Friday, May 9, 2008

Silicon Valley Price Fall Spreads

Silicon Valley's high-end home sales that once buoyed the median home price for many months are shrinking as California's last bastion of rising prices buckles under relentless market pressure. But more lower end homes are selling too.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Deadline Newsroom - Roll back the clock about two years on Silicon Valley's housing market.

California's last major metro holdout in price increases has hit the wall -- hard.

Since the market peaked a year ago, prices are down 11.5 percent, according to the Bay Area Market Newsletter, produced by Creekside Realty broker, Richard Calhoun from San Jose.

Silicon Valley's median price on single-family homes in closed sales is back where it was two years ago and a whopping $100,000 less than it was when the market peaked a year ago, Calhoun reported.

The region's April median price for single-family homes came in at $768,000. Two years ago it was $775,000. That median price peaked at about $868,000 a year ago.

For condos, the median price came in at about $496,000 in April this year. Two years ago it was $500,000.

The market's overall price decline indicates the high-end sectors is feeling the pinch. Starter home prices have been declining for nearly a year, but stronger high-end home sales had helped buoy the median price.

Robert Aldana of says another factor pushing down the median price is a growing share of lower-end homes being sold to investors and first-time buyers looking to cash in on foreclosures, short sales and generally cheaper priced homes.

Sales in general, however, remain flat at levels not seen in 10 years.

Calhoun said the 1,124 homes sold in April is the third lowest April home sales level since 1998.

Silicon Valley is nearly a full-blown buyer's market where sellers get an average of only 98 percent of their asking price, compared to more than 100 percent during April in 2006 and April 2007.

That, along with stiff lending requirements thwarting buyers, increasing foreclosures and other market conditions, is pushing prices down. recently reported half of home buyers who purchased in 2006 owe more than their homes are worth. The darker the red, in the graph above, the more homeowners are in the dark with upside down mortgages. also said in about a quarter of the region, the less-populated areas of the northwest, where home prices are higher, home prices are down no more than 3 percent. In the other, greater, more heavily populated areas in the region, where homes are cheaper, some home prices are down by 20 percent or more. The deeper the blue, in the graph above, the deeper the price declines.

© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Advertise on DeadlineNews.Com

Get news that really hits home for your Web site or blog from DeadlineNews.Com.

Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service, and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's new backshop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

DeadlineNews.Com's Editorial Content Is Intellectual Property • Unauthorized Use Is A Federal Crime

No comments: