Not a typical title you usually see associated with a website that reports on real estate and related issues. But then again, what if anything in the last few years has been normal or predictable?

There is a reason it is called a Squirrel

Reporting on housing market trends might not be the most exciting thing to many readers, so the challenge becomes how to get someone interested and capture their attention. How do you take data and make it interesting for the reader? Many of the most effective presentations I have seen tell a story and present an analogy that people can relate to. They begin to see themselves doing the same thing or experiencing the same moment. Therefore a squirrel and the housing market are no exceptions. How many times have you been driving down the street and up ahead 50 yards is a squirrel sitting on the side of the curb. As you approach the rodent begins to run out in the middle of the street. As you begin to rely on your instincts and drive defensively you begin to swerve in the opposite direction or hit the brakes risking your own life and property to save the life of the animal which has no emotional attachment to you. Just plain action / reaction response. Now the squirrel has managed to make it to the middle of the road. Appearing undisturbed and without warning, he begins to reverse course and heads back to the curb in which he initiated your 10 seconds of torment.

The Housing Market Squirrel

We currently seem to have a housing market that has taken on “squirrel” like tendencies. We have a few months of momentum and it appears we are finally crossing the street to the other side. Then a slight pullback while the dust settles and we start again.

Pasadena Single Family Sales/Inventory

After a disappointing November, December and January have bounced back pretty well. January, which is historically one of the slowest months of the year as homebuyer’s don’t usually shop for houses in the month of December. However we did see a lot of momentum last month compared to January in 2010. Inventory increased by 68 units or 33%, but sales also increased by 40%, plus properties in escrow or “pended” increased by 57%.

Of the homes that sold in January, 30% were distressed properties, either bank owned or a short sale. As of today, ForeclosureRadar is reporting 537 homes in Pasadena have either a Notice of Default filed against it or are scheduled for a foreclosure auction. Despite the national reports of fewer foreclosure filings, the situation in Pasadena doesn’t seem to be improving very quickly.

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