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State’s Permit Pace Counters U.S. Drop

“How much are the neighbors asking for their place? . . . No! . . . You got to be kidding!

“If they can get that much, just think what we can get for our house!”

You’ve heard that some place if you live anywhere in the Los Angeles area. No doubt, you are aware of the selling/buying binge, the escalation of prices--and the quick purchase, usually within 30 days.

The “price” continues to be right.

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And what’s next? As long as the interest rate needle hovers below 11%, resales will continue their surge and our housing hot spots continue to keep the construction permit numbers in their customary place among the nation’s leading housing markets.

Buyer concern over the statewide slow-growth movement and the related initiatives on the Nov. 8 ballot have also fueled the spree. In the high-end market, which catches most of the headlines, the interest rate and the ballot measures are not big concerns for the affluent.

Contrary to declining activity in most of the nation’s major markets during the first half of this year, California’s rate of permits issued for single-family home construction continues in robust fashion, according to the U.S. Housing Markets report of Lomas Mortgage USA.

Orange County checked in with a 41% increase of permits over its June, 1987 total; the Riverside-San Bernardino market registered a 35% increase, and Sacramento had an 11% jump. They were among only seven market areas managing to record more than a 5% June-to-June increase in permits.

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Big losses were recorded in San Antonio, 43%; Austin, 36%, and Dallas-Fort Worth, 32%, while the New England and Mountain state regions each suffered a decline of 19%.

In national ranking, Atlanta, ranked 3rd in June, 1987, moved up to the top spot, with 23,657 permits issued. Riverside-San Bernardino, ranked 5th in the 1987 count, moved up to 2nd place, with 23,551 permits, and Los Angeles, last year’s leader, dropped to 3rd place, with 23,477 permits.

Washington, 2nd last year, dropped to 4th place; Orange County, 11th a year ago, moved up to the 8th spot, with 13,758 permits issued; San Francisco-Oakland remained in 9th place, with 12,578; San Diego dipped from 4th to 11th place, with 12,313; Las Vegas, 33rd a year ago, jumped to 12th place, with 12,130, and Sacramento moved from 25th to 22nd place, with 8,755.

Meanwhile, from the various sales arenas of the Southland, come reports of six-figure priced sales. There may be a few strays under $100,000.

Following initial camp-outs late in January, all 104 homes (2,400 to 3,100 square feet) of the Cayman Development Co.'s three phases of single-family attached homes at SeaCliff on the Greens in Huntington Beach, have been sold, ranging in price from $349,500 to $597,500.

In Colton, 30 single-family dwellings in the fourth phase of Sunland Housing Group’s Reche Canyon project have sold out, priced from $125,000 to $190,000 for houses with 1,432 to 2,626 square feet.

In Alpine, San Diego County, at the M.W. Reynolds Development Co.'s Deer Creek Ranch, 31 of 39 homes in the initial phase of construction at the Meadows project were sold within five hours of the opening. The half-acre lot homes, ranging in size from 1,533 to 2,638 square feet, are priced from $172,900 to $241,900.

Meanwhile, 587 homes were sold in Ventura County during the fall quarter, according to the Meyers Group, which surveys housing projects. The prices there are among the highest in the Southland’s new-home market, with the median price for detached single-family homes in the county’s western portion ranging from $319,950 to $340,000 and up to $384,000 in the eastern portion.

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The survey firm’s report on San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys’ new-home sales shows price increases of 7% over a year ago for the third quarter. Sales totaled 1,419 for the quarter, up from 1,326 from the same period in 1987.

It was the same story there--demand is up and supply is dwindling.

And in the tony reaches of the Westside, the Jon Douglas Co., claiming the top spot among firms with residential listings there, projects a $5 billion volume for itself during 1988, up from last year’s $3 billion.

“Property on L.A.'s Westside is the most attractive, most prestigious in the world,” boasts Douglas. “We are experiencing enormous growth now, with buyers investing more heavily in real estate than ever before. We’re also selling more exclusive estate properties to foreign investors.”

What were we saying about selling the old homestead while the selling is good?


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