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Sunday, December 24, 2006


Material Matters More Than Material Things

My wife and I are hosting the family at our home on Christmas Day. It will be the first year we’ve done this. And, as you might expect, the stress level increases as the time draws near, and not just because it’s sure to be remembered as the Christmas we spent on the floor.

The adventure began Thanksgiving Day, when we decided that playing host meant it was time to spruce up our home. That led to the conclusion that we had to part with the couches each of us had brought to the marriage. Although I had resisted this final step into adulthood, I went willingly to our Westside Macy’s furniture store and stepped into the red-tag obstacle course. A sale was on, and it promised free delivery before Christmas...

Read the rest of this post at Native Intelligence.

— TJ Sullivan in LA

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Median Home Price Drops 14.5% on Westside

Home prices are still on the rise in the Los Angeles region, but they're dropping on the Westside.

A news release this week from the California Association of Realtors links to DataQuick numbers that show a 14.5% drop in the median price of a home on the Westside when comparing Nov. '05 to Nov. '06.

In actual dollars the median price on the Westside went from $995,000 last November, to $851,000 this November, according to the DataQuick numbers quoted by CAR.

As always, however, it would be irresponsible to draw conclusions from those numbers alone. Unfortunately sales figures aren't provided for the Westside, which makes it impossible to conduct a proper analysis. In addition, CAR cautions that dramatic shifts can sometimes be attributed to "compositional changes in housing demand." In other words, it may just be that fewer high-end homes sold in November.

Santa Barbara is another standout with double-digit declines in its median price. Although the same quantity of homes sold there in Nov. '06 as did in Nov. '05, the median price reported by CAR indicates a drop of 23.4%, from $650,000 to $497,780.

Overall, CAR reported this week that the median price for a single family home in the Los Angeles region was $590,790 in November, a 2.7% increase over November 2005. Despite the uptick, the number of homes selling in the region dropped a whopping 21.6 percent .

CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young says the state is on track to notch a 7 percent price increase for the year, but she acknowledges that many areas of the state have seen declines.

More numbers are available here and here.

Also see earlier post: LA's Housing Crisis: 1.8% Affordability

— TJ Sullivan in LA
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Back from New York City

I just returned from New York City where my days were much busier than anticipated. As a result, there was virtual silence at this blog for too many days in a row.

No longer...

More to come about how Gen-X artists in New York are becoming proactive in their approach to a housing market that's climbed far beyond their reach, as well as some year-end tidbits on Los Angeles real estate. And, of course, I'll post links here to everything I write over at Native Intelligence on LA Observed.

But first, there are some students waiting on a final examination that I must administer, so until then...

— TJ Sullivan in LA
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Sunday, December 03, 2006


This UCLA Story Ends Without A Headline

UCLA's football team notched its first victory in seven years over cross-town rival USC and yet the Los Angeles Times somehow figured out a way to turn it into an A-1 story about USC.

See my latest blog entry at Native Intelligence.

— TJ Sullivan in LA
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