Monday, April 13, 2009

Suburbs, Alive & Well

Being a devoted resident of the most enjoyable way of live human beings have yet designed, that of the American suburb, it is good to hear that others, even during this economic downturn, are also continuing to enjoy this magnificent way of life; as this report from New Geography reveals the surge in suburban home sales.

An excerpt.

"From the very inception of the current downturn, sprawling places like southeast California's Inland Empire have been widely portrayed as the heart of darkness. Located on the vast flatlands east of Los Angeles, the region of roughly 3 million people has suffered one of the highest rates of foreclosures and surges in unemployment in the nation.

"Yet now George Guerrero, a top agent at Advantage Real Estate in Chino Hills, says he can see the light, with sales picking up and inventories finally beginning to drop. "There's been a real surge in sales," Guerrero says. "The market has come back to where it should be. I think we are ahead of the curve here of the overall recovery."

"Of course, for the moment, much of this growth is concentrated in foreclosure sales. However, even developers of new properties, such as Brookfield Homes , also report a strong uptick in sales. In his new developments in the Inland Empire, notes Adrian Foley, head of Brookfield's Los Angeles area office, sales are up 150% since six months ago.

"Although the economy is still hurting, the housing trend has become much more positive. Statewide, existing home sales have jumped 30% over the past year, taking the inventory from an estimated 16.7 months to less than seven months. In Chino Hills, it is down to six months.

"Most encouraging, this activity is taking place exactly where the market was hit hardest in the beginning – in the suburbs and at the lower end of the market, which in the Inland Empire means between $150,00 to $300,000. This could presage the resurgence of the suburbs and the prospects for the middle and working classes once again to purchase their piece of the American dream.

"Nor is this merely a Californian phenomenon. Nationwide, existing home sales – predominately in the suburbs – have been on the rise for the last few months. The strongest growth is occurring in Sunbelt markets in Arizona, Nevada and Florida, as well as in California. These places experienced some of the greatest surges in prices, which forced many buyers to turn to subprime and interest-only loans."