Monday, November 26, 2007


Yes, this has to do with real estate: did anybody but me watch CW's 60-hour retro marathon over the weekend? On a Dragnet rerun from 1968, Sargeant Friday is grilled by Officer Gannon about getting married and settling down. This takes place in Gannon's Eagle Rock traditional, which looks to be about, oh, 2000+ square feet. Sargeant Friday retorts something along the lines of, "I'll think about it when I meet a nice girl and then I'll buy a house like this for $8,500." If this was a more-or-less market price for 1968, the value of homes has risen 100 times since then! I guess that's why they call it a bubble...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Prices Back to 2005

From todays L.A.Times Business Section:
Southland home prices drop to 2005 levels
"Welcome to 2005.If you're a typical Southern California homeowner, the value of your house is back to what it was that year thanks to the weak real estate market, according to a report released Wednesday. The median price last month was $444,000, the lowest since April 2005, according to DataQuick Information Systems. That's a 3.9% drop from September and an 8% decline from October 2006.The number of homes sold, meanwhile, slipped to a 20-year low. prices do find their low point, they will follow the historical pattern and "drag along the bottom for a while before they go up," Karevoll said. "

So, 2005 brought record highs for real estate prices. As I've been saying, if you've owned your home for awhile and haven't pulled much equity out of it, you'll still see a profit.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Quoted Again in State of the City Article

Not to contradict the Mayor, but Burbank housing prices have dipped, just like every other community:

Mayor: City is in solid state
Ramos gives a glowing account of Burbank’s condition and potential in her annual address
By Jeremy ObersteinAIRPORT DISTRICT — Mayor Marsha Ramos painted a generally glowing portrait of Burbank on Thursday during the State of the City address. More than 400 business, education and civic leaders attended the annual address at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, which the Burbank Chamber of Commerce puts on. “We renew our commitment to build a community that has positive experiences, and opportunities for the physical, social and economic well-being of everyone,” Ramos said as she began her talk about Burbank’s business community, its infrastructure, safety and the environment. “The Burbank economic outlook is quite robust, according to most thermometers.” Burbank’s unemployment rate, holding steady at 3.9%, is lower than California’s rate of 5.3%, she said.
“These numbers indicate that Burbank is a very good place for business,” she said. Ramos also pointed out that Burbank’s housing prices are an example of the city’s economic health.“Five years ago the median price was $256,000; today it’s $650,000,” she said. “We all know that home prices across the country have dipped, but, compared to other communities, Burbank holds stable and remains an excellent investment.” The average price for a house or condominium in Burbank may be lower than the figure presented, local real estate agent Judy Graff said.According to figures from the Southern California Multiple Listing Service, the average price for a house or condo is $633,000, she said.“What I have seen in the last couple of weeks is sellers getting much more realistic with housing prices,” she said. “There is still a credit crunch going on, but the lower the price the more buyers you’re going to attract. It’s good news.”

Safety was also an issue to which Ramos devoted a segment of her address.“Your city leaders recognize that another aspect of a healthy community is a community that is safe,” she said. “This year . . . we have restored three firefighter positions and two police officer positions.” Ramos relayed the importance of the new Interagency Communications Interoperability System, which allows police, fire and other safety agencies to remain in contact with one another during emergencies. “Today, by a turn of a switch on a radio, participating first responders and member agencies can now easily communicate on a common radio frequency,” she said. “This makes emergency mutual aid across city boundaries seamless, and all of us should feel safer.”

Ramos also focused on the city’s infrastructure.“A strong infrastructure is the heart of community well-being,” she said. “Our city’s infrastructure will be taking a major step forward in the next few months.” Ramos announced that the environmentally friendly new community services building will open in July, and that other projects, such as Ovrom Park and the DeBell Golf Course Clubhouse, are scheduled to be completed next fall.Turning her attention to the environment, Ramos spoke about the city’s landscaped walking paths, bike lanes and water conservation efforts.“The city will soon begin construction on a new landscaped walking path in the Lake Alameda area,” she said. “The path will incorporate lighting, native plants and doggie stations. I’m certain this walking path will enhance the look of the neighborhood and create a bit of much-needed community open space.” Ramos also mentioned that the paths on South San Fernando Boulevard are now completed and that energy-efficient street and crosswalk lights have replaced many of the less environmentally friendly lights. On each table in the convention center, energy-efficient lightbulbs and plastic water bottles greeted guests. “If every attendee replaced one of their most frequently used light bulbs with one of these compact fluorescent light bulbs, you would save 24,000 kilowatts per year or power four Burbank homes for a year,” she said. Ramos stressed the city’s water conservation efforts, asking each guest to use the water bottles to cut down on waste associated with one-time-use plastic bottles of water. “For the price of one bottle of Evian or Perrier, you can purchase 1,000 gallons of tap water,” she said. “[The bottles] represent an investment in the future, and they help move us to a zero-waste community.”

The speech drew rave reviews. “The mayor hit a home run,” said Gary Olson, president and chief executive of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce.He was also pleased with the turnout for the event.“This is the most we have ever had,” he said. “This is an event that continues to grow in attendance.”
 JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers City Hall and public safety. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at jeremy.oberstein@