Lake Forest Market Update – January Sales Report

January closed sales in Lake Forest, California were less than December, but still better than January 2008.  A total of 39 homes and condos closed this year, versus only 20 last year, an improvement of 95%!    

Single family homes :

20 homes closed escrow in January.  Foreclosures or short sales were 14 of the 20, so 70% of the sales were “distressed”.  The average price came to $498,512 ($270/square foot).  The *median was $473,500. 

The least expensive single family home in January was reported in the MLS as closed at $310,000 although when checking the title records, it shows a sales price of $330,000 with a $326,701 FHA loan.  (?)  I am only guessing, but the seller must have paid some closing costs and the buyer’s loan amount includes the upfront mortgage insurance premium along with some other closing costs.  The other possibility is that the listing agent made a typo when entering the closed price, and hasn’t corrected it.

The most expensive home sold in January closed at $795,000 ($245/square foot.)  It had been on the market since 4/07/08 and had been reduced 8 times from $919,900 down to $799,900 when it finally sold.  If the seller had priced it correctly to begin with, he would have saved 8 months of interest payments, taxes, insurance, and HOA dues, which I calculated to be worth a little over $30,000!

Condos & Townhomes:

19 condos or townhomes were closed in January.  Foreclosures and short sales made up all but one of them, so 95% of the January condo sales were “distressed”!  The average sales price was $209,350 ($194/square foot) and the median price was $210,000. 

The least expensive condo was a 2 bedroom with 944 square feet that sold for over list price ($124,900) at $133,000 ($141/square foot).  The buyer put down 20%, so I am guessing that he is an investor who will rent it out.  With total payments (PITI+HOA) of less than $950/month, that investor should have a positive cash flow of $150 – $200 each month.  

The most expensive condo sold also happened to be the only condo that was not distressed.  It had 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and a 2 car garage and sold for $345,000 ($252/square foot) after 75 days and a 10% price reduction.  I found it interesting that it only took 10 days at the corrected price to attract the final buyer!

 *The median is the price where 1/2 of the homes sold for more, and the other half sold for less.


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