This is the best time to be a buyer and the absolute worst time to be a buyer.
It is the best because price and interest rates are at all time historical lows. Affordability has never been better.
It is the worst because there is no inventory - most markets between the west San Fernando Valley and Moorpark have less than two months supply of inventory and some neighborhoods have less than one month supply. When market supply gets tight - The carnival barkers come out and try to convince buyers that if they dont buy now they are going to miss the boat. Do yourself a favor and run from those people.
There is a projected 2 million homes nation wide that are 90 days or less behind in payments. I have seen numbers in California that suggest that 1 out 107 mortgages is behind. I doubt the banks will flood the market with homes, they have not done so in the last three years. I just dont see how they are going to change their strategy, but what this all means is that with a large problem still existing in the distressed market, is that as soon as inventories go back to normal levels, the excitement will end as fast as it started. For example, just before Thanksgiving and Christmas we had a pretty average supply of inventory and houses were selling without the craziness we are seeing now.
In many cases right now, payments including taxes and insurance (and HOA if there is one) are below rental rates - this is a big driver in the market and has been going back to 2009. If buyers come in and start running prices up and that payment equals or exceeds rental rates - everyone will be signing the blues in a sluggish market again.
Depending on your target price, West Hills, Chatsworth are seeing some good pricing, Woodland Hills and Calabasas are going to be a higher price point.... more