Until recently, my corner of Los Angeles seemed to be isolated from the foreclosure crisis that has swept across the nation and impacted so many communities. But now, a few bank-owned homes have popped up in the local multiple-listings service (MLS).
A search of my local area returned 97 homes, the cheapest of which was a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house listed at $650,000 and the most costly of which was a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house on a very desirable mountain-view street listed at almost $3 million. The median price was approximately $890,000.
At least four of the homes were identified as being bank-owned, foreclosure or REO. But the pain wasn't spread across the wide range of for-sale homes. Instead, all of the foreclosures were priced between $650,000 and $760,500.
Were entry-level buyers more susceptible to bad mortgages and financial woes? Have local Realtors decided that a "bank-owned" or "foreclosure" label might stigmatize a luxury-level home? Or is some other trend at work here?