Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Has The Housing Recovery Begun? Maybe

Some more positive news from the July numbers as home prices rose for the third month in a row, the data shows that housing recover is underway but it is still very fragile. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities climbed 1.2 percent from June to a reading of 143.05. The index has risen at an 8 percent annualized rate in the three months to July, the best performance since early 2006.

The index, however, is down about 33 percent from the peak in mid-2006. Home prices are now at levels not seen since the third quarter of 2003. And prices in Las Vegas, Detroit and Seattle are still falling, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Home prices continue to fall and are 13.3 percent below July a year ago. The annual declines have manifested in all 20 cities that the report covers. This decline has been reported for six straight months.

In Alameda, we have seen median home price rise and the inventory has been sucked up over the past three months. The Island reached a 45 week low of 122 units. This is 32 percent decline in 10 weeks. Normally low inventory means a price will begin to rise. A preliminary look at September sales shows that this may be the fact.

There are still several risks to the national housing recovery, including rising unemployment and foreclosures and the expiration of a tax credit for first-time home buyers.

The biggest factor, in my opinion, still weighing on the housing sector is jobs and wages. Wages in the United States are lagging and have declined 5 percent year-over-year and job loss continues to grow. This segment of the economy needs to stabilize for housing to correct.

As I have written about in the past, the shadow inventory of distressed properties will have a major impact. If the banks are still holding on to a large number of homes and they flood the market in the spring this will destabilize the housing market.

Some experts believe that the housing market has hit bottom. Low price inventory has cleared in many cities and bidding wars have evolved in many of these areas. The upper levels of the market are having more trouble with higher priced homes sitting longer.Places like Las Vegas that had a gamblers feel to housing was one of the most speculative markets during the boom. As quick as you win in Vegas you also lost with homes down almost 55 percent from their peak. In August, almost 80 percent of home resales in Nevada were either a foreclosure or a sale below the value of the mortgage, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors. The Detroit housing market is reeling from layoffs in the automotive industry. Seattle, by contrast, was one of the last areas to enter the downturn so prices there have yet to hit bottom.

The Alameda Real Estate market has been more like Austin, TX and Salt Lake City, UT where the pullback has been more moderate. The good part for Alameda homeowners is the region is bouncing back.Home prices rose in 13 metro areas for at least three straight months. The biggest gains in July were in Minneapolis, San Francisco and Chicago.



More on Case-Shiller

Monday, September 28, 2009

Alameda Inventory Down and Points to Good Signs

I have been writing the 94501 Real Estate blog for 45 weeks now, and the one consistent topic I cover is inventory. Inventory is gives us a good understanding of the Alameda market and how homes are selling.

Over the past three months the inventory has been sucked up and we have reached a 45 week low of 122 units. This is 32 percent decline in 10 weeks. Normally low inventory means a price will begin to rise A preliminary look at September sales shows that this may be the fact.

Inven_Sept_28_09


With three days left in the month September has already recorded 41 sales a big increase from the same time last year. The number that caught my eye was the increase in both median and average home sale price. The current September median is $568,000 a 12 percent increase over August's $505,500 and a 4 percent year-over-year increase.

The Average sale price saw a 6 percent increase from August and a 5 percent decline from September 2008.

Alameda now has just 79 single family residences and 22 condos for sales. A look at sales bands shows that homes are divided fairly evenly:

Under $500,000 -- 34 units
$500,000 to $700,000 -- 36 units
$700,001 to $999,999 -- 37 units
$1,000,000 or more -- 15 units

The lowest priced property on the market jumped this week $40,000 to $269,000. This is the highest of the low has been since tracking inventory. It appears that the low end is being snapped up by buyers.

Homes that are using price reductions to sell are also declining in proportion to inventory. The homes with price reductions range between 34 percent and 42 percent since the beginning of the year.

Most of this is good news: homes selling, median price stabilizing and evenly distributed inventory. I am not sure that the Alameda housing market has turned around, but all the signs in September show a positive step towards recovery. The only thing that needs to be monitored is the distressed market, if a glut of homes hit the market in the next several months this could erase the positives.

Weekly Inventory Data


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.

9/28/2009

.

Total 122

.

94501 100

.

94502 22

.

SFR 79

.

Condo 22

.

Multi-Family 19

.

Short Sale 10

.

Foreclosure 13

.

Price Reductions 43

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $269,000

.


.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: Alameda vs. Encinal 1978

Today's Alameda snapshot is of "The Big Game", a.ka. The Island Bowl, in 1978. A local sports writer renamed the game in the 90s. The 54th annual renewal of this crosstown rivalry is renewed tonight at Encinal's Willie Stargell field at 7 PM.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Home Sales Cool Nationally; Alameda Bucks Trend

The National Association of Realtors® released Existing-Home Sales numbers for August this morning and it shows that nationally sales have eased following four months of gains.

August gave back some of their strong gain in July but remain above the levels from a year-ago. Existing-home sales -- single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- declined 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million units in August from a pace of 5.24 million in July, but remains 3.4 percent above the 4.93 million-unit level in August 2008.

Locally, Alameda bucked the National trend seeing an increase in sales both month-over-month and Year-Over-Year. The month-over-month increase was 25 percent and the year-over-year was an 8 percent increase.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $177,700 in August, down 12.5 percent from August 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $177,500 in August, down 12.1 percent from a year ago. Distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell for 15 to 20 percent less than traditional homes.

The Island followed the National trend for median price with a 13 percent monthly decline and 15 percent year-over-year decline in median home price.

In the West which has been swamped with distressed properties finally saw a pull back with a declined of 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.16 million in August but are 7.4 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $220,500, down 12.2 percent from August 2008.

The spring and summer showed strong sales with a total rise of 15.2 percent from April to June. Total housing inventory at the end of August fell 10.8 percent to 3.62 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.5-month supply2 at the current sales pace, down from a 9.3-month supply in July. Unsold inventory totals are 16.4 percent lower than a year ago.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun credits the credit. The organization believes that the Federal Tax Credit has been the major factor in boosting sales.

“Home sales retrenched from a very strong improvement in July but continue to be much higher than before the stimulus. The first-time buyer tax credit is having the intended impact of bringing buyers into the market, allowing them to take advantage of very favorable affordability conditions,” Yun said. “Some of the give-back in closed sales appears to result from rising numbers of contracts entering the system, with some fallouts and a backlog contributing to a longer closing process, but the decline demonstrates we can’t take a housing rebound for granted.”

The organization has been pushing to extend the tan credit. Who can blame them for wanting to keep sales moving? A large portion of sales are coming from both first timers and distressed properties. An NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 30 percent of homes in August, and that distressed homes accounted for 31 percent of transactions; both were unchanged from July.

Yun believes the recent trend shows broad improvement in most of the country, but with an expected rise in foreclosures over the next 12 months. This is part of the push to extend the credit, so the industry has buyers to absorb the expected increase in inventory. NAR believes that extending and expanding the tax credit also would help to keep other families from becoming upside down in their mortgages or risk foreclosure.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dig Deep If You Want To Own A Home

The US Census Bureau released 2008 data on Monday that shows that housing is getting less affordable even though the country and the Bay Area have seen home price drop over the last year few years and continued to decline.

The numbers are staggering, with more than 40 million homeowners spent 30% or more of their household income on housing costs, an increase of 600,000 more families from 2007. The survey includes homeowners and renters and it revealed that there was an increase in renters in 2008. That should not be surprising since thousands have lost their homes to foreclosures and they still need a place to live. Many former homeowners have returned to renting this is reflected in a 142,000 drop in home ownership.

In the Bay Area, nearly half the renters and 53 percent of the homeowners spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Even with the high cost of housing, the Bay Area income is also higher. Places like California's Central Valley have higher numbers of renters spending a large portion of their household income on rent with Fresno at 57.2% and Modesto at 58.1%. Miami led the country of homeowners that spend 57.2%. Los Angeles followed closely behind at 55%.

According to the book "Housing America in the 1980s" by John S. Adams rent in the West was 22% in 1970 and 28% in 1980 of household income. Homeowners with mortgages in 1980 spent 19-20% of gross monthly income and houses without mortgages 10-15%.

San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
Renters spending 30% or more -- 49.5%
Homeowners spending 30% or more -- 53.0%
Renters spending 50% or more -- 25.1%
Homeowners spending 50% or more -- 23.4%


According to the USA Today Story that ran this morning:

Nearly two in five homeowners with mortgages and half of renters paid 30% or more of their before-tax income on housing costs, which is the limit the government sets for determining that housing is unaffordable, according to an analysis of Census data done for USA TODAY by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
The basis for housing costs for homeowners include mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and utilities. Renter costs include rent and utilities, if they are paid separately.

Here in Alameda the August 2009 median home price of $505,500 require the following for a homeowner. (All numbers are estimated)


Down Payment (10%) -- $50,500
Mortgage (30 year) -- $2,442 month; $29,304
Taxes -- (Annual) -- $6,318
Insurance (Annual) -- $1,200
Utilities (Annual) -- $1,800

Total Annual Cost -- $38,622

The net income a household would need to be right at 30 percent level is $128,740. When you account for Federal (33%) and State (9.3%) taxes the gross household income needs to be well over $220,000.

These numbers are nothing new for those that live in California and in Alameda. We all know that it is a struggle to pay for a place to live and if you want to own your little piece of the Island you will have to dig deep into those pockets.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A 40 Percent Rise in Alameda Foreclosures

Last week, Alameda saw a rise in foreclosures listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) after nearly three weeks of no inventory being added to this segment of the market.

The market added five foreclosed listings in five days. The newly listed properties are all single family residences and range from $422,500 to $589,900.

The properties are:
  • 1427 Bay Street -- a two bedroom, one bathroom home listed for $424,800
  • 1549 Bay Street -- a four bedroom, two plus bathroom home listed for $424,800
  • 1528 Pacific -- a two bedroom, one bathroom home listed for $422,500
  • 1009 Central -- a four bedroom, two bathroom home listed for $460,750
  • 3246 Garfield -- a three bedroom, two bathroom home listed for $589,900
The increase from last weeks nine properties to today's 15 is a 40 percent increase. This is a big swing in the number and is very concerning. I wrote about Shadow Inventory back in May and was concerned that a large number of foreclosures may hit the Alameda market.

Back in May we saw: RealtyTrac, a search of foreclosures for Alameda show that there is a looming group of homes ready to hit the Island’s Real Estate market. The Website list 93 homes in Pre-foreclosure. The owners have received notice of default, but have not yet been foreclosed. The Pre-foreclosed homes is more than half of what is currently listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Add to that 53 listed for Auction and another 75 Banked-Owned and that is 221 properties that could add to the rise in inventory.

Today the Island has seen a decline in inventory, but the RealtyTrac numbers continue a significant number of homes in distress.

The Website list 98 homes in Pre-foreclosure and increase from May. Those 98 homes in pre-forclosure are families that are behind on their payments and give the job market many people may continue to struggle to pay. Add to that 71 listed for Auction and another 85 Banked-Owned and that is 254 properties in total. So over the course of the main home selling season we have seen a 13 percent increase in distressed homes.

Not sure what this means in the short term, but my guess is that it will continue to put pressure on home prices, driving them down, until banks clear these properties from their books. The numbers also show that Alameda home owners are having a tough time paying the mortagage.

Alameda Inventory -- Week of September 21

.


.


.

9/21/2009

.

Total 135

.

94501 111

.

94502 24

.

SFR 91

.

Condo 24

.

Multi-Family 18

.

Short Sale 11

.

Foreclosure 15

.

Price Reductions $47

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $229000

.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: Statue at NAS Alameda

Great Photo of the statues left at NAS Alameda.


Alameda NAS
Photo Credit: Originally uploaded by takenpictures

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bay Area August Home Sales and Median Price Fall

MDA DataQuick reported today that the Bay Area home sales bucked the seasonal norm and fell last month from July, though they remained higher than a year ago for the 12th consecutive month. The region’s overall median sale price also declined as a greater portion of sales occurred in more affordable areas, a real estate information service reported.

The Island numbers are smaller than the overall performance for Alameda County. Here in Alameda, August 2009 was slightly better than 2008 with a 2 percent increase in sales; and a 15 percent decline in the median home price year-over-year. The County saw 21 percent increase in sales and a 22 percent decline in median home price for the a same period.

Alameda's median price for August of $505,500 is $165,500 higher than the county median.

The Bay Area saw 7,518 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the nine-county area last month. That was down 14.3 percent from 8,771 in July and up 4.0 percent from 7,232 in August 2008.
Last month’s sales were 24 percent below the average number of sales, 9,886, for the month of August since 1988, when DataQuick’s stats begin.

In the Bay Area, August sales have ranged from a low of 6,688 in 1992 to a high of 13,940 in 2004.

A thinner inventory of distressed properties for sale, hence fewer “bargains,” helps explain the relatively sharp drop in sales between July and August. The number of foreclosed properties that resold in August fell 15.2 percent from July.

Moreover, July was a relatively strong month for escrow closings – the strongest for any month since August 2006. July closings mainly reflect purchase decisions made in early summer, whereas August closings reflect home shoppers’ ability and willingness to buy in the middle of summer.


The 14.3 percent drop in sales between July and August was atypical, given the average change between those two months is a gain of 3.4 percent. However, sales also fell between July and August in the past two years and in seven other years back to 1988. Two of those years saw July-August dips greater than this year’s: a drop of 15.2 percent in 1992 and 14.8 percent in 1998.

In Alameda, we saw an increase of sales from July (39) to August (52), a 25 percent increase.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos last month fell to $360,000, down 8.9 percent from $395,000 in July and down 19.5 percent from $447,000 in August 2008.
Despite the August median’s plunge from July, it was the second-highest for any month since last October, when it was $375,000. August’s median was 24.1 percent higher than the current cycle’s low of $290,000 in March this year, but it was 45.9 percent below the July 2007 peak median of $665,000.


the Island has seen the median continue to drop from $599,000 in June to $505,500 in August, a 16 percent decline.

The median’s $35,000 drop between July and August was mainly the result of a shift toward a higher percentage of sales occurring in lower-cost inland areas. Although sales fell across the region and home price spectrum, some costlier areas saw the biggest declines. Sales fell the most – 21.1 percent – between July and August in Santa Clara County. Its share of total Bay Area sales fell to 23.1 percent in August, down from 25.1 percent in July.


Across the Bay Area, sales of existing single-family detached houses above $500,000 fell to 34 percent of all existing house sales in August, down from 36.2 percent in July and down from 44.7 percent in August 2008. Sales of existing houses above $800,000 fell to 12.2 percent of sales in August, down from 14.1 percent in July and 18.9 percent a year earlier.

Foreclosure resales made up 32.5 percent of total August resales, up from 31.2 percent in July but down from 36.0 percent a year ago. The August percentage was higher than July’s, despite fewer foreclosed homes selling last month, because of the sharp drop in non-foreclosure resales in August.

Link to Chart
Breakdown of August Sales by County -- Source MDA DataQuick


.

Sales Volume Median Price

.

All homes August 2008 August 2009 %Chng August 2008 August 2009 %Chng

.

Alameda 1,271 1,538 21.00% $440,000 $340,000 -22.70%

.

Contra Costa 1,733 1,587 -8.40% $330,000 $261,500 -20.80%

.

Marin 247 235 -4.90% $675,000 $713,000 5.60%

.

Napa 124 120 -3.20% $453,500 $350,000 -22.80%

.

Santa Clara 1,648 1,736 5.30% $555,500 $451,000 -18.80%

.

San Francisco 529 514 -2.80% $725,000 $635,000 -12.40%

.

San Mateo 560 606 8.20% $632,000 $559,000 -11.60%

.

Solano 598 677 13.20% $270,000 $200,500 -25.70%

.

Sonoma 522 505 -3.30% $350,000 $315,000 -10.00%

.

Bay Area 7,232 7,518 4.00% $447,000 $360,000 -19.50%

.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wake Me Up When September Ends

For the Alameda Real Estate market the month of September is shaping up to be a pretty good month in terms of sales and could just wake up the Housing rebound for our community.

If the Island housing market holds this pace we would close the month at 50 units sold and it would be a big jump in year-over-year sales and be the springboard for a turn. September 2008, saw just 32 sales for the entire month if 2009 can outpace 2008 we could turn this year around in the number of sales.

September is pivotal because it traditionally is the close of the home selling season and the final three months of the year may not provide enough push to keep the sales momentum. It is also would be the first sign of a change in the local market. August was a good transition month, posting sales that exceed its prior year totals for the month after four months saw totals below their 2008 numbers.

We are currently pacing 6 percent below 2008 sales for the same time last year. If the market can pull out a strong September then this could be a positive step in the housing market turning.


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Year

Annual Total

Sept. 15 Total

$ Volume

Jan1 -- Sept. 15 Sales Change 2009 vs. ( X)

$ Volume Change Partial 2009 vs. (All of X)

.

2009 400* 308 $174,498,015

.

2008 463 327 $288,519,712 -6% -40%

.

2007 556 418 $382,388,008 -26% -54%

.

2006 691 493 $482,720,572 -38% -64%

.

*2009 Annual is Estimated; all data is from the MLS and may not represent the entire market.

.

Link to Spreadsheet


In the chart you can see that the market has slid since 2006, in terms on the number transactions and the dollar volume. Even though we have not completed 2009, you can see that we are currently 64 percent behind in dollar volume verses 2006. This is especially important for those in City Hall that count the transfer tax and tax base.

So, September is going to be either the continuation of the 2008 nightmare housing market or an awaking of home sale.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Home Buying Tax Credit Winding Down




If you are thinking about buying a home this year and want to tax advantage of the Federal Tax credit time may be running out for you. Home buyers must be occupy the home by December 1, 2009 to be eligible for the tax credit, this gives you 76 days to buy, close and move in to the home.

The federal tax credit for first-time buyers has bee a huge motivator for many buyers and has been credited for the upswing in National sales. The question is will buyers end their search if the Nov. 30 deadline arrives and they have not found a home.

The most difficult part of the Credit for Alameda Buyers is the restrictions. The tax credit is for 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000. The eligibility requirements are defined as buyer who has not owned a home in the past three years. There are also income requirements; the current credit begins to phase out for singles who make more than $75,000 and couples who make more than $150,000.



Many in the industry, real-estate agents and mortgage brokers, are recommending that first-time buyers close no later than the week before Thanksgiving to ensure that you take possession before the deadline and a buyer is not caught in holiday-related office closings or abbreviated schedules that could interfere with the process.

That means finalizing a purchase on or before November 20 and being in contract by the first or second week of October. The National Association of Realtors reports that it is taking nearly two months to finalize a home sale in today’s market. With the clock ticking buyers will need to select a property and make an offer by the end of this month.

There are rumors in the real estate industry that there is a chance the credit will be extended. There are at least 20 bills drafted regarding the credit. Some the bill include language that would not only extend the first-time buyer credit into next year, but would also expand it to include all home buyers, remove income restrictions and raise the maximum amount of the credit, up to $15,000.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Looking for a Home Bargin: Watch Price Reductions

On way for home sellers to generate renewed interest in a home that has been on the real estate market for a while is to lower price. Dropping the price strategy works well in retail when you walk the isles of your grocery store or shopping for that must have 60” LCD television, but how good a strategy is it for selling homes.

In the Alameda housing market, homes that institute at least one price reduction is roughly 37 percent since the beginning of the year. That equates to nearly 50-60 homes in today’s market.

Locally we have a wide range of price reductions: The million dollar property, 7 Castlebar Place, has used three price reductions already in an attempt to get the property sold with a list price of $1,899,000 in July is now $1,699,000 a $200,000 reduction. 1221 Sherman saw a $900,000 reduction from $2,488,905 to $1,569,000.

In the more moderate price homes 447 Lincoln, a short sale, has used two price reductions starting at $410,000 and is now $389,000.

If you are looking to buy a home this is a good number to track. The number tells consumers if homes are being priced correctly. A good real estate sales person will try to hit the sweet spot for pricing to maximize the dollars you get for your home and time on market.

In the most recent report from online real estate brokerage
ZipRealty the show nationally that list prices for homes are on the rise and there is a decline in price reduction. According to ZipRealty, this data may indicate that the worst is over for national housing market.

According to the Price Reduction report compiled from local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data in the 27 markets tracked, include:

  • The market Median Price Reduction in the San Francisco Bay Area for August was $51,900.
  • More than 42 percent of home listings in 27 major markets tracked included at least one price reduction in August 2009 – twelve thousand fewer home listings with discounted prices in those markets compared to July.
  • Nationally, Home owners slashed listing prices by an average of $24,494 in August, a decline of 2.01 percent compared to the month prior.
  • In August, homeowners within all markets studied reduced list prices on average by 9.59 percent (a 1.67 point decline compared to July)
  • Markets with the lowest percentage of price-reduced homes are Denver (31 percent), Los Angeles (35 percent) and San Francisco (37 percent)

    For access to all of the data and the full report, click here:
    http://ziprealty.typepad.com/blog/2009/09/ziprealty-price-reductions-by-metro-august-2009.html
September 14 Alameda Inventory Data


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.

9/14/2009

.

Total 144

.

94501 114

.

94502 30

.

SFR 94

.

Condo 30

.

Multi-Family 18

.

Short Sale 15

.

Foreclosure 9

.

Price Reductions 50

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $204,900

.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: The Gold Coast

Today's Alameda Snapshot is from one of the most recognizable homes in Alameda's Gold Coast.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two Trends: One Up and the Other Small

Two Real Estate stories caught my eye today. The first is National home sales are on the rebound and the second is regarding buyers looking for smaller homes.

Alameda just had its best sales month in over a year, the national trend is also seeing the beginning to rebound. Homes are starting to sell at a faster pace as the inventory of unsold homes has shrunk.

The National Association of Realtors reported that nationwide, existing home sales have increased for four consecutive months.Existing home sales rose 7.2 percent in July to 5.24 million units, up from 4.89 million units in June and above the level of 4.99 million units sold in July 2008.

A driving factor in the sales surge the first-time homebuyer tax credit. The credit, that can reach up to $8,000 is credited to homebuyer who purchase between January 1 and December 1 of this year. It is rumored that the credit may be extended.

The last time home sales increased four months in a row was in 2004.

The other story was in the Baltimore Sun: Story Link

This is of real interest to Alameda homeowners, because many of the homes on the Island are small compared to the new developments out in East Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

The story focuses on Mette Ramanathan and her husband considered buying was a 2,200-square-foot, five-bedroom place and settled on a considerably smaller three-bedroom Cape Cod in Baltimore's Hamilton neighborhood.

"Forget the "McMansions" of the boom years. These days, small is the new big.For the first time in nearly 14 years, the median size of a new single-family home decreased, to 2,215 square feet last year from 2,277 square feet in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since 1991, houses for single families have been consistently getting bigger and bigger, mirroring the housing bubble and good economic conditions."
Many buyers are looking at the overall cost of owning and operating their home. Today's buyer wants to limit the mortgage, maintenance costs, utility bills and smaller homes allow more flexibility. This is another cost saving measure happening as people have watch their saving decrease.

The National Association of Home Builders found in a survey earlier this year that nearly nine out of 10 builders are putting up smaller homes, a trend that has accelerated since May 2008. And more architects say clients are demanding smaller homes, with 50 percent indicating square footage is declining this year compared with 15.5 percent last year, according to a survey by the American Institute of Architects.Ellicott City-based Grayson Homes, for instance, this year introduced smaller floor plans in its single-family communities, ranging from 2,200 square feet to 2,900 square feet.
According to the article Baltimore's most popular size was 3,200 square feet, and has now declined. But this may only be temporary. Average home sizes have fallen in previous recessions only to creep back up after the economy recovers. One item that may sustain the trend is the idea of being more green. Smaller homes leave smaller impact on the local environment.

For Alameda the home between 1,100 and 2,000 square feet is very common. If the trend continues this will add another value to home ownership on the Island. Take in account the Municipal Utility (AMP) and it makes Alameda very desirable.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Alameda Home Inventory at 42 Week Low

The headline is a bit deceptive, because I started tracking inventory 42 weeks ago and this week it reached an all time low since I started writing the blog. The point is a downward trend in Inventory has started and it has been consistently dropping.

Inventory has been a steady decline since July 19 when it reached a high of 179 units. As of today, Alameda Inventory has reached a low of 131 units, a 27 percent drop since the middle of summer. If you look at the red trend line on the graph below, you will see for the first time it has pivoted down.


Inven_9_07_09

Link to Larger Chart

The current level of single family residences is just 86 units, and if you are looking for three bedrooms or more with at least two bathrooms you have just 63 homes to choose from in this market. If you are particular to one zip code the 94501 has 48 homes and the 94502 has 15 homes in this category.

The inventory news has a positive side because homes have been selling. In August, 52 homes sold making it the best sales month since July of last year. Although the numbers do not match the sales of years past, it was good to see that the traditional selling season have a positive month.

The downside to the inventory number is there is not a lot of home to choose from. Buyers have to react quickly to new listed homes if they are price well and are desirable. These types of properties are moving fairly well. What is staying on the market is homes in the very high end and properties that are not in good condition.

So if you are shopping for a home your selection is thin.

With the traditional selling season coming to a close it will be interesting to see what the next few weeks and months bring the Alameda housing market.


Inventory for September 7


.


.

9/7/2009

.

Total 131

.

94501 104

.

94502 27

.

SFR 86

.

Condo 26

.

Multi-Family 17

.

Short Sale 12

.

Foreclosure 10

.

Price Reductions 47

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $204,900

.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: NAS Alameda in its Prime

Today's Alameda Snapshot is from the Alameda Naval Air Museum it is of the the A-4 Skyhawk line at Naval Aviation Depot (Rework Facility) Alameda, CA.
To see more classic photo go to the Museums website: http://www.alamedanavalairmuseum.org/Gallery.aspx

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hot August for Alameda Home Sales

Some good new for Alameda home sales, August has shaped up to be the highest volume in sales for 2009. It is the most property that has sold since October of 2008 and is a nice closeout to the Summer selling season.

Although the final numbers will not be in until later next week, the 46 sales for the month is just two shy of the sales in August of 2008. So if the there are last minute sales recorded to the MLS then we could match or exceed last year.

Sales Chart 8_09
Link to Larger Graph

Even though the Summer end on a strong note, the traditional home selling season, was down 19 percent year-over-year for the same period.

The median home sale price for August fell to a five month low and the average price was a three month low. The median home price for the month was $505,500 and the average was $554,496.

The year is pacing 18 percent behind 2008 where 311 properties changed hands from January to August compared to 255 this year. I expect that sales will follow the seasonal pattern and fall as we head towards the end of the year, how big a drop will shape how poorly we finish 2009.

August Sales -- Link to Chart

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Sale Date Address Type Beds Baths Sq Feet List Price Sale Price

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8/4/2009 2921 MARINA DRIVE SFR 3 2 2064 $870,000 $800,000

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8/4/2009 1020 FONTANA DR CONDO 3 2 1609 $449,500 $425,000

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8/4/2009 1333 WEBSTER ST #A100 CONDO 2 1 843 $245,000 $245,000

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8/5/2009 6 BROWER CT SFR 4 2 2171 $699,000 $665,000

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8/6/2009 2101 SHORELINE DR #473 CONDO 2 2 1115 $380,000 $380,000

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8/6/2009 1033 VERDEMAR DR CONDO 2 1 1180 $320,000 $334,500

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8/7/2009 218 BRUSH STREET #D CONDO 2 1 797 $260,000 $250,000

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8/7/2009 1913 PARU ST SFR 4 2 2078 $669,000 $659,000

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8/7/2009 1524 BAY ST MFR 0 0 $589,900 $580,000

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8/10/2009 410 NEPTUNE GARDEN SFR 4 3 3149 $898,800 $825,000

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8/10/2009 1918 CHESTNUT ST SFR 3 2 1022 $338,500 $342,000

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8/11/2009 1305 WEBSTER ST. #C311 CONDO 2 1 843 $270,000 $271,000

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8/11/2009 617 DUBLIN WAY SFR 5 3 2569 $939,000 $900,000

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8/11/2009 339 BROADWAY #217 CONDO 2 2 994 $314,000 $314,000

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8/12/2009 135 PURCELL DR CONDO 3 2 2370 $659,000 $645,000

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8/12/2009 2776 SEA VIEW PKWY CONDO 2 2 1577 $625,000 $615,000

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8/12/2009 3 NAKAYAMA CT SFR 5 3 2969 $1,200,000 $1,168,888

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8/12/2009 2269 -2271 PACIFIC AVE MFR 0 0 $635,000 $480,000

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8/13/2009 1076 PARK AVENUE MFR 0 0 $397,980 $410,000

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8/14/2009 2831 SEA VIEW PKWY SFR 4 3 2483 $1,095,000 $1,028,000

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8/14/2009 409 LINCOLN AVENUE SFR 2 1 1004 $499,000 $531,000

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8/14/2009 933 SHORELINE DR #305 CONDO 2 2 1360 $419,000 $419,000

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8/14/2009 560 TARRYTON ISLE SFR 4 3 2211 $699,000 $685,000

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8/14/2009 2106 OTIS DR #C CONDO 2 1 1078 $295,000 $250,000

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8/17/2009 354 TIDEWAY DR CONDO 3 2 1547 $675,000 $675,000

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8/17/2009 1808 WALNUT ST SFR 2 1 1594 $389,000 $425,000

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8/19/2009 1127 BROADWAY SFR 2 1 1300 $402,000 $450,000

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8/19/2009 1825 SHORELINE DRIVE #305 CONDO 3 2 1185 $357,000 $378,500

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8/19/2009 1256 BROADWAY SFR 3 1 1327 $449,000 $440,000

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8/19/2009 1724 PEARL STREET SFR 2 1 1316 $395,000 $453,500

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8/20/2009 2218 CORAL SEA ST SFR 4 2 2925 $869,880 $780,000

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8/20/2009 425 HAIGHT AVE SFR 3 1 1133 $450,000 $480,000

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8/20/2009 1233 BROADWAY #A CONDO 3 2 1268 $388,000 $380,000

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8/21/2009 1713 THIRD STREET CONDO 3 1 970 $318,000 $318,000

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8/21/2009 212 MCDONNEL RD SFR 3 2 1458 $699,000 $681,450

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8/21/2009 1514 FOUNTAIN ST. SFR 3 2 2175 $815,000 $837,000

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8/21/2009 3106 CENTRAL AVE SFR 2 1 2237 $650,000 $650,000

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8/21/2009 541 KINGS RD CONDO 3 2 1946 $599,000 $579,000

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8/26/2009 2025 OTIS DRIVE #D CONDO 2 2 1129 $314,275 $293,000

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8/27/2009 1509 SANTA CLARA SFR 3 1 2512 $499,000 $473,000

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8/27/2009 562 LINCOLN AVENUE SFR 2 1 803 $430,000 $410,000

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8/28/2009 449 INDIAN BAY SFR 3 2 1691 $599,000 $650,000

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8/28/2009 1611 SAN ANTONIO AVE SFR 4 1 2148 $938,000 $900,000

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8/28/2009 505 HOLLY OAK LN CONDO 3 2 1707 $549,000 $536,000

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8/28/2009 1126 UNION ST SFR 5 2 2386 $799,000 $790,000

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8/28/2009 3010 FERNSIDE BOULEVARD SFR 2 2 1947 $698,000 $705,000