Bargains Elude Bidders – Glendale/Pasadena Property Sales Are Within 10 Percent of Listing Prices

looking-for-bargains.jpgResidential real estate transactions closed within 10 percent of asking prices in Glendale and Pasadena during the past three months, according to data gathered by Redfin and presented by CEO Glenn Kelman at the Westin Pasadena Red Carpet event for homebuyers this week. (See the chart and a link to the Power Point slides here.)

Glenn gave attendees a great rundown of real estate sources and their pros and cons. He also covered Redfin’s extensive search features and the fine points of negotiating in today’s market.

What stood out to me in his comments was: 1) though 20 to 40 percent of inventory in Southern California is distressed, sellers’ situations, bidding wars, or bank requirements are moderating bargain prices, and 2) buyers are getting more time to evaluate their purchase: contingency periods range from 14-21 days in this market, while two years ago they averaged 7-10 days.

I actually found three price increases on Redfin this past week. This Glendale home went up $20,000 in price; the listing states “Short Sale Approved.” A Pasadena townhouse went from $410,000 to $555,000 with no evident explanation, but someone obviously needs more money. This Orange Grove townhouse is back on the market at $55,000 more than its original listing price. It must have fallen out of escrow; its listing says “must sell!”

Closing within 10 percent of listing price seems impressive, but perhaps sales are occurring after price reductions. Against three price increases, I counted 59 price reductions in my Glendale and Pasadena Redfin email updates this past week. The smallest price cut was $5,000, the largest was $292,000, and the average was $43,000.

Also during this week, 16 listings went from active to off market or contingent (into escrow), while 23 listings went from off market or contingent back to active status, meaning they most likely fell out of escrow. In this difficult market for both buyers and sellers, Redfin’s homebuying class is definitely worthwhile.

Here are some of the interesting price reductions in Glendale and Pasadena this past week:

3065 E. California
Pasadena 91107
5 beds/4.5 baths
4,318 sq.ft.
$507 per sq.ft.
On Redfin 24 days
This large Mediterranean home sitting on more than one-half acre with tennis court, guest house, and multiple amenities came down $292,000 in price in less than one month.

1830 Calafia Street
Glendale 91208
3 bed/2.5 bath
2,411 sq.ft.
$303 per sq.ft.
On Redfin 34 days
This home just north of Glendale Community College was reduced by $38,500. It is listed as an REO. It sold for over $1,000,000 in 2007.

1321 Carmen Drive
Glendale 91207
3 bed/3 bath
1,726 sq.ft.
$458 per sq.ft.
On Redfin 239 days
According to the listing, this home is proudly seated on a beautiful tree-lined street. It was listed at $1,049,000 in 2007, reduced in January 2008 to $975,000 and just last week reduced another $185,000 to $790,000. It last sold in June 2005 for $765,000.