Friday, October 30, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: High Winds Strike Jackson Park

This week's high winds brought more down than cables on the Bay Bridge. On my nightly walk through Jackson Park I saw one of the large trees had fallen from the wind. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tough Search For Alameda Bargain Homes

Everybody loves a bargain, and when it comes to homes people real want to get the best deal possible. This deal hunting is the premise of a Quarterly Report produced by ZipRealty called the “Home Hunter Report,” http://www.ziprealty.com/whitepaper/homehunterreport/thirdquarter2009.pdf, it identifies the Hottest Markets for Home Sales based on sales-to-list price ratio.
The markets are spread out throughout the United States, but California leads the country in areas where sellers are fetching the highest offers.

Phoenix (85035) and neighboring Glendale (85307) join four California ZIP codes – San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo (92127), Los Angeles proper (90022) and its Arleta district (91331) and Oakland (94608) this quarter.
Southern Florida’s Davie (33328), Dallas/Forth Worth’s Grand Prairie (75050), Greater Seattle’s Everett (98205) and New York’s Whitestone, Queens (11357) round out the top ten list.

The 94608 in Oakland was the closest zip code that to Alameda that made the list with sales averaging 105.65% of list price.

So what does this mean for the Alameda market? The “Home Hunter Report” had third quarter sales at 98.08% of list price in the 94501 and the 94502 reported a sales ratio of 98.62%.

Basically the Alameda market is tepid. I took a look at nearly 200 sales going back to June 1 and it showed that you may be able to find a bargain or two, but for the most part if you want to buy on the Island you will need to come in close to asking price. During the four month period the average list price was $580,498 and the average sale price was $569,372. Sellers captured 98.08% of their asking price.

For those looking to buy single family residence the cost is much higher. The 127 sales in four months showed an average list price of $655,330 and an average sale price of $643,929 for a 98.26% ratio.

Condo and Townhomes held well with an average of 98.24% sales ratio. The multi-family market had smallest sales ratio at 95.24%.

There are bargains out there, you just have to look. Here are the Top 10 properties that sold for fewer than 90%.




.

Address Type Beds Full Baths List Price Sale Price %

.

2269 -2271 PACIFIC AVE MFR 0 0 $635,000 $480,000 75.59%

.

2394 MARINER SQUARE DR B-10 SFR 1 1 $165,000 $135,000 81.82%

.

1333 WEBSTER ST #A300 CONDO 2 1 $298,000 $250,500 84.06%

.

2106 OTIS DR #C CONDO 2 1 $295,000 $250,000 84.75%

.

1527 WILLOW STREET MFR 0 0 $699,500 $617,000 88.21%

.

735 PALMERA COURT SFR 3 2 $998,000 $889,000 89.08%

.

81 MAITLAND DR MFR 0 0 $550,000 $490,000 89.09%

.

81 MAITLAND DRIVE MFR 0 0 $550,000 $490,000 89.09%

.

928 SAN ANTONIO AVE SFR 2 1 $533,000 $475,000 89.12%

.

2218 CORAL SEA ST SFR 4 2 $869,880 $780,000 89.67%

.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Big Day In Real Estate News

Lot’s of Real Estate News Today, so right to it . . .

The Senate Close to Deal Replacing Homebuyer Tax Credit that expirres December 1. The deal replaces the expiring $8,000 tax credit for first- time homebuyers with a smaller one that would expand access to so-called step-up purchasers, two people familiar with the matter said.

The deal would reduce the size of the tax credit to 10 percent of the sale’s price, capped at $7,290, the people said. The credit would be available on home purchases that are under contract by April 30, and borrowers would have 60 days more to close the sale. The existing credit is due to end Nov. 30.

The bigger part of the proposed credit is the change in the income levels. The income eligibility for first-time homebuyers would remain the same at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples but the big change is for the income criteria for step-up buyers. This would include a whole new set of buyers and increase the eligibility to $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

For Alameda buyers the change in income level will allow more buyers for the first time to take advantage of the Federal housing push. Alameda’s home prices made it very difficult for a first time home buyer to qualify for a loan and the credit.

This is one of three proposal lawmakers are trying to push regarding housing. Lawmakers are trying to attach the Senate legislation, which is also being considered by leaders in the House, to a bill extending unemployment benefits.

The Case-Schiller report came out today and reported home prices rose in August for the third straight month, a rapid pace of recovery that surprised economists and raised questions about how long the trend can last.After a steep three-year descent, home prices rebounded this summer at an annualized pace of almost 7 percent, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index.

The upside is affordability has improved creating an opportunity for some buyers that were priced out of the market and investors. Home prices have returned to quaint 2003 levels, according to Standard & Poor’s.

We have seen locally that the Island median and average prices have fallen to $517,000 and $562,064 respectively for September, but are not even close to January’s median of $457,000 and March’s average of $502,720.

Finally a week after the National Association of Realtors reported showing a big jump in sales of existing homes last month, a government report says new home sales declined in September. Sales of single family homes fell 3.6 percent from August levels, and were down 7.8 percent from September of 2008, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The report also says the number of new houses for sale at the end of September nationwide was 251,000, representing a 7.5 month supply. That is the smallest number of new homes on the market since November 1982, according to Bloomberg data.
The National Association of Realtors last week reported sales of existing homes, which make up the vast majority of home sales, jumped 9.4 percent
Neither report breaks out sales by metropolitan area.

Locally, Alameda has seen increasing sales:
June 41
July 39
August 52
September 53

Monday, October 26, 2009

Watching the Multi-Family Market

Good Monday morning to the Island. What a terrific weekend, the weather was so nice why would anyone think about Alameda Real Estate, but its Monday and here we are back at it talking about inventory.

There has been a small increase in inventory over the last two weeks, growing from 124 units to 128 units. The real interesting part of the inventory is both short sales and foreclosures have gone up for the second week in a row. Digging into the information showed that multi-family properties add to this inventory.

Oct26Inven

Link To Larger Chart

The Island had one more short sale and four foreclosures added to the market. For a total of 15 shortsales and 12 foreclosures. Just two weeks ago foreclosures had bottomed to seven on the market.

Three of the new foreclosures are between $485,000 to $675,000. These are in the heart of the median home price in Alameda, but in the case of two properties they appear to be failing investments. Two of the three are multi-family homes.

  1. 1941 Sandcreek Way is a four bedroom, three bath listed for $675,000
  2. 547 Pacific Ave this multi family is a major fixer it is two houses on one lot. First needs major repairs and the second home is stripped to rafters. It is listed for $485,100
1224 Chesnut is a triplex that looks to be in fair condition based on the online photos. It is listed for $615,000 multi family

There has been concern about investment property failing, where many people over exteded through credit lines to purchase investment property. This is an interesting segment to begin to watch.

Weekly Inventory Data -- October 26


.

.

10/26/2009

.

Total 132

.

94501 106

.

94502 26

.

SFR 82

.

Condo 26

.

Multi-Family 22

.

Short Sale 15

.

Foreclosure 12

.

Price Reductions 42

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $175,000

.


.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Predictions, Predictions

Talk in the Real Estate industry surrounds usually two conversations: Has the market bottomed or has the market peaked? An as I eat at Jim’s Coffee Shop or stop by Spritzer’s CafĂ© I hear local Alamedans repeat many of these conversations.

There are many that believe that the bottom has not yet come for the Nation’s housing market. CNNMoney writer Les Christie penned an article today
titled “Homes: About to get much cheaper.”


If you thought home prices were bottoming out, you may be wrong. They're
expected to head a lot lower.

Home values are predicted to drop in 342
out of 381 markets during the next year, according to a new forecast of real
estate prices.

Looking at the past 21 month, Homeowners in Alameda saw the median home price fall to a low of $457,000 in January of this year. Since that low the median price for the Island has gone up as sales volume increase. April was the peak for the year at a $602,000 median.

On the negative side for our community, September saw a 5 percent year-over-year decline; from $545,000 to $517,000 in 2009. If you compare this to the rest of the Nation this is a mild contraction.

MedianHomePrice

Back to the article. For next year Fiserv, a financial information and analysis firm, predicts the overall national median home price is predicted to drop 11.3% by June 30, 2010.

Places that have been hard hit in Florida will continue to suffer according to the report. Miami, for example, is expected to be the biggest loser. Prices are forecast to plunge 29.9% by next June -- after having already fallen a whopping 48% during the past three years. Fiserv predicts: Orlando, Fla., 27% price decline; Las Vegas, expected to lose another 23.9%; In Phoenix could fall another 23.4%.

These dire predictions should not impact Alameda’s local home price. Jobs and inventory will have more impact than what is happening for the rest of the country. But if housing continues to fall you will see the trickle of decline.

As I wrote about last month both S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index and NAR have predicted prices have stabilized. The tax credit has help spur sales, but the market assistance ends when the credit expires on Dec. 1 and a new wave of foreclosure problems coming from higher priced loans and prime mortgages are due to hit the market.

Big shout out to my new blogging friends, I taught a session on Real Estate Blogging yesterday and got 30 people up and running with brand new blogs. Welsome and start writing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Do You Sell A Home?

Last year, the National Association of Realtors entered into a settlement with the Department of Justice that defined how the associations along with multiple listing services were limiting how brokerages were operating on the Internet.

Many of the old school real estate services wanted to continue to control client information and force potential home buyers go through extensive broker arrangements to access information. Basically there are two ways for you to see homes for sale on the Internet, IDX and VOW. The IDX method is a data transfer; most individual agents have these types of feeds on their personal websites. The data is supposed to be limited to price and address.

The second method, VOW, is a virtual office that allows customers to see the details of the property as if they had walked into an office and spoke to an agent. This type of operation had Realtor freaking out in the early days of the Internet. The value was always perceived to be in controlling the information in the listing.

Back in 2005 this is what NAR Had to say about the suit.
No doubt you have read the news about the U.S. Department of Justice's decision
to sue NAR over its new policy governing the display of multiple listing service
data on Internet Web sites.

NAR is disappointed that its multi-year
attempt to develop a Web listings policy that's a win for consumers and also
preserves the rights of real estate brokers will end up in court. We worked long
and hard to understand and accommodate the government's demands. In the end,
however, it proved impossible to do so without fatally compromising our members'
interests. We know we stand on firm ground legally, and we are very confident
the issue will be decided in our favor.

At stake is a principle that's vital to our members and central to the cause of organized real estate: We believe REALTORS® should be free to market their customers' properties as they see fit and that consumers who wish to have their property listed in the MLS should have the right to choose whether their homes are displayed on the
Internet or not. After all, MLSs are not public utilities; they are private databases created for and maintained by real estate professionals for real estate professionals.


Personally, I do not think it was marketing their customer’s property as they see fit, but controlling information. The industry has always had a tough time with transparency and the Internet has forced the real estate industry hand.

But the settlement did end the practice of controlling information and creating transparency for clients. This control of information led the DOJ to file a complaint and after nearly four years the settlement allowed for VOWs to continue operating, but one thing that came out of the settlement was a listing client online opt out. This allows the person listing a home for sale two ways to opt out online. The first is from comments and rating of homes. The second opt out is a completed elimination of the home from online listing. This includes everything from Realtor.com, Craig’s List to the brokerage website.

U.S. Department of Justice, resolving the litigation between NAR and the Government over the display of listings from the MLS on brokers' virtual office Web (VOW) sites. The final order validates NAR's long-standing Internet data exchange (IDX) policy and strengthens the membership rules governing multiple listing services. The order caps a three-year long battle between NAR and the Justice Department, which filed a lawsuit against the association in 2005 calling it anti-competitive for brokers to have unlimited say in where, and how, their clients' listings are displayed on other brokers' VOWs.

I bring this up because since the implementation of the opt out policy, I have seen in many places that a large percentage of people are beginning to opt out from online as the implementation of the settlement has begun. I believe that the policy is unclear to Realtors, Clients and the industry as a whole because there is no standardized opt out policy. Each MLS has its own policy and wording so it appears that many not know what they are agreeing too.

In this day and age with more than 70 percent of people beginning their home search online, it is inconceivable to me that a homeowner would not want their home market online but this practice is continuing. I want to know would an Alameda homeowner really want to opt out of Internet marketing.

Also would you list your home for sale with an agent that did not include an Internet plan?

Just some thoughts before you get ready to sell a home.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Inventory Just Like the Island: Flat

Quick post today. Heading to San Diego to meet with a large group of Realtors so travel and meeting prevent a detailed post. Alameda Inventory is up slightly for the wee, but for tracking purposes the numbers remain flat. It appears that the sales season has ended and October is seeing a slowing of sales.

Well priced homes on the market will continue to sell as we saw last month.

One additional foreclosure hit the market with that segment of the market rising from seven to eight. The short sale inventory also increased by one. The additions to the distressed market are a two foreclosures: a $175,000 condo on Shorepoint, and a three bedroom, two bath home at 1726 Eagle listed for $381,200. The new short sale is located on Bay Farm, 23 Leonard Ct a two bedroom, two bath listed for $489,000.

Have a great Monday and Happy House Hunting.

Inventory for October 19, 2009

.


.

10/19/2009

.

Total 127

.

94501 103

.

94502 24

.

SFR 81

.

Condo 24

.

Multi-Family 20

.

Short Sale 14

.

Foreclosure 8

.

Price Reductions 42

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $175,000

.


.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weekly Alameda Inventory Report

Still getting caught up from the vacation so I will keep it short today. The normal Monday Alameda Housing inventory data is being brought to you on Tuesday.

The number of homes for sale have been in the 120s for the past three weeks and it appears that the dip in inventory that the Island has encountered has stabilized for the moment. Three homes came on the market yesterday and 10 for the week. There has been a little movement in the market with just 12 sales recorded for the month and seven of them came last week. This means that several home are being pulled for the market.

The early October sales show no foreclosure or short sales. There are currently just seven foreclosures and 13 short active listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Ten distressed properties sold last month it now appears that buyers have sucked that part of the market.

With the prime sales season over, it will be interesting to watch and see if inventory continues to decline.

Alameda Inventory for October 12


.


.

10/12/2009

.

Total 124

.

94501 101

.

94502 23

.

SFR 79

.

Condo 23

.

Multi-Family 20

.

Short Sale 13

.

Foreclosure 7

.

Price Reductions 41

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $269,000

.


.


Monday, October 12, 2009

September: Best Alameda Home Sales Month of 2009

Back from vacation, so a little late on some Alameda Real Estate reporting. Today is my attempt to get caught up with what is happening in the world of home sales for the Island.

September proved to be the best month of the year for sales. According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) September’s 53 sales topped August by one sale. These two months account for 34 percent of this year’s sales.

It was good to see sales moving again. The late summer surge allowed for sales to make up some ground on 2008. For the same time period (Jan-Sept), 2009’s 314 sales are just 29 transactions behind 2008. Both years are far behind 2007 that saw 438 sales for the same period and had a year-end total of 556 homes trading hands. The past two years have seen a 100 less sales then the high of 2007.

September’s sales show a nice upward trend from the low of 21 sales in January. Median home price moved slightly upward from $505,500 in August to $517,000 this past month.

The most interesting thing to me was 23 properties sold fro or above list price. On average all the sales were at 100 percent of list price. This is a sign that price have hit bottom or people are aggressively pricing their homes. It appears that multiple offers are starting to come back with the decrease in inventory.

Sales for September broke down the following:
Total Sales: 53
Median Sale Price: $517,000
Average Sale Price: $562,064
Single Family Residences: 34
Condominium: 16
Multi Family: 3
High SFR: $1,622,500
Low SFR: $199,000
High Condo: $646,000
Low Condo: $199,000


Daily Sales

.

Sale Date Address Type List Price Sale Price %

.

9/1/2009 2448 ROOSEVELT DR SFR $599,950 $575,000 96%

.

9/2/2009 339 BROADWAY #208 CONDO $295,000 $290,000 98%

.

9/2/2009 757 EAGLE AVE SFR $428,000 $410,000 96%

.

9/2/2009 145 BASINSIDE WAY SFR $642,000 $645,000 100%

.

9/2/2009 735 PALMERA COURT SFR $998,000 $889,000 89%

.

9/2/2009 2170 PACIFIC AVE SFR $407,000 $407,000 100%

.

9/3/2009 1324 BAY ST SFR $825,000 $798,000 97%

.

9/4/2009 3318 WASHINGTON CT SFR $850,000 $850,000 100%

.

9/4/2009 2418 MARTI RAE CT SFR $320,000 $340,000 106%

.

9/4/2009 3045 MARINA DRIVE SFR $950,000 $950,000 100%

.

9/5/2009 537 PALACE CT MFR $469,900 $500,000 106%

.

9/9/2009 635 CENTRE CT CONDO $530,000 $530,000 100%

.

9/9/2009 1173 BROADWAY MFR $765,000 $745,000 97%

.

9/9/2009 22 MOORE CT SFR $839,000 $820,000 98%

.

9/9/2009 1822 NASON ST SFR $530,000 $520,000 98%

.

9/9/2009 1600 DAYTON AVE SFR $1,799,000 $1,622,500 90%

.

9/9/2009 250 BRYANT AVE SFR $898,900 $858,000 95%

.

9/10/2009 1227 BROADWAY SFR $514,500 $487,000 95%

.

9/10/2009 305 SHELL GATE ROAD SFR $599,000 $602,000 101%

.

9/10/2009 3513 MCSHERRY WAY SFR $609,000 $590,000 97%

.

9/11/2009 3025 FLORA VISTA CONDO $399,900 $415,000 104%

.

9/11/2009 1126 HOLLY STREET CONDO $459,000 $450,000 98%

.

9/11/2009 1305 CROWN DR CONDO $679,900 $646,000 95%

.

9/11/2009 713 PACIFIC AVE SFR $449,000 $485,000 108%

.

9/14/2009 757 PACIFIC AVE SFR $250,000 $300,000 120%

.

9/15/2009 955 SHOREPOINT CT. #113 CONDO $215,000 $220,000 102%

.

9/16/2009 2101 SHORELINE DR #240 CONDO $439,000 $425,000 97%

.

9/16/2009 1311 WEBSTER ST #E101 CONDO $232,900 $240,000 103%

.

9/16/2009 1843 WOOD STREET SFR $399,000 $378,000 95%

.

9/17/2009 22 FERRO CT SFR $715,000 $675,000 94%

.

9/18/2009 2914 BAYVIEW DR SFR $679,000 $665,000 98%

.

9/18/2009 1805 SHERMAN ST SFR $249,900 $245,500 98%

.

9/22/2009 1160 BISMARCK LN. CONDO $409,000 $400,000 98%

.

9/22/2009 2323 BUENA VISTA AVE MFR $474,900 $510,000 107%

.

9/22/2009 1026 FOUNTAIN ST SFR $575,000 $568,000 99%

.

9/23/2009 2030 SAN ANTONIO AVE SFR $785,000 $760,000 97%

.

9/23/2009 228 DIAPIAN BAY SFR $759,000 $739,999 97%

.

9/23/2009 440 CAMDEN RD SFR $598,880 $580,000 97%

.

9/25/2009 1810 CENTRAL AVE #209 CONDO $388,000 $388,000 100%

.

9/25/2009 955 SHOREPOINT CT. #209 CONDO $199,000 $199,000 100%

.

9/25/2009 2068 CENTRAL AVE SFR $749,000 $815,000 109%

.

9/25/2009 2716 SAN JOSE AVE SFR $439,700 $517,000 118%

.

9/25/2009 2 STONE HBR SFR $885,000 $870,000 98%

.

9/25/2009 112 SABLE PT SFR $875,000 $867,000 99%

.

9/28/2009 928 SAN ANTONIO AVE SFR $533,000 $475,000 89%

.

9/28/2009 6 ELLIS CT SFR $709,000 $699,000 99%

.

9/29/2009 3031 LINDA VISTA CONDO $419,000 $419,000 100%

.

9/29/2009 2133 SANTA CLARA AVE #323 CONDO $299,000 $299,000 100%

.

9/29/2009 22 LEONARD COURT SFR $589,900 $589,900 100%

.

9/30/2009 931 INDEPENDENCE DR # A7 CONDO $429,000 $429,000 100%

.

9/30/2009 3032 ALTA VISTA CONDO $445,000 $442,500 99%

.

9/30/2009 325 KITTY HAWK RD #214 CONDO $278,000 $270,000 97%

.

9/30/2009 709 HAIGHT AVE SFR $379,000 $379,000 100%

.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: Park Street’s Classic Car Show

Sorry that I am out of town for one of my favorite Alameda events: The Park Street’s Annual Classic Car Show. This year's show is the 16th Annual and is Saturday October 10th from 10am to 4pm. Have a great time looking at all the great cars.

The Show has over 400 show cars: Classic Cars, Antiques, Muscle Cars, Hot Rods, Roadsters, Vintage Trucks.

Here is a photo I took from last year's show.

Headlight

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Experts Expect Home Sales to Continue to Fall

Still on vacation, so thanks to Mike McMahon for passing along this story from the Sacramento Bee. The headline is: "Economist expects California existing-home sales to fall in 2010"

The article is penned by Jim Wasserman
Sales of existing homes will fall slightly next year in
California as people lose more jobs and cheap foreclosed homes become a smaller
part of the market, California Association of Realtors economists predicted
Wednesday.

Fewer sales of foreclosed homes may also push median
prices a little higher than this year, the group said.


Article:
http://www.sacbee.com/business/story/2238800.html

I think for us in Alameda we will continue to see a sluggish market, a small inventory base, mix of homes for sale and desirable location we keep declines smaller than the State. The article points out that the economist expect the high end of the market to continue to struggle. That is bad news who bought at the top of the market and are now trying to get out.

Happy reading and regular blog posts next week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Round Table Discusses Housing Market

Forbes magazine holds a monthly round table discussion with some of the real estate leaders each month to discuss trends. This month discussion was titled "Housing Talk: Could The Rally Die?" the moderator Stephane Fitch, explores the ever volatile Golden State as Experts continue to fret over California's autumn numbers. Since Alameda is impacted with California and high unemployment, I thought it worth passing along.

The Panel includes Donald Trump Jr., Trump Organization; Pat Lashinsky, CEO of ZipRealty; Michael Feder, Radar Logic and Spencer Rascoff, Zillow.


It is an interesting read. They cover inventory, employment and what is needed to get things moving in the housing sector.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/03/real-estate-advisor-personal-finance-october-housing-panel.html

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quick Update: Inventory Data

Just a quick update because I am on Vacation this week, but I still wanted to give an inventory update. Inventory inched up this week, but still remains relatively low. Alameda has 127 units for sale, 81 single family residences.

The numbers show a stagnant market and much has not change. I will have the September sales number for the Island next Monday.

All post this week will be short, so it will be an easy read.

Oct10Inven


Inventory Data for Alameda 10/5/09


.


.

10/5/2009

.

Total 127

.

94501 105

.

94502 22

.

SFR 81

.

Condo 25

.

Multi-Family 19

.

Short Sale 12

.

Foreclosure 9

.

Price Reductions 43

.

High List $1,899,000

.

Low List $269,000

.


.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Alameda Snapshot: Antiques By the Bay

Summer is now over and fall has arrived with crisp weather. It is also the first weekend of the month and this means it is times for the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire. This is Northern California's largest antiques and collectibles show with over 800 outdoor dealers selling their merchandise on the first Sunday of every month. The Faire is at Alameda Point Naval Air Station in Alameda, California. Everything sold at the show must be at least twenty years old and there are no reproductions allowed.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

What Numbers To Believe

I get all kinds of emails, from a variety of real estate sites, and I use most of them to formulate how the Alameda real estate market is performing. Many of the websites have great information and data and some well I hit the delete button.

The one website that continues to confuses me is Zillow. They have become extremely popular for the common person to track the value of their home. Reporter now use Zillow for all kinds of stories from the value of a house that suffered fire damage to mortgage data. I have always used Zillow's data as a guide but never fact and this is why.


In their most recent email they wrote that the median home price in Alameda is $625,000. The first issue I have is the time period they are talking about. I can only guess they mean September 2009. But the month was not over and my early numbers put the median around $568,000; that is a 9 percent difference. The last time the Island saw $625,000 or more median home price was April of 2008. The median only exceed $600K one month in 2009, April.


I guess my beef with Zillow is the home valuation, they always seem to be way off. Either high or low, because their secret formula does not account for local factors. The computer does not value physical, economic or social boundaries that can increase or decrease a property.

If you are bit of a numbers geek when it come to real estate Zillow has a more data than most sites.

Zillow does have a bunch of nifty and one of my favorite's is charts Homes Sold For A Loss. I guess that they use outstanding mortgage balances and compare them to the sale price. According to Zillow nearly 26 percent of homeowners sold at a loss for the month July. This stat does not seem out of line given the declining home values.

The take away is use any website as a guide, even 94501 Real Estate, because the market is fluid and the numbers change. The best opinon is the one you formulate from a collection of information. As Mark Twain wrote in his Autobiography:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and
statistics."