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Sept. 23, 2008

Sierra Madre Real Estate market Report - August 2008

Sierra Madre real estate home sellers are begining to price their homes more aggressively and closer to what the home buyers are willing to pay. The average price per square foot for sold homes in August was $435 and the average price per square foot of homes on the real estate market is $452. There's still a bit of a discrepancy, but it's getting closer.

Price reductions 23 out of 37 single family Sierra Madre homes for sale underwent price reductions. That's 62% of the sellers finally realizing that they are no longer driving the market, the buyers are! It's about time since some of these homes have been on the market for a year or longer and the majority of these Sierra Madre homes have been listed for sale close to 4 months.

Lowest priced SFR (single family residence) in Sierra Madre is listed at $399,000.

Highest priced SFR in Sierra Madre is listed at almost $2,000,000 at $1,999,999.

Sierra Madre Real Estate Market statistics for August 2008:

Single Family Residence Aug-08
New Listings 8
Total Listings 37
Sales Pending 3
Homes Sold 15
Listings Expired 3
Average Days on the Market 123
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $435
Average Selling Price $707,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 11.6
Condos and Townhomes Aug-08
New Listings 0
Total Listings 3
Sales Pending 1
Homes Sold 2
Listings Expired 3
Average Days on the Market 163
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $340
Average Selling Price $562,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 6.5

Real estate data based on information from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)



Posted by Irina Netchaev, real estate agent in Pasadena California.

Sept. 21, 2008

South Pasadena Real Estate Market Housing Report - August 2008

Single Family Home Sales in South Pasadena for the month of August 2008 sold at 96.34% of their original listing price. Even though more South Pasadena homes sold in August vs. July, the average price point was significantly lower in August. The average sales price of South Pasadena homes in August is also significantly lower than the average sales price for active listings - homes currently for sale in South Pasadena. The average priced home for sale in South Pasadena for August was $1,067,621 vs. average sold price of $795,273. Interestingly enough, the price per square foot for South Pasadena homes on the market in August is $499.30 tracking closer to the average sold price per square foot ($483) for the same time period. Buyers are getting a lot more for their money!

Lowest priced home in South Pasadena for sale in August was $474,900

Highest priced South Pasadena home for sale in August was $2,298,000

Condos and townhomes in South Pasadena have seen a decrease in inventory to only 3 new condo listings and an overall 15 available South Pasadena condos and townhomes available for sale in August.

South Pasadena Real Estate Market Statistics for the last three months are below:

Single Family Residence Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08
New Listings 10 11 8
Total Listings 38 24 26
Sales Pending 9 14 1
Homes Sold 14 8 11
Listings Expired 6 4 3
Average Days on the Market 93 39 119
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $532 $607 $483
Average Selling Price $1,579,714 $1,525,000 $795,273
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 41.2 7.4 14.1
Condos and Townhomes Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08
New Listings 8 10 3
Total Listings 19 21 15
Sales Pending 2 5 1
Homes Sold 2 1 3
Listings Expired 1 9 4
Average Days on the Market 95 147 77
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $402 $331 $352
Average Selling Price $635,944 $418,000 $561,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 27.4 45.5 65.0

Real estate data based on information from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)

South Pasadena real estate market activity with real time updated data can be found on Pasadena California Real Estate Blog's How is the Real estate Market tab. These South Pasadena real estate housing reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you with my compliments.

Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena Real Estate Agent.

Sept. 20, 2008

San Marino Real Estate Market Housing Report - August 2008

San Marino real estate housing status has remained pretty stable in August 2008. We did see an increased number of homes listed by real estate agents that have expired - meaning the sellers decided to take these homes off the real estate market. Both June and July of this year had an average of 4 San Marino homes expire, but in August we saw 11 homes that were taken off the market.

The number of San Marino homes that were newly listed is about the same as in previous months. The number of San Marino home sales for August is also running pretty close as the rest of the summer months. The chart below gives the specific for the last three months.

Least expensive San Marino home in August was $899,999.

Most expensive San Marino home listing in August was selling for $8,900,000.

Inventory has been decreasing lately but the Market Action Index is falling also. With days-on-market climbing, these are relatively negative implications for the San Marino real estate market.

Single Family Residence Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08
New Listings 13 14 12
Total Listings 41 41 31
Sales Pending 8 13 8
Homes Sold 15 12 15
Listings Expired 4 4 11
Average Days on the Market 77 60 51
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $552 $601 $589
Average Selling Price $1,638,045 $1,461,150 $1,416,600
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 17.8 11.8 11.2

Data of San Marino homes for sale and San Marino solds was taken directly from ITEC (Pasadena Foothill MLS)

READ MORE: San Marino Real Estate Market Report for September 2008


Posted by Irina Netchaev, San Marino Luxury Home Real Estate Specialist

READ MORE:  Pasadena real estate update 2012 – see luxury home sales.

Irina is a Top Realtor and the founder and President of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team™. She is available to assist you in all of your Real Estate transactions. Email or call her today at (626)629-8439.

Are you relocating to Greater Pasadena?  If so, take a look at our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena® .  Call us at 626-629-8439 to schedule a time for your free home buyer or home seller consultation!

Sept. 19, 2008

Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report: September 19, 2008

by Brian Brady

Hold off on that Pasadena mortgage rate lock. The government is here to help.

I initially thought this massive government purchase of defaulted mortgage proposal would lead to higher mortgage rates, but quickly reversed course. Here's me today, on Zillow Mortgage Blog:

This action is an obvious attempt to stabilize the volatile mortgage market. His rationale is that this plan (a massive MBS purchase) will cost the taxpayers a lot less than the alternative. Whether or not that's true remains to be seen. He specifically references the "spread" or yield difference between treasury notes and mortgage-backed securities. If the US Treasury is going to buy mortgage-backed securities to narrow that spread, rates will drop in the near term.

I think we'll see conforming 30-year fixed rates work down to 5.75% or below, next week. Stay tuned.

Originally posted on Millionaire Real Estate Lender

Sept. 18, 2008

Experience Pasadena in a New Way

Pasadena Weekly's real estate columnist, Joanna Beresford has written another article. Not only is it a very beautifully written story, but it also mentions a couple of quotes from yours truly. Here it is for everyone's enjoyment.

Barefoot in the park

By Joanna Beresford 09/18/2008

Earlier this week I was walking barefoot through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Backpack over my shoulder and head down, I carried a pair of dilapidated flip-flops in my hand - Corona blue and gold, bought for 99 cents, having traveled many miles on many feet already and deserving their rest.

The outlandish Disney Center erupts on the block between Grand and Hope streets, where the blue plastic thong wrenched itself free from one of those flip-flops. After that, I was barefoot, but I really didn't mind. The pavement was warm beneath my feet and the view was spectacular. I was looking for something and I may as well have found it with my scummy blistered toes as anywhere else.

Now I just can't remember exactly what I was looking for, except I do know that I felt sad and worried and angry about a bunch of things, most of which had to do with money and love, naturally. I thought, if I can't find some answers here, between the Disney Center and the Mark Taper Forum, these two bastions of culture, civilization and good taste, where am I gonna find them? So I walked all the way around the soaring structure that some call a monstrosity and others call miraculous.

The light and surfaces stimulated me to the point of renewal, and that's something. But I wanted more, so I headed toward the cathedral. You know, The Cathedral. That Spaniard Jose Rafael Moneo's vision of heaven - Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Temple Street. I've been there pretty often. I attended Sunday morning Mass once, and I bought a coffee and sat under the trees with the sparrows, reading. I love the sunbaked adobe color and the transparent walls and everything. But I should have known that a building famous for its lack of right angles (a design element dedicated to the aura of mystery that Moneo wished to explore) wasn't exactly going to give me any solid answers. Anyway, it was late in the day, gates were closing, bells were ringing, and I kept walking. Past tourists, city employees and homeless people mostly.

"The first loss is the best loss," Irina Netchaev says. She's a Realtor, but she's also my friend, so I believe just about every word that comes out of her mouth.


Posted in About Us
Sept. 17, 2008

Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report: September 17, 2008

By Brian Brady

Remember when I talked about the whipsaw effect, yesterday? Rates with no lender compensation to the broker, called "par" rates in the industry *, are 5.875% now. That's .375% higher than the 5.5% I reported yesterday.

Will Pasadena mortgage rates come back down?

Maybe. They SHOULD since they are backed by the full faith and credit of the US Treasury. They SHOULD start behaving like the 10-year treasury bond yield, which is down .06% in yield today. They SHOULD be at the 5.5% mark....but they're not.

The mortgage default crisis spread to the world's largest insurance company, prompting yet another government bailout. Mortgage bond traders are starting to think that the US Treasury is going to have to start offering classes of debt, to deal with the crisis.

Stratification of debt, like the old Resolution Trust Corporation bonds, will most likely take us back to where mortgage-backed securities trade at a wide premium to Treasury debt. This isn't happening but mortgage bond traders are speculating that it might. If it does, then the demand for a 30 year mortgage, loaned to you, the American borrower, is not as high as a direct obligation of the US government.

What we seek to discover is how IRRATIONAL this fear, conjecture, and speculation is. While it doesn't seem rational, it isn't quite irrational at these price levels. If the 10-year treasury bond stays under 3.5% yield, and the mortgage bonds sell-off pushes mortgage rates up over 6.0%, then I think the fear isirrational and will change my recommendation- I'm still suggesting that you lock your mortgage rate at application.

* A par rate is where the originating mortgage broker does not receive any yield spread premium from the lender. Borrowers can negotiate a fee for the mortgage broker to give you access to "par rates", which are typically lower than the "retail" rates banks offer.

Originally posted on Millionaire Real Estate Lender

Sept. 17, 2008

Altadena California - Mid Century Home for Sale

If you are looking to buy a home in Altadena, take a look at this gorgeous modern mid-century home that just came on the real estate market today. Built in 1948, it is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 1,740 sq. ft and sits on a lot over 7,279 sq. ft. per Assessor.


This serene mid-century modern designed by Gregory Ain as part of his Park Planned Homes has been updated as Ain would have wanted. Every room has a view to the yard or courtyard with water features in both. Custom cabinets, stainless steel appliances, backsplash, and farmhouse sink in kitchen. Cork floors in all rooms except baths. Both baths were redone including custom glass tile work. All systems replaced (HVAC, electrical, plumbing), new insulation in roof and exterior walls, new roof and recessed lighting throughout. Windows and doors were replaced in much of the house. Third bedroom was expanded by 400 sq ft. in the 50's at which time the closet was removed. Award winning landscaping, exterior stainless steel flashing and brushed nickel hardware complete the home's midcentury appeal.










This Altadena home is listed for sale at $729,000.

Update: October 7, 2008 - this home has been withdrawn from the market.

Posted in Altadena
Sept. 17, 2008

Monterey Hills Real Estate Market Report August 2008

Interestingly enough, the inventory of condos and townhomes in Monterey Hills is dwindling drastically. Only 2 new Monterey Hills condos for sale came up on the market last month. One condo in Eaton Crest was listed for only $279,000. It's a great price for a 2 bedroom and 2 bath condo with over 1,000 sq. ft. I previewed it and was quite impressed. It has an updated kitchen a nice view of the hills and faces away from the pool. A great opportunity for a first time buyer or an investor.

Monterey Hills townhomes are almost non-existent. Only 4 Monterey Hills townhomes are on the market. There was only 1 closed sale in August and it was at 4267 Via Arbolada and closed escrow at $655,000.

READ ALSO: Monterey Hills Real Estate Market Update May 2008 to July 2008

Below are the Monterey Hills real estate market statistics for June 2008 through August 2008 for your review:

Condos Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08
New Listings 5 8 2
Total Listings 24 16 14
Sales Pending 4 3 2
Homes Sold 4 5 2
Listings Expired 2 8 7
Average Days on the Market 136 79 77
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $297 $302 $295
Average Selling Price $304,520 $344,578 $344,450
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 20.8 17.3 12.1
Townhomes Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08
New Listings 0 1 2
Total Listings 4 2 4
Sales Pending 1 2 0
Homes Sold 1 2 1
Listings Expired 0 0 2
Average Days on the Market 154 98 122
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $401 $302 $401
Average Selling Price $655,000 $465,500 $655,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 5.8 8.7 8.7

Data taken from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)

If you are interested in beginning your search for a Monterey Hills condominium or townhouse, please click on the search home link here.

For weekly updates on Monterey Hills real estate market activity, please feel free to request market analysis reports with detailed information by clicking here. These reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you with my compliments.

Posted by Irina Netchaev 626-627-7107

Sept. 16, 2008

Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report: September 16, 2008

By Brian Brady

Had you taken my advice this weekend, and immediately locked your Pasadena mortgage rate, yesterday you would have lost out. The par rate for a 30-year fixed rate conforming loan was 5.625% yesterday- today that par rate is 5.5%. My advice would have cost you .125% in rate. Alas, my mortgage rates report is not about "catching the bottom" as much as it is about "avoiding the top"; it's about mitigating market risk. From my explanation on the Zillow Mortgage Blog:

My approach is with an aversion to risk so I'm biased towards locking rather than floating a rate. What I do try to find is overreactions in the MBS market so that you won't lock your mortgage rate at the top nor float your mortgage rate when higher rates are imminent. My customers RARELY catch the "bottom" but they miss out on many "tops" when locking their rate.

I look for irrational exuberance or irrational fear. If I think markets are being too optimistic, like this week, I advise customers to lock. The whipsaw reaction to irrational exuberance is irrational fear; a steep rise in mortgage rates. THAT is what I want to avoid.

Long-term, I feel that the government bailouts of financial institutions will result in a hefty price tag to the taxpayer, which is inflationary in nature. I look for markets to start reacting to this sooner rather than later.

If you have a definitive closing date for the purchase of your Pasadena home, lock-in your Pasadena mortgage rate today. If you're shopping for a new home locking your mortgage rate at contract acceptance is advisable. If you are one of the fortunate few with equity, good income, and good credit, and want to refinance your home loan, today looks better than next year.

I'd love to discuss your options with you.

PS: In my last report, a Florida mortgage broker suggested that my risk mitigation strategy is inferior to a "lock and pray "approach:

Bottomline, none of us knows what is going to happen, so the smartest course is to lock with a lender that will renegotiate your rate when we experience one of these rapid drops that occur with little advance notice.

I'll agree that prescience is a virtue best reserved for the Divine. My faith in the predictability of mortgage lenders' actions has been shaken over the last year. I've seen lenders flip programs to make an extra buck and back off approvals. While this gentleman's strategy has proved superior to mine, this month, I still rely on my charts and research to execute low rates for my customers.

Originally posted on

Sept. 15, 2008

Pasadena California: South Lake Avenue District Neighborhood

South Lake Avenue in Pasadena stretches from Coroado Boulevard at its northernmost end and winds all the way through Shoppers Lane before culminating at California Boulevard. There's no longer a real lake near this 10 block shopping district packed with hundreds of shops, restaurants and offices. The lake dried up long ago.

South Lake Collage

South Lake Avenue's rich shopping heritage was born in the late 1940s with a department store built to look and feel like a country club. Bullocks, now Macy's (currently under construction though December 2008) became the foundation of South Lake Avenue's reputation as a cosmopolitan shopping destination. More department stores followed, making the area one of Pasadena's finest shopping districts.

Today, antique English phone booths complete the district's European ambiance, where shoppers sample fresh lunch cuisine at the various open air eateries. Shopping boutiques, European-style patio cafes and upscale business lofts polish off the chic setting.



Stores on South Lake Avenue run the gamut. Mall-shopping big names like Macy's and Borders complement niche stores like Anthropologie and Rangoni Firenze Soes, where shoppers can find high-end Italian footwear. The food here is the same way: familiar favorites like Coffee & Lea Leaf, Starbucks and Pete's Coffee rub elbows with lesser-known but still delicious locales such as teh original Corcodile Cafe and the Rose Tea Cottage, Pasadena's first English Tea House.

South Lake Avenue Pasadena real estate has been doing extremely well. The luxurious condo complexes like The Prado, Pasadena Collection and the newly built exclusive residences at The Granite Park have been in demand by investors, corporate housing and consumers looking for a car-free urban living.

If you are ready to start your Pasadena home search, this website offers FREE MLS access and Pasadena real estate market reports to help you with your research. Of course, please do not hesitate to call Irina at 626.629.8439 for personal assistance in finding the right home for you.

General description gathered from Pasadena Official Visitors Guide 2007/2008.

READ MORE: South Lake District - Luxury Residences: Granite Park