12 November 2008

The Abdication of the Kings of Carbon Canyon Is Now Complete?

Back in early August, I posted a little item about the offering of Chino Hills' largest home, a 14,000 square foot behemoth built in the Oak Tree Downs development in Carbon Canyon by the King family, which rode the tidal wave of the real estate bubble only to be blown off the board by the inevitable crash onto a rocky shoreline (hmmm, not sure about that metaphor!) Anyway, the asking price then was just a tick under $6 million, which proved wishful thinking at best back then. A drop of several hundred thousand dollars followed and then another similar slashing came along, so that the price was under $4 million. Evidently, the home has just been sold, although it is not certain whether the asking price was met. Whatever the outcome of the sale, this home is probably the most obvious and striking local example of everything that was wrong about the housing bubble, including misguided assumptions about the durability of the hyper-accelerated rise in prices and unrealistic expectations about the sustainability of building such a home on a shaky economically foundation. Yet, about almost every generation we go through these massive bubbles (starting in 1837 and continuing in 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907, 1929, 1974, 1987, 2001) and we see examples like this and don't profit (oops) from what history has shown us. Unfortunately, this current debacle is the worse we've seen in 75 years, since the Great Depression. Will we learn this time? Potential future development in the Canyon, as represented by Canyon Crest, Stonefield, Canyon Hills and the stalled Pine Valley Estates, do not bode well for the future, if these projects are realized. Is this what we want for Carbon Canyon?

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