Menifee CA Real Estate and Foreclosure Update

Happy Holidays to all the wonderful people of Menifee!

It has been a busy month for all of us and this is my first chance to post in a bit. While the Menifee real estate market has been tough, there are a lot of things to be grateful for. I am grateful for my two wonderful boys, my fantastic wife, and have been blessed with incredible clients over the years! So Merry Xmas if any of you happen to read this!

Whenever I do an update of any sort, I try to show a market trend via some actually meaniful "end result" real estate statistics and then cross check that with my personal level of business. Usually, my business level is more indictive of the market then the statistics since they follow the cycle.

Statistically, in Menifee real estate there have been the following closes in the 4th Quarter:

Oct. 2007 - 34
Nov. 2007 - 45
Dec. 2007 - 30 (so far through the 28th)

I imagine that we will end up closing 35-40+ homes in December since there are over 50 deals currently pending. There is a lot of pressure on Menifee bank owned homes to close by year end, although many will spill over into the new year.

So the level of production has been pretty consistent from that statistic. However, my business has been climbing aggressively over the last month. Many of the Menifee bank owned homes are dropping to all time lows, pricing them on the same level as rentals. If you can rent or buy, people tend to buy.

So, there is quite a bit of activity going on right now, believe it or not. There is also a hot zone in pricing. For instance, the $250k price point in Murrieta and Temecula real estate is interesting. When a property hits that level and is even remotely decent (1300+ square feet, 3 bed, 2 bath, etc) it goes in a matter of days, usually with multiple offers coming in.

The banks are behind many aspects of this Menifee real estate market. From failed loans to foreclosure properties to generating eligible buyers. Now that the banks have gotten more aggressive with house pricing, things are starting pick up.

However, in contrast to attractive pricing, the banks are making it harder and harder for Menifee real estate buyers to qualify. I just had a buyer ready to go, in escrow and the bank changed the program days before his close, ruining the deal and making us start all over.

In many respects the Menifee real estate market is in the hands of the banks. They control a majority of properties (and thus pricing) on the market in terms of Menifee foreclosures and short sales. So when they lower prices it redefines the market. And by restricting more and more buyers, they control both the supply and demand. The average homeowner is going to be a spectator for a while unless they are in a short sale or foreclosure situation.

Many of you have heard the Federal Reserve is working on different methods to get things improved. The main one is the lowering of interest rates which has helped. Another is them pouring more money into the system to give banks more to work with. However, until the banks are willing to loosen up it is simply a hose turned on full but kinked by the bank's foot shutting down the flow.

I think that things will be tighter in terms of lending for the next couple months and pricing will go a tad lower as the banks completely liquidate holdings. The new legistlation will help reduce future Menifee foreclosures and once the banks lighten up on Menifee real estate they can start relaxing a little more in lending. In many ways, they are continuing to shoot themselves in the foot and will figure that out sooner than later.

The Menifee real estate market will probably begin to see more properties moved as the price lowers enough that people can qualify for loans and buy instead of rent. Depending on the banks, we could start to see pricing holding water in the Spring.

So going into the new year, I believe we are nearing a bottom from what my own business is seeing. I deal with dozens of clients each month and there are certain patterns that seem to click. I think Menifee real estate has a little way to go but we are finally getting there. I don't like the price drops but I do like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope this information is useful to you. If you know anyone that is considering buying, please have them speak with a broker knowledgible in the Menifee real estate market. There are some great opportunities right now. And please, if they are considering buying from a builder, they absolutely must talk with a experienced broker first! There are way too many mistakes being made on this front lately!

Happy Holidays and New Year - May 2008 bring you and your family the very best!


Stefan West
Diversified Realty, Broker