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Halloween is Upon Us…

Halloween is Upon Us…

pumpkin 2008

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been taking long walks around Pasadena and San Marino and looking at all the amazing decorations that are gracing our beautiful homes.  It’s no small feat to put some of these up.  I, for one, am not much for decorating – maybe it’s the lack of time or just not enough creativity – I don’t know.  My decoration was three huge pumpkins (2 of which unfortunately walked away off of my porch a few days ago) and a door hanger.

This morning, as I’m watching my kids put together their costumes, get the cookies and cups ready for school parties and talk about this evening’s activities, I’m reflecting on how commercialized Halloween is getting.  This is not going to be a rant, but out of curiousity, I wanted to look at some Halloween facts as presented by National Retail Federation.

  • “This year, the average person plans to spend $66.54 on the holiday, up from $64.82 one year ago. Total Halloween spending for 2008 is estimated to reach $5.77 billion.”
  •  “This year, consumers will spend an average of $24.17 on Halloween costumes (including costumes for adults, children, and pets). People will also be buying candy ($20.39 on average), decorations ($18.25) and greeting cards ($3.73).”
  • National Retail Federation estimates that total Halloween spending is expected to reach $5.77 billion
  • Halloween remains most popular with young adults, as 18-24 year-olds plan to spend $86.59 on the holiday, the most of any group.

Are folks trying to get away from the economical roller coaster by focusing on Halloween?  Is it because, Halloween falls on a Friday this year, that adults are taking more of an effort in decorating and getting ready to celebrate?

As my social media buddy, Dave Taylor asks – What will Halloween look like 20 years from now?

What are you doing around Pasadena to celebrate Halloween this year?

Whatever you do STAY SAFE and HAVE FUN!!!

Posted on October 31st, 2008
Posted in Fun Posts
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report: Fed Cut To Prompt Lower Mortgage Rates Into November?

Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report: Fed Cut To Prompt Lower Mortgage Rates Into November?

Brian Brady

We analyze Pasadena mortgage rates by examining the mortgage-backed securities market
and its reaction to economic data and events.  Today, the Federal Reserve cut
the Fed Funds rate to an historical low of 1%:

The Fed funds rate target is now 1%,
the lowest level in more than four years. In announcing its decision, the
Federal Open Market Committee cited a drop in spending by consumers and
businesses, and predicted that consumption
may slow further due to tighter lending standards.

“The pace of economic activity appears to have slowed markedly,” the FOMC
said in a statement, “owing importantly to a decline in consumer expenditures.”

Why’s the economy in the tank?  You just aren’t spending enough money, Joe
the Plumber.  Of course, you can’t borrow any either so you’re hesitant about
spending.   Hence, the Fed cut in rate.  Normally, a Fed cut should be followed
by a RISE in mortgage rates but it looks like the mortgage-backed securities
market anticipated the cut a week ago. 

Candleperl_2

 

Let’s take a look the crystal ball (market chart):

See what’s happening here?  Two weeks ago, we had a six day BIG drop, which
caused rates to rise from 5.875% to 6.5%.  That drop was followed by a 5 day
rally, which brought rates back down to 5.875%.  Then, we had a six day BIG
drop, driving Pasadena mortgage rates back up to 6.5% (today)…

…and I think the market overreacted which means I think we’ll see
lower mortgage rates into the beginning of November
.

This is the kind of volatility we’ve come to expect.  Pasadena mortgage rates should
drop to 6.25%, pause, then drop again to the 6% level or below.  No guarantees
but November closings should get a peek at 6% or better rates soon.

Posted on October 29th, 2008
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

1 Comment »

Is it a Buyer's Market or a Seller's Market? Market Action Indicator may offer help.

Is it a Buyer's Market or a Seller's Market? Market Action Indicator may offer help.

I’ve been posting monthly real estate market report updates on this site for cities around Pasadena. One of the key real estate indicators that I refer to is the Market Action Index or MAI.

What is the Market Action Index ? And, why does the Market Action Indicator matter?

Residential house prices are a function of supply and demand, and market MARKET ACTION INDEX conditions can be characterized by analyzing those factors.

My research company, Altos Research uses an algorithm to divide a Buyer’s Market from a Seller’s Market. The red line at 30 is that line.

For example in the graph below for Pasadena’s real estate market, it has been a COLD, BUYER’S MARKET since end of 2007 with the MAI hovering quite a bit under the balanced market of 30, closer to 15. Now, this graph is for the entire Pasadena real estate market. Each zip code within the city has a different MAI.

Pasadena CA Market Price Housing Index

Come back to this site to watch this index for sustained changes: if the index falls into the Buyer’s Market zone for a long period, prices are likely in for a downward correction.

The Market Action Index (MAI) illustrates the balance between supply and demand using a statistical function of the current rate of sale versus current inventory.

An MAI value greater than 30 typically indicates a “Seller’s Market” (a.k.a. “Hot Market”) because demand is high enough to quickly gobble up available supply. A hot market will typically cause prices to rise. MAI values below 30 indicate a “Buyer’s Market” (a.k.a. “Cold Market”) where the inventory of already-listed homes is sufficient to last several months at the current rate of sales. A cold market will typically cause prices to fall.

If you are interested in receiving a weekly real estate market reports with the Market Price Index, you can request Market Real Estate Report here and it will be emailed to you automatically each Monday. This is a report that I order specifically for the readers of my website from Altos Research who specializes specifically in real estate housing market activity throughout the country.

I currently offer real estate market reports for Pasadena, Alhambra, San Marino, South Pasadena, Monterey Hills (under Los Angeles 90042), Arcadia, Altadena, San Gabriel and more.

If you have additional questions about the state of the Pasadena housing market, please call me at 626-627-7107 .

Irina :-)

Posted on October 29th, 2008
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

No Comments »

Arcadia Real Estate Market and Housing Report – September 2008

Arcadia Real Estate Market and Housing Report – September 2008

This Arcadia real estate market report is a few weeks overdue. My apologies for the delay, but I was struck down with the worst flu that I ever remember having. Oh well… it’s over and done with. I hope at least. :-)

Single Family Home sales in Arcadia remained at 31 closed escrows just like in August, down from the high of 50 home sales in July. Inventory increased a bit to 129 listings, but essentially remained flat if you look at the last five months of data. Arcadia homes are selling at 96.33% of asking price in September, with 9 out of the 31 selling at or over asking.

Arcadia condos have seen an increase in sales in September, but the inventory remains pretty stable. If the rate of sales will hold and inventory remains the same, it’ll take approximately 10 weeks to move the existing inventory. Arcadia home sellers are still overpricing their condos and are listing them on average at $317 per square foot. The sold price per square foot has fallen under $300.

 

Arcadia townhomes had an increase in inventory mainly due to a new complex that hit the market in early September at 1016 – 1020 West Huntington Drive. These townhomes were built in 2007 and are selling in the low $800,000 range. Again, listing price per square foot ($347) on most of the townhome listings is way higher than the actual sold price per square foot ($293) in September. Arcadia townhome sellers need to track the real estate trends a bit closer or they will end up sitting on these homes for a long time and then reducing home prices more significantly to bring in a buyer. The absorption rate increase speaks clearly to the overabundance of townhome listings vs. buyers.

 

Also Read: Arcadia Real Estate Market Trends for August 2008

 

Arcadia Real Estate Market Statistics for September 2008:

 

 

Single
Family Residence
May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New
Listings
77 46 48 31 42
Total
Listings
156 157 132 106 129
Sales
Pending
20 48 22 16 22
Homes Sold 27 30 50 31 31
Listings
Expired
23 16 28 19 26
Average Days
on the Market
80 193 93 188 56
Average
Price Per Sq. Ft.
$420 $414 $431 $416 $427
Average
Selling Price
$972,274 $991,057 $917,052 $1,007,310 $951,542
Absorption
Rate (# of weeks to sell
current inventory at present rate of sales)
25.0 22.7 11.4 14.8 18.0
           
Condos May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New
Listings
6 5 8 4 7
Total
Listings
18 20 20 17 19
Sales
Pending
4 3 2 3 3
Condos Sold 3 5 7 5 8
Listings
Expired
6 1 2 2 9
Average Days
on the Market
153 98 74 153 138
Average
Price per Sq. Ft.
$299 $343 $315 $303 $292
Average
Selling Price
$503,296 $559,300 $475,357 $456,800 $502,350
Absorption
Rate (# of weeks to sell
current inventory at present rate of sales)
26.0 17.3 12.4 14.7 10.3
           
Townhomes May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New
Listings
10 16 16 6 15
Total
Listings
33 34 35 20 32
Sales
Pending
8 14 6 1 8
Townhomes Sold 15 6 18 7 7
Listings
Expired
2 8 7 11 5
Average Days
on the Market
111 80 86 83 55
Average
Price Per Sq. Ft.
$329 $353 $316 $349 $293
Average
Selling Price
$579,700 $579,333 $553,111 $603,571 $581,698
Absorption
Rate (# of weeks to sell
current inventory at present rate of sales)
9.5 24.6 8.4 12.4 19.8

 

 

Data taken from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)

SEARCH
ARCADIA HOMES FOR SALE (Single Family Residence)

SEARCH
ARCADIA CONDOS AND TOWNHOMES FOR SALE

 

 

For weekly updates on Arcadia
real estate market activity
, please feel free to request market
analysis reports with detailed information by clicking here. These reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you with my compliments.

»crosslinked«

Posted on October 29th, 2008
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

2 Comments »

Pasadena Real Estate Mortgage Rates Report: October 27, 2008

Pasadena Real Estate Mortgage Rates Report: October 27, 2008

 

Brian Brady

Friday, Pasadena mortgage rates jumped from 5.875% to 6.25% as mortgage-backed securities traders joined the world wide sell-off.  Global stock markets plunged Friday and the Asian markets were weak for Monday.  Investors world wide don’t want to be invested in ANYTHING.

When the world panics, we FLOAT mortgage rates.  So, roll the projectors!  The movie “Float Club” is playing all week.

Interestingly enough, gold isn’t skyrocketing in price.  Long held as a “safe haven” during times of turmoil, investors are opting to hold their portfolios in cash instead:

Bullion is down 15 percent this month as the dollar climbed to a two-year high against the euro and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index headed for its steepest monthly loss since 1938.

`We’re seeing some consolidation in the market today as investors pause for breath following the roller-coaster we had last week,” Zhu Lv, research manager at Shanghai Tonglian Futures Co., said from Shanghai today.

Gold for immediate delivery gained as much as 1.7 percent to $746.91 an ounce, and traded at $735.33 at 10:29 a.m. in Singapore. The metal fell below $700 on Oct. 24. Silver for immediate delivery was up 1 percent at $9.4575 an ounce.

Gold still benefits from its safe haven properties, although these days, more and more are choosing to hold just cash instead, so it won’t be surprising to see gold below $700 again,” said Zhu.

What’s that mean?  It means that while investors are cautious, they aren’t completely terrified and that bodes well for mortgage-backed securities.  When investors buy mortgage-backed securities, mortgage rates drop; that’s what we think will happen in the next 7-10 days.

I cautioned borrowers to lock in all October closings last week when Pasadena mortgage rates dipped below 6%.  That opportunity had a short-lived window.  Like all panics, reason eventually prevails.  Central banks world wide are slashing interest rates to avoid an economic recession.  This make US dollar denominated investments, especially mortgage-backed securities more attractive.

Hold out for a mortgage rate below 6% if you’re closing in November.

Originally posted on Millionaire Real Estate Lender

Posted on October 26th, 2008
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

No Comments »

Sierra Madre Real Estate and Housing Market Report – September 2008

Sierra Madre Real Estate and Housing Market Report – September 2008

Sierra Madre’s real estate statistics for the month of September are below.  In September, only 9 homes closed escrow in Sierra Madre.  That’s a significant drop from August.  At the same time, the number of new Sierra Madre homes on the market remain pretty constant.  Steady listing numbrs and lower Sierra Madre home sales result in a significantly higher absorption rate.  It will take 19.3 weeks to sell the existing Sierra Madre inventory if no additional homes come up on the market and if the rate of sales remains the same.

Looking over the September listing inventory for Sierra Madre shows that home sellers are still signifcantly over pricing their homes.  On average, sellers are asking $463 per square foot.  While buyers were willing to pay only $417 in September.

The lowest priced Sierra Madre home is $360,000 at 261 Grove Street.

The highest priced Sierra Madre home is $1,999,999 at 380 N. Lima Street.

There are five available Sierra Madre condos and townhomes for sale.  The rate of sales for the last two months have been at two sales each month.

See: Sierra Madre Real Estate Market Report for August

Sierra Madre Real Estate Market statistics for September 2008:

 

Single Family Residence Aug-08 Sep-08
New Listings 8 7
Total Listings 37 40
Sales Pending 3 5
Homes Sold  15 9
Listings Expired 3 6
Average Days on the Market  123 91
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $435 $417
Average Selling Price $707,000 $739,667
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 10.7 19.3
     
Condos and Townhomes Aug-08 Sep-08
New Listings 0 1
Total Listings 3 5
Sales Pending 1 0
Homes Sold  2 2
Listings Expired 3 0
Average Days on the Market  163 122
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $340 $336
Average Selling Price $562,000 $405,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 6.5 10.8

 Real estate data based on information from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)

For weekly updates on the real estate market activity, please feel free to request market analysis reports with detailed information by clicking on How’s the Market page on this Pasadena real estate blog.  These reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you with my compliments.

Posted by Irina Netchaev, Monterey Hills Real Estate Agent   626-627-7107   

 

SEARCH SIERRA MADRE HOMES FOR SALE

SEARCH SIERRA MADRE CONDOS AND TOWNHOMES FOR SALE

Posted on October 23rd, 2008
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Pasadena Real Estate Mortgage Rates Report – October 21, 2008

Pasadena Real Estate Mortgage Rates Report – October 21, 2008

Brian Brady

By: Brian Brady

America’s #1 Mortgage Broker  

Pasadena Mortgage rates are finally below 6.0% again.  If you’re closing on your Pasadena home purchase in October, take any rate under 6.0% and lock it in to closing.  In the beginning of the month, I suggested to wait for lower rates if you were closing in the last two weeks of October.  I said:

You can safely delay mortgage locks if your closing after October 17th.  Delaying your lock is a bit different from a “float” recommendation.  It means that you should expect lower rates and jump on one when you feel it’s “good enough”. The market should remain volatile.  The par rate (with no yield spread premium to the originator) should drift as low as 5.625% in the next 60 days but it may have to go through 6.125% to get there.

We made it through the 6’s but never lower than the original 5.875%.  If I still think there is room for improvement in mortgage rates why am I recommending to lock for October closings?

My strategy is more about limiting higher rates than gambling for better rates.  I try to avoid unnecessary risk by being biased to locking unless there is irrational fear.  While I was dead on about the irrational fear in the mortgage-backed securities market, my timing was off.  If you’re closing a Pasadena home loan this week, and delayed your lock, I might have cost you some money.

The mortgage-backed securities markets are finally able to focus on the economy now that the drama is over on Wall Street.  Economic fundamentals drive mortgage rates and the economy doesn’t look real healthy. 

Expect rates to improve to 5.625% and fluctuate between 5.625% and 6.25% through the rest of the year.

If you’re closing on your Pasadena home after November 1, 2008, delay that lock until 5.625% is available.  All October closings, take what you can get today.

Posted on October 21st, 2008
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

No Comments »

Castle Green – A Pasadena Landmark

Castle Green – A Pasadena Landmark

The majestic Castle Green in Pasadena California.

Castle Green

 

Castle Green 99 Tower of Castle Green

Castle Green

 

Castle Green Info

©Irina Netchaev

 

Search Pasadena Homes for Sale

Pasadena California Relocation Guide

Discover Pasadena

 

Posted on October 17th, 2008
Posted in Pasadena
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Pasadena Real Estate: Best Of Issue

Pasadena Real Estate: Best Of Issue

Another great article by my friend Joanna Dehn Beresford in the Best Of Pasadena issue of Pasadena Weekly this week.  Granted, it mentions yours truly, but it also gives some sound advice on what to look for in a Pasadena Real Estate Agent.

Buyers and sellers have good reason for hope in economic crisis

By Joanna Beresford 10/16/2008

rainbow“These are the best and worst of times for real estate,” says my favorite real estate agent, Irina-the-Tsarina Netchaev. “The worst is uncertainty. Buyers wonder if it’s the right time to buy.

Sellers don’t know if they should sell, rent or hold. And agents have to keep up with constant changes in the industry, work a lot harder to make the same number of sales and serve their clients in the same way that they did in the past.”

But even during economic tumult, Irina is no pessimist. Her family struggled to reach America, a country that her grandmother had dreamed of for years; when they arrived in the United States, Irina and her parents had left fear and despair behind them in Kiev.

“The best thing about the era we’re in right now is the opportunity!” Irina says. “Opportunity for buyers to get into a home at a more affordable price. Opportunity for sellers who want to move or trade up, to exchange their present home for the home of their dreams. It’s also an opportunity for savvy and creative agents who want to build their business, and position themselves for developments in the market.”

I can’t claim unequivocally that Irina is the best real estate agent in the San Gabriel region, because there are so many realtors in the area. Many of them are terrific, and most of them I’ve never even met. But I do know that Irina is among the best. I know that she delights in the artistry of her craft. I know that she’s learned a great deal from her corporate experience, and also from her experience as mother to teenage children. I know that she’s an avid student of life, real estate and human nature – and I know that she’s not perfect.

“It’s really important to have a consultation before making any decisions or commitments,” says Irina, alluding to the chemistry and compatibility involved in the agent-client relationship. “I can’t help everyone.”

The best Pasadena real estate agent will demonstrate several, fundamental characteristics. Some of these are self evident. Like, if you’re selling a home, you don’t want to hire an agent who’s going to nosh on your leftovers, drink out of the milk carton and indulge in a shower in the master bath during a lull in open house activity.

Second, don’t mistake “top producer” for “best agent.” The truly gifted agent may spend more time, therefore earning less money, to properly serve a client, than the agent who maintains a madcap momentum of million-dollar home sales and massive commissions. Often snubbing other agents in the process, which is another thing you should consider if you want the best agent in the business; find someone who cultivates friendly, supportive relationships within the real estate community.

Now more than ever, we all need each other in the course of buying, selling and living in our homes.
Most experts caution against working with a part-time agent. The full-time agent tends to be more focused, informed and dedicated than the guy who’s still hanging onto his day-job.

Also, among other things, the best agent knows how to take a decent photo, write a decent description and return calls in a decent amount of time. It also helps if your realtor knows how much it costs to replace a 50-year-old furnace or rewire a converted garage.

The best real estate agent will provide you with references and comprehensive market analysis. He will negotiate effectively on your behalf. He will, according to real estate coach, broker and author Jennifer Allan, put your needs above his/her “need for a paycheck.”

Obviously your agent should know the region intimately. And who wouldn’t want to know Pasadena intimately?

“Where else can you find a sunny, 76-degree climate?” asks Irina. “Where can you be an hour away from skiing, 40 minutes from the ocean, surrounded by chic boutiques, theater, museums, culinary schools, academia, upscale restaurants and amazing hole-in-the-wall dives – all within a few mile radius of tree-lined streets and quiet neighborhoods? It’s an amazing place to live and work!”

The thing is, the beauty of Pasadena persists through good times and bad, and the pleasures of living and working here make our community shine among the best-of-the-best idyllic regions in the world. The best real estate agents share our passion for the landscape, climate and community and their passion creates productivity.

“The example of my grandma following her dream,” Irina says, “the courage that it took for my parents to leave their homeland with almost nothing and make a life in this country has instilled in me the idea that anything can be accomplished if you just dedicate yourself and are clear about your goals and passions.”

Contact Joanna Dehn Beresford at truewrite@yahoo.com.

Posted on October 17th, 2008
Posted in About Us
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

No Comments »

San Marino Luxury Estates – September Million Dollar Sales

San Marino Luxury Estates – September Million Dollar Sales

September was a slow home sales month for San Marino.  There were only eight homes that were sold.  These luxury San Marino estates ranged from $805,000 to $2,580,000.  Three of the homes were under $1.5 million and five were over.

 

San Marino Luxury Homes September 08

 

1.  2370 Sherwood Road, San Marino – Listed at $1,549,000 and sold for $1,600,000 – SOLD OVER ASKING It was on the San Marino real estate market for only 18 days – this home was priced correctly and showed beautifully.

2.  2822 Gainsborough Drive – Listed at $1,920,000 and sold for $1,829,053.

3.  2855 Devonport Road – Listed at $1,880,000 and sold for $1,860,000.

4.  2890 Monterey Road – Listed at $1,850,000 and sold for $1,990,000.  SOLD OVER ASKING

5.  20 Mill Canyon Road – Listed at $2,888,888 and sold for $2,580,000

 

Information gathered from ITEC (Pasadena Foothill Association of Realtors)

If you are ready to start your San Marino luxury home search or thinking of relocating to San Marino and would like more information, please visit our San Marino website here.

READ MORE:  San Marino Schools are #1 in California again!

Posted on October 16th, 2008
Posted in San Marino
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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