Sunday, December 30, 2012

San Fernando Valley real estate 2012 year in review - part one

I'm jumping on the end-of-year list bandwagon here.  If you real estate news in Studio City, Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Hollywood Hills or anywhere else in L.A. for that matter, here are the big news stories -- to me, anyway -- for the year.  You'll know most of these already.

1.  Return of the real estate market.  Thanks to the feds and the super-low interest rates, buyers are out in droves.  Unfortunately, housing stock hasn't kept up and everything is going in multiple offers.  I am hoping that we'll have more inventory coming on to the market as rising prices catch up to what would-be sellers owe on their houses.

2.  Cash is king, and there's a lot of it out there.  It's mind-boggling as to how many all-cash transactions are out there now.  Where is all the money coming from? Foreign countries (the U.S. is still looking like a safe bet to stash your cash), investor pools, and boomers who have recently inherited money from their recently deceased parents.

3.  Trusted brands -- can they be?  As we all know, internet-based real estate sites like Zillow and Redfin are the trusted brands in real estate these days.  That's not surprising as their websites are very user-friendly and contain a lot of information on each page.  And people believe what they read, especially from big sites.  But is the info accurate? Be skeptical, friends -- Zillow, especially, can be way off on their zestimates from what a value really is (and they admit it in the small print).  Actually working with Redfin can be a mixed bag but yes, it can be with non-Redfin agents too.

The next post will include my personal favorite and not-so favorite transactions and clients, so stay tuned!

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