Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Alameda Sales Rise Quarter Over Quarter

The the National Association of Realtors announced in their latest survey that existing-home sales in the second quarter showed healthy gains from the first quarter in the vast majority of states, and price declines have increased affordability in most metro areas.

Locally in Alameda, the Island followed the national trend and recorded a 33 percent increase in sales from the quarter-to-quarter. The Island had 102 sales from April to June, a very nice uptick. The second quarter year-over-year is down 30 percent so sales still have a lot of room to grow to recover from even last year.

Nationally the total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 4.76 million units in the second quarter from 4.58 million units in the first quarter, but remain 2.9 percent below the 4.90 million-unit pace in the second quarter of 2008. Thirty-nine states experienced sales increases from the first quarter, and nine states were higher than a year ago; the District of Columbia showed both quarterly and annual rises.

During the second quarter, 129 out of 155 metropolitan statistical areas reported lower median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the second quarter of 2008, while 26 areas had price gains.

Alameda Median and Average Home Price

Alameda has been different in the area of median home price. The Island has seen the median price fluctuate between $502,000 to $586,000 during the first two quarters of the year. This has been fairly flat since the beginning of the year. The median is down from 2008 when the range was between $591,000 to $667,000.

Year over year, California showed double-digit gains from the second quarter of 2008 but are off from the first quarter of this year. The sharpest price declines continue to be concentrated in metros with high levels of foreclosures, including areas in California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada, where distressed homes comprise many of the transactions.

Nationally, Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 36 percent of transactions in the second quarter, which continued to weigh down median home prices because they typically are sold at a 15 to 20 percent discount; first-time buyers accounted for one-third of transactions.

In Alameda foreclosures were 20 percent of all sales from January to June. For the first quarter it was 26 percent of sales and in the second quarter it fell to 14 percent of sales.

The second most expensive area in the second quarter was the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area of California, at $500,000, followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont at $472,900.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 2.3 percent in the second quarter to an annual rate of 1.13 million but are 11.8 percent above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West was $212,600 in the second quarter, which is 26.6 percent below the second quarter of 2008.

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