is easing.
Purchases climbed 7.2 percent to a 5.24 million annual rate, the most since August 2007, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The gain was the biggest since records began in 1999. The median price fell 15 percent.

Almost 90% of Home Buyers Use Internet to Find Homes – What Does that Mean for a Seller?

According to the 2008 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 87 percent of home buyers used the Internet to search for homes in the past year. What does that mean for a home seller? It means that it’s vital for you to know the IQ (Internet Quotient) of your listing agent.
How to find a high IQ agent? Start with an Internet search. Don’t search for an agent’s name. Think like a home buyer might. Say a buyer is looking for Woodland Hills Real Estate. Try entering that phrase in Google. Skip the giant home search sites and find a local agent. Take a look a the site. Do you get a feel for the agent, or is it a “canned” site identical to many others, purchased from a Real Estate Web Site provider? Look at what the site offers. Does it highlight homes in the area your prospective buyer may be interested in? Does it offer a MLS search to visitors? Does it have separate, individual sites for each listing with lots of photographs and information about the house? Is the URL of the property site easy to remember and search engine friendly (e.g. “WoodlandHillsHome.LA” or “WoodlandHillsLife.LA” instead of “www.39493westanywhereavet.com”)? Does the site offer community information? If so, this might be a good Realtor to entrust with your listing.
Next time, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of photography in marketing your home. It is amazing how many homes are marketed with dark, clutttered photographs. Or starkly-lit and uninviting flash shots.

Calabasas and Woodland Hills real estate prices for May 2008

The data are out for May for home prices and sales. Here are the stats for Calabasas and Woodland Hills real estate:
91302: Calabasas Real Estate
Median sale price

  • May 2007: $1,337,000
  • May 2008: $1,205,000
  • Change: -9%

Number of transactions

  • May 2007: 20
  • May 2008: 11
  • Change: -45.0%

91364: Woodland Hills Real Estate
Median sale price

  • May 2007: $820,000
  • May 2008: $630,000
  • Change: -23.2%

Number of transactions

  • May 2007: 30
  • May 2008: 25
  • Change: -16.7%

91367: Woodland Hills Real Estate
Median sale price

  • May 2007: $756,000
  • May 2008: $689,500
  • Change: -8.8%

Number of transactions

  • May 2007: 40
  • May 2008: 27
  • Change: -32.5%

Source: Dataquick Information Systems

So Cal housing market still under siege, says LA Times

Southern California’s housing market took another beating last month as median prices fell an average of 27% from a year ago — the sharpest drop in at least 20 years. The median home sale price in six Southern California counties was $370,000, down from $505,000 a year earlier, according to DataQuick Information Systems. DataQuick said that was the biggest annual decline it has recorded since it began tracking prices in 1988.
The last time the median was lower was in March 2004, when it was $364,000.
The dramatic price drop was attributed largely to sluggish high-end sales, more sellers dropping their asking prices and lenders selling off more of their aggressively priced, repossessed homes, according to real estate data provider DataQuick Information Systems.
original article by Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, 10:56 AM PDT, June 16, 2008