Category Archives: Housing Market

Homes sales spiraling downward…

Homes sales volume for Alameda County dropped 22.1% for February as compared to January 2011. And that my friends is 18.4% lower than a year ago (you know, the year people–as recently as say, March 8th—believed was worse than this year?).

All Bay Area counties, except San Francisco, are healthier than Alameda.

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By comparison

Since January ’11:  healthier cities and counties are showing declines in the single digit percentages, you know, under 10%. The decline of our home sales volume is double or triple over that of other counties. Except for Contra Costa County whose decline is only 2.8% ; that means Alameda County’s decline is 700% greater than theirs (!).

Since January ’10: healthier cities and counties are showing single digit decreases with a few—Marin and Contra Costs–showing increases since last year.

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Some Realtors say they expect the home sale volume to reverse in May and April as they claim they themselves are seeing more buyers signing offers–and you may believe them.  If so, you probably voted for Measure A.  And don’t be fooled with stories of great sale/list-price ratios: the only homes selling well are the absolutely great looking ones. Those few and exciting small bidding wars [$10K over asking] are not the norm. Houses either sell right away, like that, or sit on the market for over a year.  Later this year, there will be a small spike in sales of the nicest-only-homes in the nicest of neighborhoods when the Facebook and Zynga IPOs create local gazillionaires. But I digress…

February 28, 2011, the Pending Homes Sales Index declined 2.8%, dropping lower than December 2010, and 1.5% lower than the prior year. That means actual home sales (volume) will be down for April and May 2011. What’s that? Oh, the opposite of what some Realtors are saying they have on their books now.

The trends are downward. All the indicators are pushing the average American family  harder and harder just to make it through the day. And Alameda? Alameda just instituted the most expensive school parcel tax in the state of California, and not just the most expensive parcel tax, but a parcel tax that rewards (thereby promoting) big business while punishing (thereby discouraging) small businesses (retail and real estate) and single-family homes.

Does…not…bode…well.

I’m just sayin’.