In today’s hyper-social environment, where there are now way too many groups, organizations, and events to account for, it is refreshing when you attend events like last nights FIBI South Bay that deliver.  For instance, did you understand that the impact of the amount of water used to manufacture an almond can have a dramatic effect on portions of California and other regional Real Estate Markets?  The audience last night will never look at almonds the same.  (There will be a podcast of the event, which will shed some light on how almonds impact the Real Estate market and this complex topic; I will not be delving into further here).

FIBI (For Investors By Investors) is a Professionally hosted, no-sell/no pitch information-only environment that meets monthly.  Each event features a different topic related to the current real estate environment.  Last night’s event was hosted by FIBI organizers COE Real Estate Team partner David Coe and Investor Matthew Owens, and featured three panelists: Ryan Secrist Professional Real Estate Consultant and Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty, Beach Cities and Torrance Branches, panelist Aaron Belliston who currently serves as President of BMR Enterprises a Real Estate Development Co, and panelist Sara Sutachan the Manager of Broker and Real Estate Finance Outreach for California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.).  This cross-section of experts discussed the topic “What is Happening in the California Real Estate Market” and the audience was treated to a lively and unbelievably informative discussion from a local and statewide perspective.  The insight and information provided was truly mind-blowing.

FIBI is open to the public, and anyone interested is welcome to attend.  More info about FIBI South Bay can be found here.

A few enlightening quotes from the evening included:

“We are in a pause in sales”, said Sara Sutachan; when responding to a conversation about why this “pause” may be occurring, she replied, “cause its hard to get a loan.”

(A quote that I have paraphrased several times recently when discussing the same topics, but sounds so much stronger when said by the “Managing Broker of Real Estate Finance of C.A.R.”)

The resulting conversation about some of the proposed reasons why loans are difficult to get for borrowers (even though the media continues to promote the large sums of money being lent), and specifically who the loans are difficult for was interesting.

“The Industrial Sector is Expecting Growth” – “there is a significant number of new projects happening in Los Angeles” stated Aaron Belliston.  Our astute audience quickly pressed this speaker, who many did not know, on what this somewhat general statement meant.  After all, “expecting growth” didn’t even include an adjective to accompany a sense of “how much growth” he might be boldly predicting. Then he proved to the audience that he was no psychic, but just a shrewd, savvy investor who really knew his field when he very quickly rattled off the following statistics:

“There are 134k building permits issued in Los Angeles in 2013 for projects that have just begun.  That represents a 40% increase from last year and is only 5,000 permits less than the same period in 2005 (a notoriously busy year for construction in L.A.).  This all results in $1.7 Billion in Construction Expenditure in the area with 96 large projects slated for downtown Los Angeles alone.”

These stats then led us to an in-depth conversation about the impact that these new units will have on the rental market and availability of housing for the fast-growing population. The panel expert Sara then provided some perspective on Aaron’s figures by letting us know that “the state is currently adding 250k new households a year, while only adding 50k new units,” thus we are deficient in inventory.

That was just a sampling of some of the information that was shared and discussed last night.  The panel was providing so much knowledge and insight, you had to focus to absorb all of the perspectives and data.  It was an evening that I am confident all of those in attendance will not soon forget and will reference in their Real Estate conversations for a long time to come.

So if you have made it to this point in this blog post, I ask you… do you think that the COE Real Estate Team has an understanding of the current California Real Estate Market? That is for you to decide.  Feel free to contact me or David to see what else we may have learned last night, today, tomorrow or the next day, and how that may help you with the purchase or sale of your next home or investment property.