Real Estate: White House Value Mirrors Rest of Nation

by Kay Lynn

White House

We all know the saying “misery loves company”.  That’s why I was glad to read it’s not just middle class homeowners that have lost a lot of value in their homes.

The most famous home in the U.S.  has lost 25% of it’s value since the height of the market which is about $80 million.  The White House is now worth $251 million plus which is still quite a lot.

Sometimes I wonder if the bottom of the market will ever come to Southern California.  Prices have been pretty stable the past six months, but the big unknown is the number of foreclosures coming.

But like the White House, we’re not planning to sell anytime soon.  Do you think the housing market is at or near the bottom?

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JT McGee February 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

I think the housing market across the nation is already bottoming. We’ve still some mortgage resets to go through, but I think for the most part that those who will default have already defaulted.

As for SoCal home prices, you have a completely different ballgame. IIRC, CA property taxes are levied on sales price, so the property taxes rise when homes trade hands. Surely that discourages a lot of buying and selling.

But you’ve also that awful state deficit. I saw an article recently where high-income people were fleeing CA in droves amid rising taxes…with it being possible now to work most any service sector job from home, I think that trend is only going to continue–the exodus from California, I mean.

MoneyCone February 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

That is a very interesting statistic! Didn’t realize even the WH wasn’t immune to the RE crisis!

I’m *hoping* the housing has seen its bottom!

krantcents February 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

It is hard to say, since the inventory of foreclosed homes is growing. If I were in the market for a new home,I might want to put a toe in it. When it does turn, you will only know after it turns.

Kay Lynn February 22, 2011 at 5:29 am

@JT, I’m more optimistic about people leaving. There are more than enough moving here for the excellent weather so it’s a wash. When I hear the property taxes that people pay in other states, we have it better (1% of the purchase price is the base, but you can have it adjusted down as long as the value is lower than the purchase price).

@MoneyCone, I guess all homes lost value during the recent economic downturn.

@Krantcents, if I was in the market I’d be looking now. It’s a perfect point for lower prices and low mortgage rates.

Denise February 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I don’t think we’ve seen the bottom yet, unfortunately the commercial real estate market is also in a spiral. Although I do think it’s a good thing for the government to cut Freddie and Fannie free (say that 3 times fast!), nobody is really talking yet about the impact that is going to have on the market. They’ve made the rules for buying and selling houses and the rules for appraisers to follow for more than 20 years since FIRREA. Once Fannie is gone there will be no one left to police the appraisers and if the only independent party who is NOT paid a commission in the sale of a property is cut out of the transaction then it won’t be long before we’re right back on the road to over valuations.

Evan February 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm

That is a ridiculous number! If you can’t buy or sell the property its value is essentially zero.

Aubrey February 17, 2011 at 12:09 am

A year earlier, the White House lost even more of its estimated value — almost $24 million, a 7.2 percent drop. During the same period, home values in the United States plummeted 11.9 percent on average. The house is apparently still on a downward trend. If you look at the current listing, the property’s value fell another $1,084,000 to $291,386,000 in just the past week.

First Gen American February 18, 2011 at 2:56 am

I didn’t realize it had a value, but I suppose it must for insurance purposes. In my area home prices dropped from 2005 levels, but only like 20-30% and seems to be recovering. Some areas are on the rise again. We didn’t benefit from the boom time, but we’re not suffering as much from the bust.
I live in Western MA.

Squirrelers February 18, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I don’t think we’ve totally hit bottom yet. I see a stalemate here in the Chicago area, with lots of homes on the market at lower prices than several years ago – and buyers on the sidelines wanting even lower prices. This is despite really low interest rates.

Still, it’s a clearly a better time to buy now than a few years ago, for 1st time buyers.

Money Reasons February 20, 2011 at 4:43 am

What a sad and funny day it would be to see a “For Sale” sign on the White House lawn (lol)!

I do think that the market has bottomed.

Little House February 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I think that in California at least, we are still a little ways from the bottom. I only say this because homes in my neighborhood are still selling for $600K yet the average income in this neighborhood is around $65K. That still doesn’t make much sense to me. I also know that we haven’t seen the end of the foreclosures or short sales. We’ll just have to see how this year plays out.

Kay Lynn February 22, 2011 at 5:35 am

@Denise, I wonder if we’ve hit the bottom some places but not others? I heard on TV that the markets that held value the longest are still in a downward spiral while other markets are at bottom or on the way up.

@Evan, true but people always count the value of their property even when it’s not for sale. I guess you wouldn’t include it in net worth?

@Aubrey, guess Washington DC area is still going down!

@First Gen American, I doubt it is insured. Wouldn’t you think the federal government self-insures all its properties?

@Squirrelers, I sure hope we have here in SoCal, but I’m ever optimistic!

@ Money Reasons, You never know. I never thought the state of California would sell the Del Mar fairgrounds and they did.

brokeprofessionals February 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Really neat, I never saw this info anywhere else.

We think the market will go down another 10-25%, as we are purchasing a home and we have an opposite effect. Example: We bought into the stock market in late 2007. (although we held and have done alright in the long run anyway).

Kay Lynn February 28, 2011 at 5:38 am

Brokeprofessionals, I don’t know where you live but I don’t think it will go down that amount here in California. Areas that saw the recession’s effects late will still lose value.

Sandy @ yesiamcheap February 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I hear that we are supposed to be preparing for more erosion in home prices are more foreclosed properties come on to the market and less people are buying them without the government incentive. I need some money to BUY BUY BUY.

Kay Lynn February 28, 2011 at 5:42 am

Around here a lot of investors are buying properties with CASH! I think a lot of people there were waiting are going to be looking this Spring because of interest rate concerns. We shall see!

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