James Frangella, Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove real estate specialist
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Written by James Frangella on 4/3/2010 @ 7:00pm

The first quarter of 2010 is over and now we can see where the sale averages are so far this year. Click HERE to review these numbers and most importantly, to compare with the previous year’s averages.*

NEWS FLASH!  Stats are in for the end of May and some Peninsula cities are setting a good trend for the new year.  Click HERE to gander at those most recent numbers.  Wow!  Take a look at Pebble Beach!  But don't get too excited as the host of the US Open just enjoyed three recent sales for a total of over $38 million.  Let's list a huge estate for $25 million and sell it for $18 million or how about listing another one for almost $14 million and sell it for $9.5 million.  One of my favorites is a Carmel listing at $6.9 million and then selling it for $3.7 million ... I wonder what method the listing agent was using to get the listing?  I wonder if this method would work with other Peninsula cities too.

Looks as if Monterey's average picked up a bit over 1st Quarter and especially Seaside with a 7% increase over her 1st quarter.  Especially impressive is that Seaside closed a whopping 70% more units in the month of April alone over the entire first three months of 2010.  Do you think that tax credit had anything to do with it?

At the bottom of the Monterey Peninsula apple barrel lies the affordable community of Seaside and on top, Pebble Beach and Carmel. Now if we consider Seaside as the bottom of the barrel and the average selling price doesn’t drop too much lower than Seaside’s 1st quarter averages, then we might safely guess that we reached the bottom of the price affordability index. As of April 1st, Seaside’s average sale price is still floating at about the same as 2009. Let’s hope it stays that way for the balance of the year. Stabilization would be a good thing.

All the rest of the Peninsula cities’ averages should and will be above Seaside’s. Always has and always will be. However … take a gander at some of those 1st quarter averages for the other cities and compare them with 2009’s.

I’m wiping the sweat of my brow with Monterey. I was really worried there for awhile. With a 20% drop in ’08 over ’07 and still another 20% drop in ’09 over ’08, it sure wasn’t looking too healthy. Nice to see that Monterey’s 1st quarter average hasn’t moved too much (so far) over 2009’s.

Not so for PG, Pebble Beach and even Carmel. It seems that the “big boys” are taking a hit with more and more lower-priced homes selling and fewer of the higher-priced ones. However, the year is not over yet and maybe their averages will come up a tad. Or at least, stabilize a bit. As I had stated, price stabilization is a good thing. Can’t help to think what those buyers who bought in 2008 are thinking right now. Let’s hope they bought in the right neighborhood regardless what city their new home is located in.

Food for thought: If you are contemplating a purchase this year, buy something below the average selling price. Just in case … well you know, in case it drops some more.  However, the concept of buying below the average sale price doesn't really apply when buying in super desirable neighborhoods.

As we move into the 2nd quarter, it will be very interesting to see what happens with those apples at the top of the barrel. I should have an update on the Peninsula’s averages by the end of April. Stay tuned.

Interesting Note:  Wondering what some investors are doing in the Seaside Flip market?  Click HERE to check out the stats as of June 10th.

Another Interesting Note:  Wonder why the banks would rather turn down a loan modification and do a short sale or foreclosure instead?  Click HERE to check out this video clip.  Looks as if taxpayers and distressed homeowners are getting it again.

* Based on MLS statistics. But only if agents reported their sold listings as sold by March 31, 2010. I know of one who reported a listing sold 30 days after it sold. Agent must have been so busy and successful they forgot to report it in a timely fashion. Or maybe the agent is totally lame.