What defines the Laguna West-Lakeside market right now? A lack of supply. I have been surprised by the rapid change going on here. I have shown several houses lately and have had to wait in line several times. It is becoming quite common. One of my agent friends joked that showing a home was like going to a block party.
There are 20 homes for sale in the Laguna West-Lakeside area as of today. Nine of those homes are short sales. There are 32 homes that are short sale contingent and another 28 homes that are pending. In the month of March, 20 homes sold so we have a one month supply of homes, a very limited supply. Where is that "shadow" inventory that I keep hearing about?
What about home prices? The average home sold for $122/square foot in the first three months of 2011 and for the first three months of 2012 the average home sold for $113/square foot. In an appraisal I just read, the data showed a 1.9% increase in values for the whole 95758 area. We really are in an interesting time with low inventory and prices staying level so far.
Is it a good time to buy? The loan process is difficult. There are lots of buyers to compete against and there is no gaurantee that pricing will change for the better. On the other hand, prices are low, interest rates are great and it is possible to have a positive cash flow on rental homes. This is the third severe recession that I have lived through. Real estate prices rise and fall, just like any other asset. There is always risk, but I am buying. If this recession turns out like the others, prices will rise again.