Hiding In 94611 Real Estate Forest

How is the real estate market in our beloved 94611 zip code?  If you look at median prices and foreclosures, then the market appears to be leveling out.  When you look at sales volumes, that’s where the trouble spot seems to emerge.  Let’s go visit the forest and trees.

Median Sale Prices Moderated

Cyberhomes most recently reported $709,980 median price (from August) versus $718,918 six months ago, only a 1.2 percent seasonal drop.  These medians each reflect 14-15 percent declines since last year, so they have steadied now.

Another source, City Data, shows quarterly price trends since 2004.  When you check the fat red line below, it’s obvious the 94611 zip prices crashed back in 2007 and declined further last year.  But things are relatively flat these days.

City Data, 94611 - Q2, 2009

Far Fewer Homes Sold

Now there’s a real story behind the precipitous drop in sales transactions, which began in earnest this year.  Take a look at City Data’s blue-colored bars, in the chart above, and you see the plummet during the first half of 2009.

Over 50 homes sold in the first quarter, or about a one-third drop from the same quarter 2008.  Things seemed to get even worse second quarter, with fewer than 50 homes sold – a two-thirds drop since last year.  Yup, potential sellers aren’t selling.

Foreclosures, 94611 - 2008-2009

Foreclosure Levels Declined

RealtyTrac reports the grimmer foreclosure facts related to defaults, trustee sales and bank-owned properties.  Over the past six months, overall 94611 foreclosures have gone down – and this contrasts with overall Oakland and Alameda County trends.

We wonder if there’s a flash point for homeowners, though.  Many people have been been hit hard by this recession, though it’s impossible to say whether that translates into a trickle or stream of “must sell” homes ahead.

So there is a real estate forest, and it’s easy to hide there! You can walk by and conclude that market is settled, but a little quiet and tamped down.  When you stop and really stare at the trees and wildlife, you see plenty of dynamic influences too.  We’ll have to wait patiently and watch the post-recession changes and equilibrium in there.

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