I am excited to now be a contributor for the Real Estate section of Laguna Niguel Patch. Patch is an Internet online newspaper owned by AOL. They currently have 650 sites coast to coast with a goal of 750 by early 2011. The article below was featured in “The Neighborhood Files” and gives an update on the Laguna Niguel market.
An Insightful Meeting
Leslie Appleton Young, vice president and chief economist of the California Association of Realtors, brought to members of the O.C. Association of Realtors her projections for 2011 and explanations behind the lackluster 2010.
Appleton-Young said recent seller feedback suggests that only 33 percent of sellers who sold their home in the last year are planning on repurchasing. Problems are lack of savings for a down payment; credit problems from foreclosure; employment uncertainty; and a presumption that prices will continue to drop.
What led to this subprime meltdown and flood of foreclosures? Appleton credits it to both national and international financial market problems.
A recent study by Cal State Fullerton professors concluded that part of the foreclosure wave was because of excessive borrowing against equity. From their probe of Orange County auctions, it was clear that continual re-fis were rampant. Appleton-Young suggested that these repeat offenders simply “thought that they could get out before the market turned down.” Buyers today are smarter and are capitalizing on these properties. And fortunately, for all parties, it appears that banks are getting quicker at closing these short sales and foreclosure purchases.
So when will the market turn around? Appleton-Young said, “Consumer spending represents 72 percent of GDP.” So if consumer spending is lower than normal, the other sectors of the economy will remain on hold until an explicit sign suggests that the recovery is stable and strong.
Laguna Niguel appears to be heading in the right direction, with a significant increase in closed sales in 2010 over to 2009. Closed sales in Laguna Niguel from January 2010 through November 2010 totaled out at 818; it was 700 during the same time period in 2009.
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Specialist!
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GRI GREEN
Past President, Orange County Assoc. of Realtors