Southland December Home Sales, Prices Fall Short of a Year Earlier

As Seen in

January 17, 2012

La Jolla, CA—Southern California home sales surged last month from November – as they normally do – amid relatively strong activity under $300,000 and a record share of sales to “absentee” buyers, mainly investors. But with the purchase plans of many ordinary buyers and sellers still on hold, the year-end rush couldn’t lift sales above December 2010. Moreover, investors’ focus on lower-cost homes helped push the median sale price back down to its 2011 low point, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 19,247 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in December. That was up 14.0 percent from 16,884 in November but down 1.4 percent from 19,528 in December 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

It’s normal for sales to jump between November and December, in part because some investors want to close their deals before year’s end for tax reasons. On average, sales have risen 13.2 percent between November and December since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

For the full article, click here.

New 2012 Real Estate Laws!

Effective January 1:

AB 771— HOA Excessive Document Fees

Home Owner Associations can only collect a reasonable fee for procuring, preparing, reproducing and delivering HOA disclosures and governing documents when a home is being sold. This new law also requires that an HOA give estimates of their fees up front, and prohibits the HOA or a third party from tacking on other fees, fines, assessments or nonessential documents as a precondition for providing the HOA documents. Likewise, the HOA cannot charge an extra fee for electronic delivery of this information if the HOA maintains it electronically.

SB 150 Common-Interest Development/Condo Rentals

Owners of units in a common-interest development (usually a condominium) cannot be prohibited from renting or leasing their units unless it was restricted before they took ownership. SB 15o does not apply to rental restrictions before January 1, 2012.

SB 150 also requires that owners of condo units, prior to renting them, provide to their HOA proof of their purchase date as well as contact information of their prospective tenants. Certain changes of title—probate, spousal, parent-t0-child, adding a joint tenant, and other transfers exempt from property tax reassessment—do not reset the date of ownership.

Effective April 1:

SB 4—Foreclosure Sale

A Notice of Trustee Sale (NOT), which apprises homeowners as to the date and location of a foreclosure auction, must provide more user-friendly information on how to seek a postponement. These notices must also specify the risk for potential buyers of a foreclosure.

SB 4 also will also require a bank or their authorized servicing agents to provide timely information to anyone via internet, telephone recording or other free services regarding sales dates and postponements.

Click here to view all new laws.