It’s time to review the whole year, but first the final sales in December. We closed the year with a short week, and three more sales in December (for a total of eleven):
- 2418 Royal Oaks Dr. $950,000 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2842 sq feet, .45 acre lot, built in 1966. This home for under million dollars is located in a nice location in Round Hill. I was surprised to see it sit on the market for a full 46 days”not long, but surprising for a good sized home in a great area at this price. It sold for $920,000 or $324/sf.
- 132 Via Bonita $1,295,888 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2165 sq feet, .52 acre lot, built in 1936. This home, located just off Las Trampas in a great westside location, has so much curb appeal with 1936 charm. Private backyard with pool. Inside, the house did not have an open floorplan (as you would expect from the year). It sold for $1,225,000 or $566/sf.
- 3127 Lunada Lane $949,000 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1996 sq feet, .46 acre lot, built in 1961. This home has a nice Westside location, flat lot with pool and good bones. It’s an under-1-million opportunity in Alamo, very original but with so much potential. This house spent only 16 days on the market and sold for $902,500 or 452/sf.
So what do you think? Was 2010 a better year for real estate than 2009? I took an informal poll in the roomful of friends I’m sitting in–the consensus among those folks is that things were worse in 2010, largely because of the foreclosures. However, when we talk about the “market” it really depends on location (or Location, Location, Location). One of the reasons I started this blog in 2007 was because I was tired of hearing how terrible the market was in “Contra Costa County”. That’s a county that includes both Alamo and Antioch–just to pick two towns that have experienced wildly different markets. It’s like saying “rain expected in California”…not a forecast that is meaningful without knowing the actual zip code we are discussing.
Also, the question of “how is the market?” can be interpreted many ways. If we look at the number of sales that took place in 2010, the news is great. We had almost 200 sales, the most sales in a single year in Alamo since 2005. However, the median sales price is down, and has gone down each year since 2006. But to compare ’09 with ’10: in 2009, we had 136 sales in Alamo with a median price of $1,150,000 and in 2010, 196 sales with a median price of $1,100,000. Volume up a lot–median price down a bit. Certainly this is better than the contrast of ’08 and ’09–sales were up only slightly in 2009 over 2008 (127 to 136), but the median sales price dropped from $1,300,000.
In Antioch, sales volume is much larger than Alamo, Blackhawk, or Danville–the population is much larger. Still, when you review the table below, you can see that a town like Antioch (where there was a huge amount of new housing developed at the height of the market), took a much harder hit in the median sales price. Compare $500,000 in 2005 to $200,000 in 2010. Over the same years, in Alamo, the median sales price went from $1,430,000 to $1,100,000. In Danville, $950,000 to $785,000. Blackhawk was harder hit–from $1,500,000 to $950,000.
Holding value hasn’t been easy over these past few difficult years in our market–but having the right location, good schools, a large lot–these are key factors. In Alamo, a half acre is normal, so a large lot is standard. The Alamo schools are wonderful, and Alamo remains a desirable location to move to.
Danville shares the same great school district, but a wide variety of lot sizes. Westside Danville has held values better than any part of Danville and better than all of Alamo–people love the walk-to-town locations, the large flat lots, the proximity to the Iron Horse Trail–it remains the most desirable part of Danville. As a subset of Danville, the statistics for the westside are the most positive: in 2010, 50 sales and an median sales price of $999,000; 28 sales and a median sales price of $925,000 in 2009. An increase in both volume and sales price: values hold in the westside of Danville because no one wants to move from such an ideal location.
But, as my friends in my informal poll point out, the foreclosure market has been more active than ever before. In Alamo: 43 of the 196 sales for 2010 were either REOs or short sales. In Antioch: 1239 of the 1727 sales were either REOs or short sales.
That’s an increase from 2009 in Alamo–but not in Antioch. In 2009, Alamo had 22 sales that were short sales or REOs of the 136 homes sold; in Antioch 2116 of the 2465 sales were short sales or REOs.
I think it’s important to watch a market like Antioch–one that has suffered more than most–because they are recovering. The foreclosure statistics are improving in Antioch; the other markets will follow.
Here’s to a Happy New Year and a great 2011!