Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Top Alameda Real Estate Stories of 2009

As the year 2009 comes to a close, this year will be remembered for the stamp the National Housing market placed on the economy. The year was dominated by crumbling credit system and foreclosures and home buyers and sellers caught guessing on what the market would do. Distressed properties were the driving force behind the roller coaster year for U.S. housing market. In Alameda, our local market was touched by banks controlling many home listings and fewer homes coming on the market, and of course government intervention. So here is my top Nine in ’09:

Nine in 2009
Number 9 – In January, SunCal releases Draft Redevelopment Master Plan with a plan to build 4,500 new housing units. This addition to the Alameda housing stock would create a 14% increase housing stock. The plan is to build housing in five phases and include high density blocks (non-Measure A compliant), medium density blocks (non-Measure A compliant), low density attached blocks and single family residents blocks. Over this year the plan has met resistance in the form of Measure B support.

Number 8 – Government Intervention happens to try and stimulate home buying. Congress enacted a first-time homebuyer tax credit which increased buyer activity in the entry-level housing market. According to the National Association of Realtors
® November survey of members reported that the number of first-time home buyers climbed to 51 percent. This credit has very little impact for Alameda buyers because of income limits.

Number 7 – High End Freeze – Sales in the luxury home market almost disappear in Alameda. Homes priced over $1 million had a difficult time selling, the first recorded sale of a seven figure home for 2009 was February 26. Of the 480 sales recorded so far this year only 14 homes were a million dollars or more. Compare that to the 38 properties that sold for under $300,000. The highest home sale in Alameda was 1115 Bay Street, which sold October 9 for $1,987,000.

Number 6 -- Prices Flattening – Much of the turmoil in the housing market appeared to take a breath in the later part of 2009. Median home prices in California saw some of the largest increases in the Nation – ZipRealty tracks median home prices from MLS sales in 27 markets and from January to November, San Diego’s median rose 55 percent, San Francisco Bay Area rose 31 percent, Los Angeles rose 25 percent, and Orange County rose 19 percent. In January, the Alameda median home price was $457,000 by November the median increased to $520,000.

Number 5 -- Mobile Shopping – 2009 was the year of the app. Prospective homebuyers and sellers can now track real estate on the go. The iPhone and other smart phone have real estate companies developing apps for home buyers.

Number 4 – Top Alameda Brokerage – Of the 955 transactional sides, representing either the buyer or seller, sales agents at Harbor Bay Realty took top honors accounting for 251 sides. In the 101 homes sales, reported so far, where they represented the seller the group at Harbor Bay accounted for nearly $65 million in Sales. Gallagher & Lindsey was second with 123 sides.

Number 3 – Late Summer Rebound – Alameda experienced a late summer sales rebound with 171 sales in August to October. Sales for the first seven months of the year were 209, the late surge accounted for an 80 percent surge in sales. Without these sales Alameda was headed for a very poor sales year, as of December 29, 2009’s 480 sales exceeds 2008’s 444.


Number 2 – Bank Market – Many have described the 2009 housing market as the “year of the bank” with institutions needing to approve short sales and foreclosures on the homes they owned. In some markets this was a significant part of the available inventory. For example, foreclosures made up 87 percent of properties sold through the end of November 2009 in Las Vegas, NV and 60 percent in Sacramento, CA, according to MLS data. Los Angeles MLS data showed distressed property sales rise from 8 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2009. In Alameda, 107 of the sales were distressed compared to 2008 that had just 26. In 2009, foreclosed and short sales were 22 percent of the sales compared to 6 percent the prior year this was a very dramatic increase for the Island.

Number 1 – Declining Inventory –The number of homes for sale dropped 28 percent compared to 2008, according to a survey of MLS-listed homes in 27 markets. Major markets that saw the steepest declines include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay area, all experiencing year-over-year declines of more than 50 percent. Alameda saw steep declines of inventory as well, starting the year with 149 units for sale peaking to 179 units in mid July and falling to 102 units this week. This is a 43 percent decline from the peak in July.

Happy New Year, Anxious to see what 2010 brings!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flat Housing: A Good Thing?

I was watching a segment from MSNBC about the most recent S&P/Case Schiller housing report and the findings are that we are in a flat housing market based on Sales price. Locally, Alameda has been in a flat market since at least May in terms of inventory and median home prices.

The key according to the experts is inventory and how quickly the bank unwind their holdings of foreclosed properties. Susan Wachter, a real estate professor at Wharton, and Patrick Newport, of IHS Global Insight, discuss whether a flat round of S&P/Case-Shiller numbers is good for home prices in 2010. Newport was negative about the housing market, he believes that home prices will continue to fall because one in four homes is underwater (the borrower owes more than the house is valued) and record foreclosures.

Many in the industry have been predicting a new wave of foreclosures in 2010 and according to Newport the only way to unwind the inventory is to lower prices. This shadow inventory has yet to reveal itself, according to RealtyTrac Alameda has 103 properties in pre-foreclosure, 77 auction properties, and 80 banked owned properties. Since Alameda only shows 12 foreclosures for sale there is a big gap between the listed and held properties by the banks.

Even Newport does not believe that it will be a large decline in prices because most markets have already fallen to apparent bottoms. The SF Bay Area has seen rising prices and multiple offers back, much depends on what the back do in the first half of 2010.

The segment is worth a watch. Sorry about the link the embed code was not working

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/34622689#34622689

Monday, December 28, 2009

Inventory Fall To Near 100 Units

I hope that everyone had a nice Christmas Holiday, I took the time to relax and not think about Alameda Real Estate, but is now Monday and back to work and back to the blog.

Alameda inventory continues to fall and has come oh so close to falling below a 100 units. As of today, the inventory stands at 102 units. If you compare this to last year, December 29, the Island had 157 units for sale; a decline of 35 percent.

Because inventory continues to decline, the properties that remain, are those that are more difficult to sell. Thirty seven of the properties have been on the market more than 90 days and of the current listings 24 properties were listed in December. The number of distressed properties continues to dominate the inventory.

This week, 37 percent of the inventory was a distressed property. You can see in the chart, that as inventory declines the percent of distressed increased over the past four weeks.


PercentofDistressedDec28

For those searching for a single family residence the choices are becoming very slim with just 56 homes for sale. If you are looking in the 94502, Bay Farm has just 10 homes available for sale.

It appears that investors are trying to sell multi-family buildings with 24 units now available. Seven of those properties, 29 percent, are distressed properties.

So as we gear up for the New Year and New Decade, I expect that the inventory numbers will begin to climb. It will be important to see how single family residence enter the market and how they are valued by buyers. If the market is changing, then this is the segment that we best to gauge how strong the housing recovery is for Alameda.


Alameda Real Estate Inventory



.


.

12/28/2009

.

Total 102

.

94501 84

.

94502 18

.

SFR 56

.

Condo 20

.

Multi-Family 24

.

Short Sale 19

.

Foreclosure 12

.

Price Reductions 35

.

High List $1,999,000

.

Low List $129,000

.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Island Bucks National Sales Trend for November

Today the National Association of Realtors® reported another big gain in Existing-Home Sales as buyers respond to tax credit and lower home prices.

Much of the rush can be credited to the credit, as first-time buyers rushed to close sales before the original November 30 deadline for the recently extended and expanded tax credit.

In Alameda, because many buyers did not qualify for the tax credit, saw a sales surge in October. There was a big pull back from October to November as sales fell almost in half.

Nationally the current home sales remain at the highest level since February 2007 when they hit 6.55 million. Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.54 million units in November from 6.09 million in October, and are 44.1 percent higher than the 4.54 million-unit pace in November 2008.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the rise was expected. “This clearly is a rush of first-time buyers not wanting to miss out on the tax credit, but there are many more potential buyers who can enter the market in the months ahead,” he said

In all, 4.4 million households are expected to claim the tax credit before it expires and balance should be restored to the housing sector with inventories continuing to decline. An NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 51 percent of homes in November, compared with an upwardly revised 50 percent of transactions in October.

In many markets in the United States the conditions are optimal for buyers in the current market. Inventories have steadily declined and are closer to balanced levels, three months of inventory, which indicate home prices in many areas are either stabilizing or could soon stabilize and return to normal appreciation patterns. For buyers they still have good choices, low mortgage interest rates, and now an expanded tax credit.

In Alameda, those conditions are not the same as the Nation. The Island inventory is very low and choices are few. The expanded tax credit will open up some additional buyers and could create a bidding situation on desirable homes.

Just like Alameda, the Nation’s total housing inventory at the end of November declined 1.3 percent to 3.52 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 7.0-month supply in October. Nearly all markets experienced a solid sales gain from one year ago; exceptions were in San Diego, Riverside, and Sacramento, where inventory shortages for lower priced homes are limiting sales.

The San Diego market is interesting to monitor, because part of the region are like Alameda. They have high median home prices and low inventory.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $172,600 in November, which is 4.3 percent below November 2008. In Alameda, we saw an 11 percent decline in median home price year-over-year; November 2008 the median was $587,000 compared to this year’s median of $520,000.

Alameda sales for 2009 are slightly behind 2008 totals through November.

The government intervention has spurred home sales I am just not sure if it is sustainable.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Alameda Inventory Still in Decline

I think the chart says it all, the inventory for homes for sale in Alameda continues to fall. Part is due to the seasonality, part due to an unsure real estate market.

Single family residences fell to under 60 units for the first time this year. Bay Farm (94502) has just 19 units for sale. There are 31 distressed properties for sale making up 30 percent of the inventory.

Short week, short post.

InvenChart_Dec_21_09

Alameda Inventory Data


.


.

12/21/2009

.

Total 105

.

94501 86

.

94502 19

.

SFR 59

.

Condo 19

.

Multi-Family 25

.

Short Sale 18

.

Foreclosure 13

.

Price Reductions 37

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $129,000

.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Loan Mods Are Slow to Convert

Late last week, the Obama Administration released the latest monthly report for the Making Home Affordable (MHA) loan modification program. The report includes for the first time the number of loan modifications that have transitioned from the trial to permanent phase.

For many a loan modification is the only way to stay in home as loans reset with new interest rates. The government reports that more than 728,000 modifications are under way across the country. However, the report shows that servicers have only converted 31,382 modifications to the permanent phase. This is roughly a four percent conversion of loans to permanent change status.

Not much progress from my view. Servicers have been moving very slow to help borrowers complete the process. Top Administration officials met with servicers in Washington DC this week to urge a faster pace in converting borrowers to permanent modifications.

Keeping borrowers out of foreclosure is important to stable housing market. Of Alameda’s 468 this year, 106 of them were distressed sales. Fifteen percent of the sales in Alameda (71) were a foreclosure.

Borrowers who receive modifications are saving an average of over $550 per month. According to servicer reports, most borrowers in modifications are meeting their responsibilities to make their payments.

This is not the only thing that the Treasury Department is doing to assist in stabilizing the housing market.

Today the Department released new rules regarding “Short Sales” to help financially troubled homeowners who need to sell but can't cover the mortgage. This is to assist homeowners who don't have the income or debt levels to qualify for a loan modification.

About one in 10 home sales this year was a short sale, or an estimated 500,000 sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. In California, the ratio is far higher. Alameda had 35 short sales this year; seven percent of the sales.

To qualify under the new guidelines:

-- The property must be the homeowner's principal residence
-- The homeowner is delinquent on the mortgage or default looks likely
-- The loan was made before Jan. 1 this year and is less than $729,750
-- The borrowers' total monthly mortgage payment exceeds 31 percent of their before-tax income

The plan is designed to accelerate the complex arrangements that need to be made to come to agreement between lenders, real estate agents, buyers and sellers. Secondary debt holders can receive up to $3,000 to release their claims on the property.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mid-month Check In On Alameda Home Sales

Since we are midway through the month, just eight shopping days for you procrastinators, and I though a quick look to see how home sales in Alameda are shaping up.

The good news is the Island already has 17 recorded sales. At this pace we will surpass December 2008's 21 sales. Also in the good news column, is eight of the properties sold so far this month received the asking price or more.

The more concerning item in the data is that five properties we either a short sale or a foreclosure. This is about 30 percent of the properties sold this month fell in the distressed category. The interesting item is the short sales (highlighted in blue) sold below asking compared to foreclosure (highlighted in yellow) sold for above asking. All the distressed properties were below $500,000.

To this point in the month, the median home sale price is $569,000. The average sale price $656,706.

I think that the sales this month are the strongest indication that the Alameda market has stabilized. Homes are selling at a faster pace than the prior year, median home sale price has remained in the high $500,000 range and inventory is clearing out.

The key is to finish the month as strong as it has started.




.

Sale Date Address Type Beds Baths Sq Ft List Price Sale Price %

.

12/1/2009 1028 MARIANAS LN CONDO 4 2 1766 $499000 $420000 84%

.

12/1/2009 2524 BUENA VISTA AVE SFR 4 3 1761 $415000 $400000 96%

.

12/1/2009 1401 SANTA CLARA AVE SFR 2 1 1316 $567000 $530000 93%

.

12/1/2009 1132 FOUNTAIN ST SFR 2 1 1195 $499000 $555000 111%

.

12/2/2009 210 SHEFFIELD RD SFR 4 2 2256 $849000 $845000 100%

.

12/2/2009 1304 MORTON ST SFR 3 2 2064 $949999 $938000 99%

.

12/3/2009 3042 THOMPSON AVENUE SFR 3 2 1490 $699000 $650000 93%

.

12/3/2009 1831 HARVARD DR SFR 4 2 1604 $725000 $699000 96%

.

12/8/2009 1209 BAY ST SFR 4 2 3951 $1795000 $1551000 86%

.

12/8/2009 3241 ENCINAL AVENUE SFR 3 1 1675 $698000 $698000 100%

.

12/8/2009 1037 SAN ANTONIO AV SFR 3 2 1386 $599000 $601000 100%

.

12/11/2009 2110 EAGLE AVE SFR 5 1 1880 $434900 $460000 106%

.

12/11/2009 470 COLA BALLENA #B CONDO 2 2 1626 $599000 $569000 95%

.

12/11/2009 1726 EAGLE AVE SFR 3 2 1491 $381200 $400000 105%

.

12/14/2009 547 LINCOLN AVE SFR 5 2 2062 $425700 $430000 101%

.

12/15/2009 726 HARBOR RD CONDO 2 2 1550 $479000 $479000 100%

.

12/15/2009 268 BRYANT SFR 5 3 3731 $975000 $939000 96%

.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mortgage Cramdown Measure Fails in House

Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reject a mortgage "Cramdown" measure that is sure to impact homeowners here in Alameda. The piece of legislation would have given bankruptcy judges the freedom to change the terms of mortgages for distressed homeowners and modify loans without bank approval.

The banking industry had been vigorously fighting the measure known as "mortgage cramdown," not wanting the courts to control this portion of the induustry. The measure was defeated by more than 50 votes, in a 188-241 decision. The House had approved a similar measure in March over the objections of Republicans and bank lobbyists, but it died in the Senate.

Under present law primary residence can not have the debt reduced. The bankruptcy courts may reduce other loans for a car, vacation home or family farm.

This decision is a blow for those still on the verge of losing their home in Alameda and throughout the country. Just as it appears that parts of the housing market have stabilized hundreds of thousands of distressed homeowners now have one less option to save their home.


The industry counters that the legislation had the potential to do long-term damage to the mortgage market. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the Mortgage Bankers Association stated “Our primary goal should be to help keep more families in their homes and to unfreeze the credit markets,” the MBA letter said. “Cram down legislation fails on both marks. It will encourage more homeowners to opt for bankruptcy, and it will inject new risk into the mortgage market, thus making it more difficult for borrowers to buy, sell or refinance a home.”


The industry has a point. If all of the current homes that are on the verge of foreclosure file for bankruptcy, then credit will become harder to get for the rest of the homeowner community.
The MBA also wrote that the bill “directly undermines” the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). “We clearly need to work to refine and improve this program to increase the rate of permanent modifications, but we should not raise potential new problems for HAMP by layering the possibility of cram down on top of it,” the letter said.

The problem as I see it is that it appears Congress means to push the foreclosure crisis out and hope that a remedy will just come along and the “Banking Industry” has been slow to modify loans. Neither side has found a solution for the homeowner.

Without some type of solution the distressed properties will continue to slowly turn into foreclosures in 2010 and beyond. Combine the introduction of additional inventory with continued high unemployment and that is a receipt for a new glut of housing

I am not sure what the correct answer to the problem is, but a solution does need to be found. It may take more foreclosures that the Banks will need to put on their books and manage for the industry to move faster and upset former homeowners for politicians to find a workable solution.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Alameda Inventory Slope Continues Down

The housing inventory for Alameda continues to trend down. The fancy graph I included shows the slope has grown very dramatic since July and looks like it will continue to hover around a 100 units.

This week we hit a new low for the year falling to 107 units for sale. The decline is both seasonal and market driven. The current inventory has more than a third of it consisting of distressed property. The Island's listed inventory is 38 percent short sale or foreclosed.

There are just 63 single family residences for sale. The current median list price for the single family home is $625,000. For those searching for a home this leaves very little to select from given the current market.

I think this low inventory will continue until February or March, so if you are home hunting it will take some patience.


Alameda Home Inventory -- Dec 14, 09



Alameda Home Inventory for the Week of December 14



.


.

12/14/2009

.

Total 107

.

94501 86

.

94502 21

.

SFR 63

.

Condo 19

.

Multi-Family 23

.

Short Sale 17

.

Foreclosure 13

.

Price Reductions 41

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $149,000

.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: Rudolph Has A New Sleigh

Today's Alameda Snapshot comes from this year's Alameda Boat Parade. The Photo was taken by jeepskate and is on Flickr.


Rudolph Has A New Sleigh
Originally uploaded by jeepskate

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Makes a Livable City?

So the other day I was reading a column at SF Gate titled “Big city blues . . . Could a more affordable life, away from the Bay Area, actually be better?” The author Rob Baedeker ponders in a break up letter why it would be good to leave and he interviews two people that have moved from urban life to the smaller communities of Bend, Or and Madison, WI. (Link to column)

Much of what Baedeker writes about is affordability and the cost of living in the Bay Area. In Alameda, where the median home price was $520,000 last month this is a question I am sure many of us has asked. It is not cheap to reside in our Island paradise, and with the looks of the State and Local budget it appears there will be no relief in the future.

But what are the options? I have lived in the Bay Area since 1976 and Alameda since 1977, and I could not image living anywhere else. There is so much to do and be a part of and trading this life for another community would be hard to do.

A little later in the same day, I came across Yahoo! Real Estate’s
Best Bang-For-The-Buck Cities. The Forbes list consisted of (Complete List):

1. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA Metro Area
2.
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metro Area
3. Jackson, MS Metro Area
4. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metro Area
5. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metro Area
6. Wichita, KS Metro Area
7. McAllen- Edinburg-Mission, TX Metro Area
8. Chattanooga, TN-GA Metro Area
9. Colorado Springs, CO Metro Area
10. Ogden-Clearfield, UT Metro Area

and CNNMoney also has a
Best Places to live list:
1. Louisville, CO
2. Chanhassen, MN
3. Papillion, NE
4. Middleton, WI
5. Milton, MA
6. Warren, NJ
7. Keller, TX
8. Peachtree City, GA
9. Lake St. Louis, MO
10. Mukilteo, WA

Not sure if the stars were aligning trying to tell me something. When you look at recently sold home in Omaha, three bedroom, three bathroom 2,500 square foot home for $175,000. A monthly payment around $700 and lower property taxes. It sure makes you think.

I am sure all of these places are special, but first glances none are near the Ocean. This is big strike against them since I love to sail, and not on a lake. Most are in the middle of the country where the cost of living is less, but from what I can tell my heating bill (just not this week) would be a lot more. Also without a municipal owned electric provider I am sure I would pay more for in the summer for air conditioning.

So for now, I will pay what is necessary to live in good old Alameda but at some point I am sure I will begin to wonder like Baedeker,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Need A New Home . . . There is an App for That

So, I purchased and an iPhone about two months ago, and love this phone. I do not know how I lived without my camera, video camera, music player, email, IM and oh yea phone in one devise. But it is the apps that make the phone a must have, they have games, tools, news and business apps. They have an app for almost anything you can think of, but since this is a real estate column I am going to review the newest entry into field and then give you other of my favorite apps.

Today, ZipRealty Introduces Free iPhone application enabling mobile house-hunting in more than 4,800 Locations and Alameda is definitely included since this is a Bay Area company. Buyers can now search listed homes, view photos, and get home prices and appraised values while on the go and allowing them to search for and view full information from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Here is some cool feature from the app:

There’s no start screen search function there is a prompt to share location your current location, and the user is taken right to a display of properties. Clients can begin with new geo-targeted searches for homes that meet their unique home-buying criteria like price range, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and property type. This means if you are walking or driving along the geo target will start the search where you are currently located. Searchers get to see both listed properties and recently sold properties. There is a filter that allows searching by one or the other if you prefer. The search area can be modified from this point either by panning across the map or manually entering a location.
The application displays search results on Google Maps allowing the client to see homes currently on the market as well as a comprehensive list of recently sold homes with sale prices. By syncing the application directly with Google Maps, users can easily access GPS-enabled turn-by-turn driving or walking directions while exploring new neighborhoods.

This is also one of the fastest real estate apps in terms of downloading information. I tried in three Alameda neighborhoods (Fernside, Gold Coast and Bay Farm) and got good data across town.

The photo display on the property detail page is a filmstrip of all the property photos, Double tap on the photos and you get a good sized photo to review the property. There is no need to collect property flyers any longer.

If you like a home or want to refer back to a property in the future you can create a saved list. Each client’s ZipRealty.com account will sync with the iPhone application after initial login. Homes bookmarked on the web version are easily accessed on the go, and clients can bookmark new homes seen during mobile searches.

In addition to home listings and photos, the application provides access to third-party home value estimates from Zillow, Cyberhomes and Eppraisal. So you do not have to go to multiple sites for valuation.
The application is free and easily available by searching for ZipRealty in the iTunes store under the App section. For additional information and screenshots from the application, please visit www.ziprealty.com.

Two other apps that I really like are Walkscore and Fido Factor.

Walkscore is a great too if you want to figure out how walkable a neighborhood is for pedestrians. My home rates a 93, walkers paradise. The people at Walkscore use things like restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores to create their score. I use this app a lot when I travel to select a hotel. Many times I do not have a car and I want to have resources close by. If I was buying a home this is a great resource to compare two properties.

The final app I wanted to let you know about is Fido Factor. As a person that has a dog in our home, we like to go to dog friendly businesses. Fido factor helps you locate these types of businesses and rate them. I can tell you without Fido Factor our dog loves two businesses in Alameda: Dog Bone Alley and Books Inc, he get treats at both.

Monday, December 7, 2009

First Week of December Okay for Alameda Home Sales

With the first week of December already over, just 17 shopping days left for those celebrating Christmas, I wanted to monitor the Alameda sales carefully as we close out the year. The market loses about seven day in the month between the 24th and the 31st for home sales. A few homes will sell and close during the period but for the most part any sale in Alameda has will come in the first 20 days.

The month already has seven home sales recorded for December and at that is a good pace to beat last years sales for the final month of the year. In December 2008, the Island saw just 21 sales and finished the year with 444 sales. Through the first 11 months of 2009, Alameda now has 414 sales and is now just 23 sales short of matching last year. This is amazing since sales were pacing far behind in June, the second of the year proved to be better for sales.

Two of the sales recorded in the first week were short sales. A townhouse at 1028 Marianas, Bay Farm, sold for 84 percent of the asking price. The other short sale received 96 percent of it asking price and sold for $400,000 and according to Zillow, 2524 Buena Vista last sold October 2007 for $770,000. That is a $370,000 loss.

Here are the rest of the sales for the week. Weekly inventory data is below the sales.


.

Sale Date Address Zip Type Beds Baths Sq Feet List Price Sale Price % Distressed

.

12/1/2009 1028 MARIANAS LN 94502 TWN HSE 4 2 1766 $499000 $420000 84% Short Sale

.

12/1/2009 2524 BUENA VISTA 94501 SFR 4 3 1761 $415000 $400000 96% Short Sale

.

12/1/2009 1401 SANTA CLARA 94501 SFR 2 1 1316 $567000 $530000 93%

.

12/1/2009 1132 FOUNTAIN ST 94501 SFR 2 1 1195 $499000 $555000 111%

.

12/3/2009 1831 HARVARD DR 94501 SFR 4 2 1604 $725000 $699000 96%

.

12/2/2009 210 SHEFFIELD RD 94502 SFR 4 2 2256 $849000 $845000 100%

.

12/2/2009 1304 MORTON ST 94501 SFR 3 2 2064 $949999 $938000 99%


Weekly Alameda Inventory Data


.


.

12/7/2009

.

Total 113

.

94501 93

.

94502 20

.

SFR 65

.

Condo 22

.

Multi-Family 24

.

Short Sale 19

.

Foreclosure 13

.

Price Reductions 43

.

High List $1,799,000

.

Low List $149,000

.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: Santa Lands Here!

Today's Alameda Snapshot comes from one of my favorite local Alameda Flickr photographers, Gwen. The photo is from Thompson Ave, and thought it was a good time to post a Holiday photo. Check out Gwen's photo stream, lots of interesting photos of Alameda: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwen/sets/72157594159673094/


Photo Credit from Flickr: Gewn

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Alameda Home Sales Drop in November

After a strong three months of home sales Alameda saw a buying drop of 48 percent in November. The positive is we saw a couple of additional sales over November of last year.

For the month, Alameda had 34 properties change hands. The best news for home sellers was 16 of the 34 properties sold above the list price. This is a big change in how buyers are reacting in the Alameda real estate market. On average homes are selling right at list price.

Nov09Sales

One reason for the shift is the decline in both the median and average sale price for November. The median price for an Alameda home was $520,000 and the average was $538,412 this past month. The month over month change was a decline of 8.4 and 8.8 percent, respectively.

The top Alameda home sale was 1261 Saint Charles. The four bedrooms, 2,405 square foot Gold Coast property sold for $1,225,000; $25,000 over asking price. The lowest priced property was a 962 square foot condo at 2205 San Antonio. The property sold for 95 percent of asking price for $250,000.

Two Alameda properties had the biggest spread, 88 percent, between list price and sale price. The homes at 2134 San Jose and 834 Taylor saw buyers come in much lower than the market price.

Single family homes dominated the sales account for 27 of the 34 properties sales. A look at the sales bands show homes in the$400,000 and $500,000 were the most popular with Alameda buyers. The range between $400,000 and $599,999 accounted for 52 percent of the sales. Only one property sold for over $800,000 and that was the million dollar Saint Charles property.

I expected a decline this month and given the Alameda real estate market for the past two years the month was actually pretty good news.




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Sales Date Address Type List Price Sale Price

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11/3/2009 3160 FIJI LN TOWNHOUSE $479,500 $475,000

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11/4/2009 1009 CENTRAL AVENUE SFR $460,750 $515,000

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11/4/2009 404 GREENBRIER RD SFR $625,000 $632,000

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11/5/2009 2101 SHORELINE DR #259 CONDO $379,000 $375,000

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11/6/2009 16 SHEPARDSON LN TOWNHOUSE $465,000 $455,000

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11/6/2009 1326 8TH ST SFR $560,000 $576,000

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11/6/2009 1832 YALE DRIVE SFR $634,000 $645,000

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11/6/2009 2129 SAN ANTONIO AVE SFR $799,000 $780,000

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11/9/2009 3232 CALHOUN ST SFR $570,000 $565,000

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11/10/2009 1615 WALNUT ST SFR $508,500 $523,000

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11/10/2009 2032 CLINTON AVE MFR $599,000 $605,000

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11/10/2009 2715 BAYVIEW DRIVE SFR $629,000 $625,000

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11/11/2009 205 PUDDINGSTONE RD SFR $549,000 $578,000

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11/12/2009 2137 OTIS DR #121 CONDO $284,900 $270,000

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11/12/2009 11 ECLIPSE CT CONDO $535,000 $517,000

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11/13/2009 339 BROADWAY #205 CONDO $325,000 $315,000

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11/13/2009 1420 SAINT CHARLES ST SFR $459,900 $460,000

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11/13/2009 417 CORAL REEF ROAD SFR $499,000 $535,000

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11/16/2009 2394 MARINER SQUARE DR. B-9 SFR $349,000 $337,000

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11/17/2009 2205 SAN ANTONIO AVE #F CONDO $262,900 $250,000

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11/17/2009 2151 ALAMEDA AVE SFR $300,000 $415,000

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11/20/2009 2134 SAN JOSE AVE SFR $665,000 $585,000

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11/20/2009 129 NORWICH RD SFR $619,000 $629,000

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11/20/2009 1143 BAY STREET SFR $769,000 $769,000

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11/20/2009 1261 SAINT CHARLES ST SFR $1,200,000 $1,225,000

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11/24/2009 1744 PEARL ST SFR $499,990 $468,000

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11/24/2009 737 HAIGHT AVE SFR $499,000 $482,000

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11/25/2009 2808 OTIS DR SFR $435,000 $460,000

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11/25/2009 1209 EAGLE AVE SFR $499,000 $500,000

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11/25/2009 1422 COTTAGE STREET SFR $698,000 $645,000

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11/25/2009 2438 CORAL SEA ST SFR $739,900 $700,000

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11/27/2009 764 EAGLE AVE SFR $469,500 $460,000

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11/30/2009 834 TAYLOR AVENUE SFR $429,500 $380,000

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11/30/2009 1549 BAY ST MFR $534,900 $555,000

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Looking at Alameda Housing Compared to the Region

Seeing that inventory has dropped in Alameda over the past several weeks I thought it was important to show how the region is performing over the past several months.

The SF Bay Area has seen a drop every month for the past 12 months. In November of 2008 the region had 30,668 homes for sale a year later the inventory has fallen to below 15,000 units. It is almost a 28 percent drop in 12 months. From October to November of this year, inventory dropped 2.42 percent for the Bay Area.

There are several reasons for this drop in inventory the first is distressed properties are starting to clear out in many cities. Second is people are waiting to sell if they can and waiting to see what the market is going to do in the next 12-18 months. Finally we have also hit the slow season for home sales.

Almost 45 percent of properties in the Bay Area on the market have used a price reduction to try and stimulate sales on properties that are lagging to produce interest.

In Alameda, we currently have 41 percent of our inventory instituting a price reduction. A good example is in the over million dollar market for Alameda we have 10 properties listed. On Bay Farm, 7 Castlebar is Alameda highest listing at $1,899,000. it is also listed for $1,699,000. It has been on the market since May even with the apparent price reduction.

The other issue is properties that are not selling. Overpriced properties and distressed are making a large portion of properties currently for sale. Overpriced is hard to define, but days on market is a good indicator. Over 50 properties have been on the market more than 60 days. Alameda’s distressed property is 18 percent of the inventory.

The Alameda market is following the region for the most part in terms of price reductions and declining inventory.

If you look at sales in the Bay Area for September and October they have been very strong compared to the first part of the year and this has cleared out much of the inventory. The thing to watch is if we start seeing fewer sales and glut of distressed properties, then the slow market will continue.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gains for Pending Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors® reported today nine consecutive months of gains for Pending Home Sales. This according to the association this is a first for the series of the index since its inception in 2001.

The Pending Home Sales Index, is a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in October, the index rose 3.7 percent to 114.1 from 110.0 in September, and is 31.8 percent above October 2008 when it was 86.6. The rise from a year ago is the biggest annual increase ever recorded for the index, which is at the highest level since March 2006 when it was 115.2. Basically it is a predictor of homes that will close in the next month or two.

Much of the credit for home sales goes to the tax credit. The Federal tax credit spurred sales in both September and October. Locally, Alameda saw its best two sales months of the year in those months and those 61 days accounted for 31 percent of the sales for the first 10 months period.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales are experiencing a pendulum swing. “Keep in mind that housing had been underperforming over most of the past year. Based on the demographics of our growing population, existing-home sales should be in the range of 5.5 million to 6.0 million annually, but we were well below the 5-million mark before the home buyer tax credit stimulus,” he said. “This means the tax credit is helping unleash a pent-up demand from a large pool of financially qualified renters, much more than borrowing sales from the future.

If I can summarize what Yun said in the release is: Based on our population we are not buying enough homes, but the tax credit is getting people interested. We can see that happening in Alameda. The challenge is inventory. Until we get more homes on the market the Island will continue to bounce along with the market.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Shopping Has Little Inventory

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday. It has been a crazy month and I have been a little scattered in posting the past three weeks. During that time I forgot that 94501 Real Estate just celebrated one year of publishing blog posts about Alameda Real Estate. I hope that I have another year in me, I had no idea what I was getting into what I started, but it has been tremendous fun.

So on to the Alameda Real Estate news. It is Monday and it is time to update inventory. The Alameda Inventory has been decreasing since mid-July and has bottomed this week to a record low since I started tracking the data a year ago. The Island has 111 units for sale; 67 of the units are single family residence.

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11/30/2009

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Total 113

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94501 92

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94502 21

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SFR 67

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Condo 21

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Multi-Family 23

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Short Sale 21

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Foreclosure 14

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Price Reductions 45

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High List $1,899,000

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Low List $149,000

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Part of the reason for the low inventory is strong sales in September and October. Add in seasonality, winter is a slow selling season and we now have very little inventory.

So far, November is looking to be a slow month compared to last year. Early numbers show 25 sales so far for the month and unless we have a strong weekend of closings over the holiday weekend this will fall short of 2008’s 32 sales. So those units that are for sale right now are those that need to be sold.

As evidence of this, five properties were placed on the market during the Thanksgiving weekend; three of those properties were distressed. The new distressed properties are: two bedrooms, two bath foreclosed property at 343 Laguna Vista for $474,900, a three bedroom two and half bath foreclosed home at 801 Park Street for $539,500 and a short sale multi-family duplex (two units) at 1550 8th street for $350,000.

Inven_Nov30

It looks as if the December will be slow in terms of transactions unless more homes come on the market.

Just one other item: A National story that has local impact in terms of homeowners that are struggling to hold on with their current home loan. Today the Obama administration said it will crack down on mortgage companies that are failing to do enough to help borrowers at risk of foreclosure. The Treasury Department said it will withhold payments from mortgage companies that aren't working with borrowers to make loan modifications permanent.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, about 14% of homeowners with mortgages were either behind on payments or in foreclosure at the end of September. This is at a record level for the ninth straight quarter.

A new group of homeowners now seem to be at threat of losing their home. A Congressional Oversight Panel reported last month that foreclosures are now threatening borrowers who took out conventional, fixed-rate mortgages and put down payments of 10% to 20% on homes that would have been within their means in a normal market. This is something to watch in the coming months.