Written By: Matt Woolsey
Two weeks ago, Joyti Goundar, an agent at Redfin, a residential real estate brokerage, entered a bid of $420,000 for a three-bedroom, 1,625-square-foot La Crescenta home outside of L.A., listed at $299,000. When she lost the bid, she wasn't surprised. In July of 2008, Goundar bid $559,000 for a two-bedroom Arcadia house, also outside L.A., listed by Wells Fargo for $459,900. That one received 105 bids, driving the price up to $628,000, according to Los Angeles County records.
"Sellers want to generate a bidding war, and it's working," she says.
So does this mean Southern California prices have reached bottom?
Not by a long shot. Even with the bidding wars, prices aren't nearly as high as they were at the peak of the real estate boom. Values plummeted 31% in the L.A. metro area in 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors.
And values still have a long way to go. Based on historical balances of employment, housing sales, income, lending availability, foreclosures and vacancy rates, all dating back to 1982, home prices in the Los Angeles metro area still have 29% further to fall, according to Moody's Economy.com.
The best real estate deals, it seems, are yet to come.