Friday, December 14, 2007

Neighborhood Home Values Holding Up Nicely

A month ago, in The Other Bubble, I mentioned that I live in Marin County, just north of San Francisco and commented on the surprising strength of the local real estate market. Well, things appear to be better than I thought.

Amidst all the talk of the subprime meltdown and impending financial calamities, I found it interesting that not too far from where I live, a house has apparently just gone into contract for $65 million – the full asking price. The Wall Street Journal broke the story this morning, but an old Forbes profile of The Most Expensive House in California is a better stop to read more about Locksley Hall, currently owned by Robert “Toxic Bob” Friedland, a global mining tycoon who earned his nickname by helping to turn Summitville Mine into one of the most notorious Superfund sites.

While I mentioned on Wednesday that I have had a good run with my trading lately, I hasten to add that I am not the buyer. So far, the buyer's name has not been disclosed. One locally famous name worth noting, however, is Olivia Hsu Decker, who handled the listing and whose web site makes for interesting browsing if you are into house envy.

Friedland has renovated the original house extensively and various sources list the current square footage at 10,000 or 12,000. I must say, however, that $6,000 per square foot is not outrageous for the area, especially considering that the views from the site are generally considered to be in the top five in the world.

If nothing else, this transaction will make for some interesting average home sale price statistics in the area. Perhaps some day I can try to sneak it in as a comp...

2 comments:

dowoper8tr said...

Bill,
Does the VIX action this week look tame relative to the market slide to you?
Do you have any of your interesting charts for this week that could put it all into perspective?
Thanks,

Bill Luby said...

Hi Dowoper8tr,

A quick answer is that last week the VIX action was about what you would expect with the 2.4% drop in the SPX (see my post earlier today.)

Today's action is somewhat distorted by the Monday effect where there trading calendar catches up to seven day weekly calendar, but the VIX action looks fairly tame today.

I may have some charts up later in the week. Today has been crazy busy trading, etc. In the meantime, you can always check out old posts on the 'fearogram' or VIX:SDS ratio for starters.

Cheers and good trading,

-Bill

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