All posts by TheArcadian

Arcadia Housing Trends – 1st half of 2008

Redfin has an excellent feature called “Inventory and Housing Trends.” The data is city-specific and gives us a good idea of where home prices are heading. The data below is specifically for Arcadia, California and basically supports what we’ve been stating all along. Arcadia home prices are under heavy pressure from increasing inventory, rising foreclosures and low-affordability.

Inventory has essentially more than doubled since April of 2007. This is what happens when people are forced to sell their homes due to exploding ARMs, weak job market and just simply being underwater on their mortgage.

I suspect that we will break through the $350/sf mark for single family homes by the end of 2008.

All those PUDs, condos and condo conversions will be hurting next year once the median is comfortably below $300/sf.

If these charts weren’t dismal enough, here’s my chart tracking the increasing number of Arcadia foreclosures over the last 6 months.

These are basically the first Arcadia-specific charts I’ve posted since was launched. We have dozens of charts and graphs for Los Angeles county but historical city-specific data is always difficult to come by. Now that we have them, I hope all you readers will find the information useful!

Location location location

1030 Heritage Oaks Dr.
Arcadia, CA 91006

Price: $1,098,000 ($336/sf)

  • Beds: 6
  • Baths: 4
  • Sq. Ft.: 3,265
  • Lot Size: 10,220 Sq. Ft.
  • Year Built: 1976

At first this property seemed like a decent deal assuming you can knock $100-200k off the asking price. A 6 bedroom SFR for $336/sf? Seems like a steal in this bubble market. Then I started browsing through the photos. Either the owner who purchased it 8 years ago had the fashion taste of 2 decades before or they never bothered to update the interior:

So let’s knock another $100k off for upgrades and renovations. $800,000 is starting to sound like a great deal on this 3,265sf home ($245/sf). But… and there’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there? One look at the aerial map and I’d be surprised if anyone would even consider this home for $700k.

What a great view of San Gabriel Valley’s finest freeway!

Applying our standard appreciation table doesn’t help the evaluation of this property. I guess sitting next to the congested 210 freeway isn’t a highly desired amenity.

Last purchased in 2000 for $489,000.

After 8 years of ownership:

4%    $669,230    ($205/sf)
5%    $722,476    ($221/sf)
6%    $779,392    ($239/sf)
7%    $840,193    ($257/sf)

Priced to Sell or Priced to Sit?

123 Eldorado St #A
Arcadia, CA 91006

Price: $589,000 ($405/sf)

  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 2.5
  • Sq. Ft.: 1,453
  • Property Type Attached, Townhouse


Here’s a seller hoping to get out of his 2005 purchase with a minimal loss. Assuming the $20,000 spent on upgrades is true, here’s where he currently stands:

2005 Purchase – $575,000
ADD Upgrades- $20,000
ADD Agent Fees – $35,340
MINUS Sales Price – $589,000

Total loss = $41,340

Unfortunately, I do not think $589,000 is “priced to sell”. Other PUDs in the area are similary listed at $405/sf but actual sales are closing between $300 to $360/sf. At 1,453sf, this property should fall within the following price range:

$435,900 $300/sf
$479,490 $330/sf
$523,080 $360/sf

A neighboring PUD, newer and bigger, is currently listed at $404/sf and has been sitting unsold for 222 days. Will this seller suffer the same fate?

$888k – Lucky enough to find a knife catcher?

The following property is profiled by the request of one of our readers. It seems like many people are attracted to these PUD/townhomes. If you’re not into yard maintenance, driveways or require large lots to entertain with, then I suppose this is the perfect property for you!

901 Holly Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007

Price: $888,000 ($334/sf)

  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 3.75
  • Sq. Ft.: 2,660
  • Lot Size: 10,408 Sq. Ft.
  • Property Type: Attached, PUD

Excellent location, walk to Arcadia Golf Course and Park, custom built PUD, like new condition, many upgrades and features…

I can’t argue about the location of this PUD. It’s a stone’s throw away from the golf course, Santa Anita Race Track, Arboretum and Westfield Shopping Mall. In fact, this is probably one of the closest properties to all 4 attractions!

Exit, make a left and you’re on Huntington Dr. Can someone tell me whether this is a high traffic intersection?

As far as valuation goes, my first comment would be that PUDs like this one used to go for ~$400k+ in early 2000. Although I know much has changed since then, it doesn’t change the fact that this class of property was built to be more affordable than single family homes and still generate a sizable profit for developers.

Today’s valuation will be based on 2 properties located fairly close to this one or at least within proximity to all the same attractions.

453 Fairview Ave #D.
Arcadia, CA 91007

Currently listing for $669,000 ($284/sf)

– 3 bed, 3 bath and 2,356sf

815 W Duarte Rd.
Arcadia, CA 91007

Sold on 7/31/08 for $680,000 ($230/sf)

– 6(?) beds, 3 baths and 2,962sf

So just based on these 2 comps, $334/sf for today’s PUD is asking too much. If this was a small detached home on a 7,000sf lot then maybe there would be a case for the $888,000 asking price.

Since this property is new(er) and appears to be well maintained, here’s how I would value it:

$260sf – $691,600
$270sf – $718,200
$280sf – $744,800

Stray a little farther West on Huntington Dr. and you will start to see PUDs currently listing for around $680,000 – $750,000. That is far below the today’s “lucky” $888,000 asking price.

$5,000,000 on Fallen Leaf

1061 Fallen Leaf Rd.
Arcadia, CA 91006

Price: $4,998,000 ($643/sf)

  • Beds: 7
  • Baths: 7.25
  • Sq. Ft.: 7,769 (8,000sf+ incl. guest house)
  • Lot size: 1.05 Acres

There’s not much to say about this property. The home is big, the lot is huge and the price… just under $5,000,000.

With 1 acre of land to work with, there’s no chance this home can be overbuilt like the hundreds of McMansions in Arcadia.

Of course, high-end homes like these are not immune to price declines:

Listing history
Jun 27, 2008 $5,488,000
Jul 29, 2008 $4,998,000

That’s a $500,000 (9%) price reduction in 30 days. Even at this price point, the seller is not looking for a knife catch. Rather, he needs a filthy millionaire to come by who just has to live in Arcadia (for whatever reason).

Valuation based on last sales price:

Purchased in 1996 for $1,750,000.

After 12 years of ownership:

4%    $2,801,806    ($361/sf)
5%    $3,142,749    ($405/sf)
6%    $3,521,344    ($453/sf)
7%    $3,941,335    ($507/sf)
8%    $4,406,798    ($567/sf)

If you’re wealthy enough to buy this home, will another $400-600k price drop concern you?

$700k and 4 blocks from Monrovia

1535 Loganrita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006

Price: $700,000 ($393/sf)

  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 2
  • Sq. Ft.: 1,779
  • Lot Size: 0.31 Acres

This is a new listing so no pictures have been posted yet. Fortunately, we won’t need photos to see how this story will unfold. The property is East of 10th Ave. and borderline Monrovia. In fact, it is about 5 big blocks away from the gang shootings earlier this year.

Although I love some parts of Monrovia, Old Town for instance, but the locals on this blog will know how rough some areas can get.

Fortunately for this seller, they purchased the property back in 2004 for $500,000. Applying the standard appreciation table will justify the price:

1995 price: $248,000
2004 price: $500,000

After 9 years of ownership…

5%    $384,729    ($216/sf)
6%    $418,991    ($236/sf)
7%    $455,938    ($256/sf)
8%    $495,753    ($279/sf)

4 years later and the seller wants $700,000 for the same home. There is no mention of upgrades, remodeling or even proper landscaping. Maybe the fruit trees are worth a bundle?

From the description:

What the Owner Loves: The yard is incredible – 3 avocado trees, 3 orange trees, lemon, lime, grapefruit and apple trees. A great house for people with children and/or pets. A separate concrete patio with a grapevine trellis. Corner lot, plenty of space.

Since appreciate is dead for a few years and real estate is, believe or not, depreciating, I’d peg this home at $300/sf – Giving us a value of $533,700.

One last thing. This is a FSBO listing so the seller probably knows $700,000 is just a wishing price. They will most likely find a knife catcher around $650k.

Short Sale on Oxford – 100% financing to failure

315 N. Oxford Dr.
Arcadia, CA 91007

Price: $980,000 ($463/sf)

  • Beds: 2
  • Baths: 2
  • Sq. Ft.: 2,117
  • Lot Size: 14,680sf

Today’s property is a short-sale listing for $120,000 more than its 2006 purchase of $860,000. I’m certain that the buyer went through the following thought process:

  1. Purchase this fixer-upper with 100% financing.
  2. Borrow more money for extensive remodeling and upgrades.
  3. Re-sale the home for $1,300,000+
  4. Profit!!

But in the absence of double digit housing appreciation, this deal has horribly gone sour and now the owner is stuck with a $1,000,000 fixer-upper. What a shame too because this section of Peacock Village is very nice and beautiful.

Listing description:


Last month I profiled a nearby home: Uninformed on Oxford. In that post I valued the property at $347/sf. Since this is a fixer-upper, let’s take a look at the valuation range:

$310sf -$656,270
$320sf -$677,440
$350sf -$740,950

Currently listing for $980,000 ($463/sf)

Take a look at the above photo… Would you spend nearly $1,000,000 for this home?