Palos Verdes Peninsula and South Bay Los Angeles 4th Quarter 2009 Real Estate Market Report

The real estate market for the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Beach Cities picked up substantially in the fourth quarter 2009. Both buyers and sellers stepped up to buy and sell. Properties that were sitting for many months sold at all levels of the market. High end properties are selling as jumbo loans have become more available. Buyers who can get financing are actively looking and aggressively offering where they see a deal. Sellers who are motivated to move are pricing their homes to sell.

News reports are mixing in some good economic news in addition to the doomsday reports favored by the media. Lower priced homes are moving briskly with buyers taking advantage of significant discounts and record low interest rates. New tax credits are also giving great incentives to new buyers.

PRICE CHANGES – Properties on average, in the South Bay are selling for approx. 96% of list price. The average price per sq. ft. for homes sold in the fourth quarter 2009 compared to the fourth quarter 2008, has fallen much less in the South Bay Beach Cities than in most markets in Southern California. Recent news reports have indicated that prices may be stabilizing in Southern California. The median price of homes in Los Angeles County has also been increasing lately due to an increase in the number of more expensive homes being sold because of the improving market for jumbo loans.

Quarterly changes in sales volumes in the beach cities compared to last year varied widely, with some strong increases in sales volumes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Manhattan Beach/Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach, but flat sales in Torrance and San Pedro.

Location 2009 4th Qtr. Sales % Change 4th Qtr. 2008    Days on Market Months Inventory
  Sales Price Per Sq. Ft. # of Houses Sales Price Per Sq. Ft. Sales Volume    
Palos Verdes Estates                      $572               30    4%                 200%       153    6
RPV, RHE, & PVP  455 109   3% 70%  80    4
Rolling Hills  627    5  (3%) NA  82    5
Manhattan Beach/Hermosa  634 108 (13%)                   83%        84    3
Redondo Beach  427  92 ( 5% )                   18%      62    3
Torrance  370 199   5%                  3%        47    2
San Pedro  309  78 (  4% )                  (4% )     68    3




WEB BLOG ( ) My web blog is where I discuss the latest news on the real estate market and other interesting facts about the Palos Verdes Peninsula. I have also posted detailed market reports for each of the neighborhoods on the Palos Verdes Peninsula which lists the homes sold in each neighborhood during the 4th Quarter of 2009. We appreciate your feedback and comments on my postings. Come join us.

INVENTORY – The total inventory of single family homes for sale in the cities listed above has decreased significantly during the last quarter. For most of the last two decades, L.A. County has averaged an 8 month inventory.  The number of months of inventory of homes in the South Bay has shrunk significantly in the last year. Homes in the lower end of the price range in the higher priced market of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Manhattan Beach have been also selling faster than the higher priced homes.

What is a Short Sale?

CDPE – Certified Distressed Property Expert 

Short Sales are a sale of a property where the sale proceeds are not adequate to pay off the existing loans, requiring the lender to agree to accept less than full payment of their loan. At this time, the fastest growing segment of the distressed property market is the luxury market.  I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert, and those realtors that have this designation have a success rate of 85-90% closing short sales, compared to a national average of 8-10% successful closings. Whether it is caused by relocation, loss of a job or increased mortgage payments, everyone at some point has been touched by the worldwide economic downturn. If you know someone who may need some help lease don’t hesitate to call or refer our services. 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE INTERNET.  We invite you to visit our award winning website at  Our website achieves extremely high placement on search engine results, such as “Palos Verdes Real Estate” and “South Bay Real Estate” on Google, for people using the internet to buy a home in Palos Verdes or the South Bay beach communities. This has made us a leader in serving relocation clients.

TAX INCENTIVES:     The Federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers was extended for homes purchased through 4/30/2010, with a new $6,500 home buyer’s credit for existing homeowners. There are also substantial tax credits for qualifying energy saving expenditures.  For more info, visit the following link on my website: Income Tax Issues

FINANCING   (See our web blog for rate updates):

BUYERS AND SELLERS TAKE HEART! There is financing available for well qualified buyers due to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive action in purchasing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities. Extension of this loan funding program is not certain at this time. Funds for this program may run out by the end of the 1st quarter of 2010 and interest rates may move up by upwards of a half point in the early part of this year. There are new guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, and 3.5% down payment loans are available with tight restrictions.  


BUYERS with good credit ( FICO scores above 740), an adequate down payment of 20% or more and 2 years or more employment history will qualify for Full Documentation loans. There are no Stated Loans (no documentation) offered now. If the property will be your home, not a speculative investment, you should be buying for the long term. Today’s market gives buyers and sellers the opportunity to negotiate a reasonable deal for both parties. 

Conforming Loans ($417,000 and below) are at approx. 4.75 %.  Rates for loans between $417,000 and $729,750 (conforming jumbos) are about one-eighth to one quarter of a percentage point higher. Conforming loans generally require a 20% down payment (less for FHA or VA loans)

Interest rates on Jumbo 30 year fixed rate mortgages (loans in excess of $729,750) have decreased substantially over the last several quarters to an average rate of approx. 5.75-6.25%. The interest rate spread between 30 year fixed rate conforming loans and Jumbo 30 year fixed rate loans is approx. 75 % to 1.25 %.  Jumbo loans also require a higher down payment of 25 to 30%. 7 year variable rate loans are available for jumbo loans at rates of approx. 5.25%.

All rates quoted above are as of 1/18/2010 with usually FICO Scores of at least 740.

Thanks for reading this. We hope it helps your decision making. Call us for more in depth help for your property.

Your feedback and referrals are greatly appreciated. Referrals are the backbone of our business. If you agree that we are knowledgeable professionals, with your best interest at heart, we would appreciate your referral to friends, family and colleagues. We treat all our clients like family, building lifelong relationships.

For more Market Reports with information about individual sub markets, visit my website at

About mmegowan

I am a realtor with Remax Estate Properties in Palos Verdes Estates. Visit my website at
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