"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

January 2020 Newsletter

Dear Neighbor:

I can hear Barbara Walters now – “This is 2020”.  In honor of 2020, let me be the first to employ hindsight in looking at the rather interesting real estate market in 2019:  at the beginning of 2019 we were just minding our business when the market got extremely active – by March or so there was almost nothing for sale and what there was was often selling at aberrantly high prices.  This came upon us unexpectedly and, if you’re one of my recent customers, you know I was trying to get your house on the market ASAP.  The only people really able to take advantage of it were those who were either on the market early in the year or had been planning to sell and were ready just by pure luck.  This continued until about the end of June.  In my 35 years in the business I have never seen so many people wanting to close escrow over the summer so they could get their kids in the PV Schools which, of course, contributed to the frenzy.  Summer arrived and it was much slower, at least partially because some of those houses that sold in Spring might normally have sold in Summer.  But as you know, we were in year 11 of a normally 7-10 year real estate cycle and many of us were wondering if a “correction” was nigh.  Despite the current pick-up in activity, I’m still wondering.  This can’t, and won’t, go on forever.  These corrections are never predicted in advance – only in hindsight.  Speaking of which, here we are in 2020.  I will say again, if you plan to sell within the next year or so and not simultaneously buy another house, better to do it sooner than later.

The new year is not only a time for looking forward, but also for looking back.  When I think back to when my parents moved to Palos Verdes in 1947, it is hard to imagine how different it was then.  Most of the lots in Valmonte where we lived were still vacant (tho a building boom began in the 1950’s) and, in fact, most of the land on the Hill was vacant, much of it being farmed.  The Depression had put a big damper on development, and not much happened during World War 2.  There was one city on the Hill – Palos Verdes Estates.  The rest was unincorporated LA County, with Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates incorporating in 1957 and Rancho Palos Verdes in 1973.  The only public schools were at Malaga Cove and Miraleste – Valmonte, Montemalaga, Dapplegray were built in the ‘50’s and the others weren’t even on the drawing boards.  For shopping you either went to Moore’s Market in the Plaza (now the Ranch Market) or to Redondo.  What became the Peninsula Center was just a valley with a seasonal lake and a prison at the lower end.  I mean, it was really different.

I have quite a bit of eyewitness Palos Verdes history on my website:  www.DanaGraham.com.  Click on “The Things You Always Wondered About Palos Verdes” and/or the button called “About Palos Verdes” if you want to begin at the Cretacious Era, which was just before we moved here.

If you’re thinking of selling your home and want to talk to someone with deep roots in Palos Verdes, call me at 310 613-1076.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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