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LA Digs - Northeast LA Real Estate Blog

Welcome to LA Digs, the real estate and Northeast Los Angeles community blog written by Realtors Tracy King and Keely Myres.

Here, we share tips, market updates, and local news bits to keep you informed on what's happening in Northeast Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read on to learn about the latest in your neighborhood!

Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash

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67% of Americans say a housing market crash is imminent in the next three years. With all the talk in the media lately about shifts in the housing market, it makes sense why so many people feel this way. But there’s good news. Current data shows today’s market is nothing like it was before the housing crash in 2008.

Back Then, Mortgage Standards Were Less Strict

During the lead-up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get a home loan than it is today. Banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance an existing one.

As a result, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices. Today, things are different, and purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies.

The graph below uses data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to help tell this story. In this index, the higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage. The lower the number, the harder it is.

This graph also shows just how different things are today compared to the spike in credit availability leading up to the crash. Tighter lending standards have helped prevent a situation that could lead to a wave of foreclosures like the last time.

Foreclosure Volume Has Declined a Lot Since the Crash

Another difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure when the housing bubble burst. Foreclosure activity has been lower since the crash, largely because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM to show the difference between last time and now:

So even as foreclosures tick up, the total number is still very low. And on top of that, most experts don’t expect foreclosures to go up drastically like they did following the crash in 2008. Bill McBride, Founder of Calculated Risk, explains the impact a large increase in foreclosures had on home prices back then – and how that’s unlikely this time.



“The bottom line is there will be an increase in foreclosures over the next year (from record level lows), but there will not be a huge wave of distressed sales as happened following the housing bubble. The distressed sales during the housing bust led to cascading price declines, and that will not happen this time.”

The Supply of Homes for Sale Today Is More Limited

For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to fall dramatically. Supply has increased since the start of this year, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available overall, primarily due to years of underbuilding homes.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how the months’ supply of homes available now compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just 2.7-months’ supply at the current sales pace, which is significantly lower than the last time. There just isn’t enough inventory on the market for home prices to come crashing down like they did last time, even though some overheated markets may experience slight declines.

Bottom Line

If recent headlines have you worried we’re headed for another housing crash, the data above should help ease those fears. Expert insights and the most current data clearly show that today’s market is nothing like it was last time.

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Meet Keely: Your Expert Guide to Real Estate in Northeast Los Angeles

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Hello there, neighbor (or future neighbor)!

My name is Keely, and I'm a real estate agent specializing in the beautiful neighborhoods of Northeast Los Angeles. I've been living and working in this community forever - I was born and raised right here in Eagle Rock - and I couldn't be more excited to share my love and expertise for this area with you.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm an old-home lover, give me character and original details all day long! I live with my husband, son, and rescue pup in a 1959 Better Homes and Garden kit house that still has original atomic mushroom tile in the kitchen. When I’m not obsessing about houses, I’m planning my next adventure around the world or getting concert tickets. I am a second-generation Realtor and got my real estate license in 2007 (yep, right as the market tanked!) and I'm passionate about helping people find their dream home in this amazing part of Los Angeles. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, I'm here to guide you through the process with humor, diligence, and expertise.

One of the things I love most about Northeast LA is its diverse and vibrant community. From the quirky shops and eateries on Colorado and York Boulevards to the stunning natural beauty of Debs Park, there's something for everyone here. And as a real estate agent who's deeply invested in this community, I'm here to help you not only find your perfect home but also discover everything that makes Northeast LA such a special place to live.

Stay tuned for more blog posts from me, where I'll share insider tips, local news, and fun stories about life in Northeast LA. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you soon!

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Highland Park and Eagle Rock in Top 5 Hottest Neighborhoods!

Redfin, a popular home search engine, recently surveyed which neighborhoods or cities will be the most up-and-coming in 2013. To come up with the top neighborhoods in each market, they evaluated how each market was trending at the end of 2012 in four categories: on-market listings, sales volume, median price per square foot, and list price to sales price ratio. The areas with the most consistent trends in each category were labeled the “hottest in 2013.”

Well, what do you know? Highland Park, CA and Eagle Rock, CA are in the top 5 hottest neighborhoods, with Glassell Park, CA not too far behind! Of course WE know these are fantastic neighborhoods, but it’s always great to see recognition on a wider level. With great schools, or schools rapidly improving, lots of new businesses moving in and re-energizing the area, and convenient commutes, our neighborhoods are providing great communities for new buyers to settle down in.

Why did three of Northeast LA’s great ‘hoods get picked? According to Redfin, “The hottest neighborhoods are all seeing shrinking selection, increasing sales, and increasing prices—often at rates far above the metro areas that contain them.

Year-over-year trend in listings, sales, and median price per square foot as of December 2012

In our own experience, we are seeing multiple offers on most of our listings, often within a few days of bringing a home on the market. Most recently, our listing at 217 Newland Street in Highland Park received 13 offers within 6 days of being on the Multiple Listing Service, going into escrow with a sales price much higher than the list price of $299,000.

What’s causing this flurry of activity? Incredibly low inventory (Highland Park has been averaging 38 single family homes for sale, compared with 85 at the beginning of 2012), interest rates continuing to be at record lows, and an incredible amount of well-qualified buyers in the marketplace.

If you have been thinking of making a move, this is the best time in the Northeast Los Angeles real estate market last five years. We have seen sellers be pleasantly surprised at what their homes are selling for.

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Reminder! Tracy King's New Weekly Email

Have you signed up for our all new weekly email update on real estate and Northeast LA?  We've switched email providers to improve the way we send you new listings, real estate news, open houses, and community info.

Here's a sample of the new and improved weekly email.

To get on the new list, sign up here.

We look forward to staying in touch with you!

Thanks,

Tracy King and Keely Myres
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