Saturday, July 9, 2011


This was the headline of the Orange County Register on Sunday May 22nd.  The entire real estate section was focused on all the housing developments that are picking up steam by most So Cal builders.  The California division president of Fieldstone communities delivered the following quote, "It makes sense (to build) again.  We can deliver a product where there's demand.”  This column has been emphasizing for a few months, that the lapse in building over this fairly prolonged period of time, will result in heavy pressure on the resale market.  That's good for homeowners who have hung in there, despite the odds, and have stayed current on payments and are riding out this temporary loss of equity.  Why do I say temporary?  Let's look at investments for the last ten years.  There is not enough space here to do a comparison chart, but do your own.  Take a look at the S & P 500, the Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and Real Estate.  Let's see which one, held from 2000 to 2010 (the worst decade, all agree, in real estate) and see which investment fared best.  The short cut answer: real estate.  Also, with that investment, you managed to leverage your money and buy something somewhere between 10 X's and 5 X's your investment, depending on your down payment.  You more than likely fixed your housing cost, unlike renting, and if you didn't use your home like an ATM, you have built equity.  Let's not forget one of the best tax breaks for the middle class, interest deduction.  Buying real estate doesn't sound so bad... No wonder they're building again.  All agree building has been in the tank.  This column has reported how low permits and percentages have been off.  So after nearly 2 years of a blank in the building department, 28 developments have started the building process in one way or another.  According to Irvine-based housing consultant John Burns, "builders are coming out of hibernation."  The projects together include approximately 3,000 homes and townhouses and duplexes.  Compare that to the paltry 1,600 of 2008-09.  But catch up doesn't happen overnight.  Short sales and foreclosures will continue to be a part of the market mix for several years to come, and certain buyers will be drawn to them for either "patience equity" or investors looking to rehab and sell.  Equity, or standard sales, will continue to rule the qualified buyer who can afford to pay market rate for a turnkey property.


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