On the front page of the Los Angeles Times’ business section this week, Cardiff by the Sea 92007 was rated in the top ten of Southern California zip codes that have best rebounded from the real estate disaster.
According to the report, the median price of sold homes in Cardiff during the fourth quarter of 2012 went up 81 percent, compared to the same period one year ago.
Cardiff ranked fourth, behind Compton (97 percent), South Park/San Diego 92102 (96 percent), and LA’s Hancock Park/Koreatown district 90004 (86 percent). The only other San Diego County area included on the list was Escondido’s 92025 (67 percent), which ranked tenth.
On March 12, I checked the MLS listings for Cardiff. In the past 60 days, 44 homes were listed for sale. Of those, 15 have been closed already, 13 are in escrow, leaving an inventory of only 16 homes for sale. Most homes in Cardiff are staying on the market only a few days before a sale offer is received.
At Pacific Coast Homes this week, real estate agents Kurt Hubert and Seth Chalnick pointed to a home that closed escrow at 20 percent higher than the asking price. They claim the prices are rising quickly due to low inventory.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Chalnick. “It’s just been in the last four to six weeks its gone crazy.”
At Steele Realty, brokers Betty Steele and Patrick Conahan have been selling Cardiff homes since 1979. Conahan says, “Buyers are getting frustrated [because of lack of inventory] and sellers are getting top dollar.” Steele believes Cardiff’s home prices will soon equal the value seen before the real estate collapse.
Broker Dennis Smith of RE/MAX by the Sea says the reason Cardiff’s home values are rebounding quicker is because, unlike Escondido or Oceanside, there weren’t as many zero-down homes purchased before the downturn, thus not as many foreclosures.
“Homeowners coming into Cardiff a few years ago purchased with the standard 20 percent down, and there were also a lot of cash sales. They had more cushion, more to hang onto, which is why they didn’t fall so hard,” said Smith.