Economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insight says the real estate crash has now put home prices in Southern California below their historic norms.
IHS bases its forecast on prices, interest rates, incomes, population density, and historic premiums and discounts in given markets.
By those measures, Los Angeles County home prices are now 6% undervalued, the firm says. Orange County is 11% undervalued, and the Inland Empire is 16% undervalued.
San Diego is 21% undervalued and San Francisco is 25% below normal, IHS says.
“The deceleration in the rate of decline may indicate the market is beginning to stabilize,” the report says. But it warns that “it is too early to call a bottoming,” as “job losses continue, housing inventories remain elevated and consumers remain wary in light of economic uncertainty.”
It is important to note that with home values in areas such as Lancaster falling as much as 65%, good long-term investment opportunities exist. However, the Westside/South Bay and other higher end locales started to decline in value anywhere from 12-18 months later than areas that are currently stablizing and showing signs of a potentially good value.
When reading broad articles about the Los Angeles real estate market remember how large LA County is and the numbers you are reading may have nothing to do with your situation (especially if you are in a high end market). The markets differ so much in LA County that you really only want to pay attention to your specific area (i.e. your micro market).
The high end has yet to feel any type of foreclosure pinch and is down 20-25% from market heights. In some desirable areas that number is only a 15% decline while an other desirable areas it is over 30%! Ultimately, these numbers will continue a downward trend on the high end but they will not come close to the losses we have seen happen in areas like Lancaster.