Monday, April 06, 2009

Where the Deer and the Antelope Go to Die

Welcome to the Los Angeles County area known as the Antelope Valley. Specifically Palmdale.

Nice starter house, decent sized lot, no nasty HOA or Mello-Roos. Heck, if you can scrape together $1500 you too can get a 3% FHA mortgage and pay a whopping $400/month mortgage and $200 in tax and basic utilities. Check out the history:

Apr 02, 2009 $70,000 -- SoCalMLS #F1765456
Jul 14, 2008 $180,000 -- SoCalMLS #F1765456
May 29, 2008 $285,000 -- SoCalMLS #F1765456
May 20, 2008 $325,000 -- SoCalMLS #F1765456
May 02, 2008 $355,000 -- SoCalMLS #F1765456
Jun 21, 2006 Sold $355,000 15.9%/yr Public Records
Nov 14, 2005 Sold $325,000 26.2%/yr Public Records
Mar 14, 2000 Sold $87,000 -- Public Records

Party like it's 1999! $355k to $70k asking (and sitting) in 30 months. 80.3% off and sitting.


onewaypockets said...

I heard someone say quite a while back something about how puddles (bubbles) evaporate from the outside and work towards the center. This could explain why outlining areas like this and the I.E. get the snot hammered out of them....every time. And other areas like the westside only decline toward the end of the downturn.

Rob Dawg said...

Excellent. That's the usual pattern. IMO, this isn't a usual cyclical process. I suspect everyone is going to take a hit this time.

Lou Minatti said...

That is a good starter home at a good price. Well, except for the fact that didn't you once say that Palmdale is like 60 miles away from the nearest real job centers?

Still, a couple with Home Depot/Walmart wages could swing this.

sm_landlord said...

LA's westside took a hit during the early '90s downturn, condos getting hit the worst. This time around, sales plummeted but prices have been seemingly resilient so far, but it's hard to tell with such tiny sales volume - medians are meaningless.

A lot of people grossly overpaid for all sorts of properties around here, but the foreclosures haven't started to really roll yet in Santa Monica. Malibu looks much worse, judging by the listings.

It's fascinating to watch this play out, and it does not seem to be rhyming much with the last few downturns, except in general terms (like Palmcaster getting hammered again).

sm_landlord said...


Palmcaster is well away from sizable job centers. This time around, there were more local jobs than last time, but mostly retail and construction - mostly unsustainable in a recession.

Maybe by the next cycle, they'll put in a "High Desert Subway". That would help construction employment for quite a few years. :-)

I recently read that they gave up on trying to run the commercial airport up there (again). I think that Palmcaster is the definition you find when you look up "marginal area" or "tenuous". At least the IE has some industrial value.

wagga said...

Plus $400/mo for AC. BDDT.

tj and the bear said...

$40/sf? Now we're getting somewhere!

Now, about that Westside...

Steve said...

Not in the best part of town, but if you want to play Section 8 landlord, probably would do fine.


Plan 42
Edwards AFB
Drive to the SF Valley, lots of folks do.

Cool Air...Swamp coolers work great and don't cost a fortune to run.

A visit to Rob Dawg and the coast is about 60 minutes away.

w said...

You will appreciate this house Rob

tj and the bear said...


Don't you mean "depreciate"? ;-)

Shows there's definite progress in the Ventura Valley!

w said...

Very apropos tj!

I hear they removed the light fixtures and perhaps more when the bank kicked them out. Then supposedly they returned them.

930k for a nice but rather boring tract house in the river bottom.

tj and the bear said...

And no yard!

The most annoying thing to me these days is a house occupying 90% of its lot. A realtor I worked with in '89 called them "low maintenance". I need SPACE!

What really killed me was Vegas. Given that it's a damn desert land was cheap enough to give you some space, but by the end of the bubble they were building three-story shoeboxes on the outer loop. Sheesh!

Bill in NC said...

Yeah, but compensation for most will be resetting to 1989, not 1999, levels by the end of this "correction"

rocky said...

If you want a little land in the city check this Gem
June 07 $1,185,000
Oct 08 $765,000

on the market right now for

Mike said...

Check out this gem. Gee, why is it a short sale at $450k (orig $699k a few months ago) when the purchase price was $224k? Oh, I know. It is because this particular owner did a cash out refi so that he could buy the house a few doors down.

Pleather Murse said...

What's wrong with this picture?

23 Golden Sunray Ln, Las Vegas, NV

Single family home on 1/2 acre, 12,786 sq. ft


Almost $11,000/sq ft?

Akira said...

‘Go Fish’ for Capitalists

Anonymous said...

It was probably bot by a fliiper w/ no money down. BWA BWA BWAHAHAHAHA

segfault said...

@ Pleather Murse:

You could buy all four properties on the "also looked at" list for that amount, and still have change left over.

Peripheral Visionary said...

$70,000--now we're getting somewhere! I'm not one for calling bottoms, but at least for this particular area, I think this is getting close.

No, not many jobs within reach. But the weather is presumably good, and so it's an ideal starter home for a telecommuter or an "airplane" commuter (e.g. traveling salesman.) That's one important point to remember--particularly for areas with good lifestyle and weather, there will always be at least a minimal set of buyers from people who are indifferent on location, at least from a work perspective.

Pleather Murse said...


Cripes, for $140M you could buy a freaking small town.

strongbad said...

I lived in Lancaster, just north of Palmdale, all through the big real estate boom and bust of the 90s. The bust was brutal, and in the end there were more brown and yellow lawns than green ones in my neighborhood. Poor Palmcaster. Now they get to go through it all over again...and so soon--only this time with high gasoline prices for added punch. People never learn.

The high desert is the worst place I've ever lived, btw. It has the high taxes, high crime, and the air pollution and filth of a big city, while having the shopping and services of a small city. The area has brutally hot summers and harsh winters too. And the few weeks of the year where the weather is mild are completely ruined by high winds.