More signs of an improving housing market

The median price of a home in the L.A.-OC market was $350,000 during the July-September quarter, up $10,000 or so from the previous three months and almost $20,000 from the three months before that. Other markets around the country saw much slower increases (in some cases decreases), according to the National Association of Realtors, Also this morning comes word of a sharp drop in California foreclosure filings in October, compared with the previous month and October 2009. These are further signs that California's housing market is ever so slowly on the mend, certainly when compared with a state like Florida. From the LAT:

Faster foreclosures are only one factor boosting California's housing market. The industry has been buoyed by the state's more diverse and dynamic economy, and the coastal cities didn't get the kind of unrestrained development that Florida's beachfront cities saw. "The enormous amount of speculation that occurred in Florida certainly contributed mightily to the decline, whereas in California you never had quite the tremendous supply of condominiums, and certainly there weren't as many along the water," said Lewis M. Goodkin, president of Goodkin Consulting Corp., a real estate research and advisory firm in Miami.

Let's not kid ourselves, the picture is still lousy. Assets values in California fell an average of 57 percent between the first quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009 - and that loss of perceived wealth has been a killer for consumer spending. However, the worst would appear to be over. A recent report by Beacon Economics finds that "California's housing markets weathered a bad storm, but growth - slow growth - is on the horizon." Other economists are saying much the same thing.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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