Real estate market looking up despite Britney Spears’ woes

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Got $6.5 million? Britney Spears' home is for sale again – and it's a steal!  Photo: Sotheby's International Realty

Got $6.5 million? Britney Spears' home is for sale again – and it's a steal! Photo: Sotheby's International Realty

Will the circus ever stop?  Britney Spears’ Italian Renaissance-inspired home that peeks over Studio City (which some have dubbed the white elephant because it just can’t seem to sell)  has  again had its price reduced.  The 27-year-old pop princess originally put the house up for sale last September for $7.9 million. It was later reduced to $7.2 million before the listing expired in March. Currently, the 6-bedroom, 6-bath villa is back on the market for  $6.5 million. The 7,500 square foot home was built in 2001 in a gated community, complete with a swimming pool, a master suite with his and her baths, a gated motor court and landscaped grounds.  Tomer Fridman of Ewing & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.

From Dataquick: An estimated 39,051 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That was up 2.9 percent from 37,967 in April and up 18.3 percent from 33,024 for May 2008. Sales have increased on a year-over-year basis the last eleven months. California sales for the month of May have varied from a low of 32,223 in 1995 to a peak of 67,958 in 2004, the average is 47,621. MDA DataQuick’s statistics go back to 1988.

The median price paid for a home last month was $230,000, up 4.1 percent from $221,000 in April, and down 32.2 percent from $339,000 for May a year ago. Last month’s slight uptick in median is the result of a relative increase in sales of more expensive homes.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 51.1 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on. A year ago it was 39.8 percent.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $972. That was up from $929 in April, and down from $1,633 for May a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s mortgage payment was 54.0 percent below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 62.7 percent below the current cycle’s peak in June 2006.

MDA DataQuick is a division of MDA Lending Solutions, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. MDA DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is nearing its 2008 peak, while financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is at an all-time low, as is financing with multiple mortgages. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, and non-owner occupied buying activity is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.

Please submit real estate news to Publisher/Editor Karen Young.

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Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.