Last week’s Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” headline “Why Home Prices Have Nowhere to Go But Up” may have guaranteed attention—but at the cost of advancing a pretty iffy notion. Then again, if you have been window shopping (or is it “screen shopping”?) through the Costa Mesa listings anytime recently, the idea could well have seemed less preposterous than usual. Of course, markets go up, down, and sideways. In residential real estate, any “down” movement has a centuries-long track record of proving to be temporary. But “nowhere to go but up”? Putting aside the common wisdom that nothing is guaranteed in a free market, author Justin Lahart does lay out a reasonable argument for why today’s pattern of home price rises is peculiarly
When Fountain Valley homeowners sit down to plot out their household’s long-range financial plan, the value they ascribe to their Fountain Valley home usually deserves a leading role. As research firm Pulsenomics puts it, “changes in single-family home values can have profound impacts on consumer balance sheets.” Yet it’s often the case that homeowners assume that their home’s value is its apparent equity—the home price they paid less their mortgage’s remaining principal.
Fountain Valley homeowners will be pleased to find that using that measure is almost certain to result in a substantial underestimate. Since the historical norm is for residential home prices to rise, if you are trying to plot a realistic long-term picture of your family’s
Huntington Beach residents have long heard that Los Angeles real estate prices can be stratospheric— particularly in the choicer neighborhoods like Bel Air and Malibu where apartment lease prices can touch the sky. Downtown L.A., on the other hand, has only recently matched the more westerly districts because DTLA lacks the strong ocean breezes that bring temperatures down from Downtown’s almost-ideal range to the Westside’s slam-dunk-absolutely-ideal range.
Even so, last week’s apartment lease announcement for the penthouse at 888 Olive Street rated a double-take. Even squinting at the screen didn’t change what seemed to be a typo in the monthly lease listing price.
By way of explanation, the ad pointed out that L.A.’s downtown area has
Ask a typical Fountain Valley consumer to name the two most important purchases people make, and you’ll almost always hear “new house” and “new car.” They’re often lumped together, but they shouldn’t be. They aren’t all that similar.
The rationale for buying a new car is clear: automotive technology advances nearly every model year, improving fuel economy and safety. Add in that intoxicating new car smell, and the preference is all but automatic. Used cars may be economical, but as for the thrill factor: nyah!
Similarly, when the question is put to a cross-section of typical Americans, new homes get the nod over existing ones. The percentage of those who “strongly” or “somewhat” prefer buying a newly built home weighs in at 41%. That’s a