Gallery

San Lorenzo Valley Real Estate Trends

San Lorenzo Valley Home Sales, Prices and 2012 Market Trends

Here in the valley, the number of homes selling is on the rise compared to the same period last year.   But, the market continues to be dominated by short sales and REOs (sales of bank owned, foreclosed properties), which is dragging prices a little bit lower than last year.    It is exactly these low prices that are attracting investors, who are able to fix up and rent out these properties at positive cash flow.    That’s why there are so many multiple offer situations on new listings.    This is a brand new development that we weren’t up against last year.

Mortgage rates are so incredibly low, a buyer able to lock in a mortgage around 4% for 30 years could end up in a better position than anyone in the last 2 generations, as long as they are geared to own the property for a normal 5-7 year time period.

2012 –year to date (January 1st through February 28th)

So far this year, 29 homes have sold in the San Lorenzo Valley– from Boulder Creek to the town of Felton.     The average home price of $279,399 reflected the fact that only 11 homes were normal sales and 18 were distressed sales.

The most expensive home sold in Boulder Creek: a 4500 square foot home built in 2000 on acreage in a good neighborhood fetched $875,000.

The least expensive home sold for $50,000:  also in Boulder Creek.  This was a short sale of a tiny 1 bedroom cabin literally encompassed by towering redwoods.

San Lorenzo Valley Real Estate
Average San Lorenzo Valley Home Prices

 

2011 – November and December

As 2011 wound to a close, 47 homes sold in theSan LorenzoValleyduring the last two months.     The average home price was $289,383.   18 homes were normal sales and 29 were distressed sales.

The most expensive home sold for $682,000 – a 2400 square foot log home on acreage in Boulder Creek.

The least expensive home sold for $77,000 – an uninhabitable shack on the river inBen Lomond

 

2011 –year to date  (January 1st through February 28th)

By this time last year, 25 homes had sold in the San Lorenzo Valley.     The average home price was significantly higher a year ago, at $341,910.   8 homes were normal sales and 17 were distressed sales.

The most expensive home sold inBen Lomond: a  2400 square foot home fetched $708,000.

The least expensive home sold for $70,000:  also in Boulder Creek.  This was a bank owned sale of a tiny 1 bedroom cabin literally teetering on the side of the eroding riverbank.

 

To find out what your San Lorenzo Valley home is worth now, click here

For the year 2011, Home Sales Rose; Prices fell.

The market was dominated by distressed sales.   115 of the 253, or, 45% of the homes sold were foreclosures, and 40 (16%) were short sales.   Only 42% were noted on the MLS as ordinary sales.   13 homes sold for $100,000 or less, but only 12 homes sold for over $600,000.

While about the same number of homes sold for under $100,000 this year as last year, the number of higher priced homes (above $600,000) dropped dramatically  – just 12 this year versus 22 last year.    This is what dragged the average price down, compared to 2010.  

During 2011, 58% of sales were distressed.    253 homes sold, at an average price of $320,779.     The median price was $307,900 – meaning half of the homes sold for less, and half for more.    The highest price home sold in 2011 for $875,000: This was a farmhouse  situated on 27 gorgeous acres borderingFallCreekState Park.   The lowest priced home sold for $44,000: this was a burned down, foreclosed home sold at auction.    The average days it took a home to go into escrow was stable at 93 days.

In 2010,   53% of sales were distressed.    234 homes sold, at an  average price of $373,200.   The median was $372,000.  The highest price home sold for $800,000, while the lowest price home sold for $28,000.    12 homes sold for less than $100,000, while 22 homes sold for over $600,000.     The average time on the market before a home went into escrow was 97 days.

Source: MLSListings.com, Single Family Residential Sales Closed Escrow through 02/28/12

Gallery

San Jose metro area Economy: housing supply and demand

One of the news services I subscribe to, Housing Trends E-Newsletter, had some wonderful graphics to share with you in this morning’s e-mail.   The data comes from the National Association of REALTORs, and shows which sectors are hiring.    California’s economy is growing a bit faster than the U.S. at large. 

On February 21, Fannie Mae stated that in 2012 the housing market will make a positive contribution to GDP growth for the first time in seven years.

Silicon Valley: Economy + Employment => Housing Demand
Gallery

Bay Area Home Sales Up – best January in years!

Bay Area Home Sales are UP!

       At least 3 counties had their best January in 5 years or more

For the Bay Area as a whole, sales rose 6.8%.

The President of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS noted that “We have multiple offers on almost every sale in the lower part of the market,” said Barbara Lymberis. “If people are thinking we haven’t hit bottom, they’re wrong.”

A first time homebuyer inSan Josewas quoted to say, “Every day something new comes on the market; we go to make an offer and there’s already other people making offers,” she said. “If we’re not on it within an hour, there’s already been people making offers on it.”

Here are the median single family home prices for each county

Santa Clara        $468,500

San Mateo          $527,500

Alameda             $325,000

Contra Costa      $245,000

         Santa Cruz           $455,491

BAY AREA:        $350,000

According to DataQuick, distressed sales account for about 50% of all sales activity across the 10 county bay area region.

Overall, Bay Area prices were between flat to down 2-3% when compared to January 2011.

Santa Cruz Real Estate Price Chart
Santa Cruz County Average Home Price Chart

In Santa Cruz County, according to the MLS 106 homes sold with an average price of $455,491 during January 2012, compared to 94 sales in January 2011 with an average price of $502,331.      I prefer to look at quarterly price trends, versus monthly statistics, just because the differences month to month can be so erratic.

Click here if you’d like an estimate of your home value.

Sources: MLSListings.com

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19980646?source=email

Gallery

Fun stuff to do around Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and the San Lorenzo Valley

Fun stuff to do: San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley, and Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook Off
Fun things to do in Santa Cruz

 February 25thSaturday – the 31st annual Clam Chowder Cook Off

Tastings start at 1 pm at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, featuring 70+ cooking teams; winners announced at 4 pm    Attendance is free, but a Ballot and Tasting Kit cost $9    www.beachboardwalk.com/clamchowder

 

Feb 26thSunday   Blue Chevrolet at Henflings in Ben Lomond – starts at 9 pm  http://www.henflings.net/

 

March 2ndFriday 6:30  – 8 PM Scotts Valley Satellite features

       Local Underwater Photographer and Author Marc Shargel   http://www.thesatelliteinc.com/about/events/

 

March 3rd Crab Feed Boulder Creek Volunteer Fire Department Annual Fundraiser

Saturday 6pm at the BC Firehouse on HWY 9       Make your reservation: there will only be 200 tickets sold!     $45 tickets sold only in advance – call extension 338-7222 extension 29

 

March 10th:     Saturday Street fair in downtown Boulder Creek

March 16th & 17th – Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner at Trout Farm Inn

March 17th – Saturday – St. Patrick’s Day

       Joes Bar in Boulder Creek:    Acoustic Shadows  http://joesbc.com/

       Moes’ Alley – Santa Cruz – Ronnie Montrose

March 23 – Friday – 7 p.m. FELTON Satellite     Permaculture Film Series – “Ecologically Sound Living by Designs for Health”     Transition San Lorenzo Valley presents its latest film http://www.thesatelliteinc.com/about/events/

 

March 25th – Sunday – Celebration of Jim Morrison & the Doors by WILD CHILD

7pm, $20 in advance or at the door      http://www.donquixotesmusic.info/

 

Red Pearl Chinese – locals get 10% off on Mondays when they mention the Boulder Creek Events Flier

Boulder Creek Brewery – Live Bluegrass Thursdays and Sunday nights –http://www.facebook.com/bouldercreekbrewery

Call/text/e-mail me to post your upcoming events anywhere in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Click here to get help finding your dream home near Santa Cruz!

Gallery

National Home Sales Update

Home Sales rose again nationally,

       showing the 3rd gain in the last 4 months, while inventory shrinks

The average home price in the Western Region fell just 2% year over year.    The median price of a single family home across the nation was $154,400, down 2.6% from January 2011.    

Image

Inventory, or the number of homes sitting unsold on the market, shrank to just over 6 months.   This is a key indicator, since a market balanced between and equal number of buyers and sellers tends to hover around 6 months supply.       Inventory is down 20% from a year ago.

All cash sales have steadily accounted for 31% of sales.   There are a lot of investors moving their cash into real estate, picking up rental properties and vacation homes.

Foreclosures accounted for 22% of January sales.

Short sales tallied up 13% of total January sales.   One of my short sale listings just went into escrow after getting 4 all cash offers over asking price.   3 of the 4 buyers wanted to live there themselves.

To read more, turn to http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2012/02/ehs_jan

Gallery

Banks settle Robo Signing Charges for $25 Billion

Landmark settlement announced against banks for robo signing foreclosures: $12 Billion for California mortgage principal reductions

After months of negotiations, 5 major banks settled charges of fraudulently signing foreclosure documents by agreeing to pay $25 Billion dollars out to homeowners and people who lost their homes to foreclosure over the next 3 years.     Further lawsuits and actions from investors and the federal government still loom against many lenders.

Under this agreement, $12 Billion is guaranteed to go to California.

Nationwide, $17 Billion is allocated towards homeowners who are currently behind on their payments in the form of loan modifications and principal reductions.

Another $3 Billion is allocated to homeowners who are underwater and have been unable to refinance their homes,

Sadly, only $1.5 Billion has been allocated to help the people who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and 2011.     $2,000 is expected to be paid out to some 750,000 borrowers.    In my opinion this is a pittance and poorly addresses the point of the charges made against the banks.   The banks admitted there were situations where uninformed people signed hundreds of thousands of false documents to accomplish foreclosure when the original loan documents had been lost.

Click here to learn how to begin getting your benefits.    Or, contact MC.

Read the original article at Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/us-usa-economy-idUSTRE7BM0AB20120209?feedType=nl&feedName=ustopnewsearly

Although there are financial incentives for them to accomplish more during the 1st year, the actual terms of the settlement allow the banks 3 years to pay out the money.

Gallery

Bright signs in the economy

Unemployment falls to 2008 level

As more people find jobs, consumer confidence will increase.    Employment, in my opinion, is one of the key factors that can lend strength to the housing market, so I’ve been watching this closely.   While I don’t see any point in talking about weekly numbers announced, the four week moving average looks good when the new claims for unemployment insurance fall to the lowest level seen since April 2008.

The US has created more than 200,000 new jobs for the last 2 months in a row – and our unemployment rate in January fell to a 3 year low of 8.3%.

During the last quarter of 2011, the economy grew overall at a 2.8% pace, which is respectable.    We’re not out of the woods – there are still a staggering 23 million people without work.   Read more at Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/us-usa-economy-idUSTRE7BM0AB20120209?feedType=nl&feedName=ustopnewsearly

Meanwhile, the stock market is up about 7% so far this year.    Since about 20% of home buyers in this market are investors; this is indirectly another good sign for housing.

Amazingly, the weekly average 30 year mortgage interest rate last week was below 3.75%!    http://actvra.in/sG6

Finally, 2/3 of Californians have an optimistic outlook – believing their own financial situation will improve during 2012.    Since  our state is equivalent to the 8th largest country in the world, this is significant.     The San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley Areas are the most optimistic about the future (versus southern Californians where economic conditions are worse.)      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/us-usa-economy-california-idUSTRE8180JP20120209

Traditionally, the Santa Cruz real estate market follows the Silicon Valley.Image

Gallery

Fun Things to do in Boulder Creek

February 11th:     This weekend, the town merchants are “putting out.”  …  Putting their merchandise out on the streets that is, in the manner of a street fair.  There will be a raffle, crafts demonstrations, discounts, and Valentines’ gift ideas.  These street fairs occur on the 2nd Saturday of every month…

February 14thValentines Day – this coming Tuesday – no time to cook? Take your loved one for a Valentines’ Dinner – 4pm to 10pm at Boulder Creek’s legendary Scopazzi’s Restaurant 338-6441  http://www.scopazzisrestaurant.com/

February 18th – Windy Hill – Bluegrass at Joe’s Bar – These guys are next scheduled for venues like Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, Amnesia in San Francisco.    338-3417   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joes-Bar/132408613439331?ref=ts&sk=wall

February 19th – SLV Water District History – 3pm at the Senior Center in Ben Lomond  Admission/Donation $5 per family – details 338-8382 – sponsored by Terry Vierra of Century 21 Showcase REALTORS.

February 25th – Flea Market at Junction park – hosted by Boulder Creek Parks and Recreation District 338-4144

 

ALL MONTH:

SHOP LOCAL BC Hardware- say Hi to Doug andAnnMarie – featuring a February sale on Stanley Shop Vac ($17.95) – 338-3866

Great coffee, baked goods and bagels at Jenna Sues / Dessert First 338-7008 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Sues-Cafe/110143085713000?sk=info

Winter clearance sale at Plumline Vintage – boots, sweaters and more 338-2701 http://www.facebook.com/PLUMLINEVINTAGE?sk=info

BC Liquors – where the prices are good, the wine selection is awesome, and the clerks provide off beat humor  338-6448

Boulder Creek Brewery – Live BluegrassThursdays and Sunday nights – http://www.facebook.com/bouldercreekbrewery

 

 

Crab Feed – Boulder Creek Volunteer Fire Department Annual Fundraiser

March 3rd at 6pm at the BC Firehouse on HWY 9

Hurry to make your reservation: there will only be 200 tickets sold!

$45 tickets sold only in advance – call extension 338-7222 extension 29

The Fire Department is right across Hwy 9 from Johnnie’s Market

Sports Car and motorcycle enthusiasts love to drive Highway 9
Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

If you’d like to live in this wonderful small town, click here: Boulder-Creek-Homes.com

Gallery

Ben Lomond Home Sales, Prices and 2011 Market Update

Ben Lomond Home Sales, Prices and 2011 Market Update

2011 –year in review

62 homes sold in Ben Lomond during 2011.   The average home sales price was $378,905, taking an average of 2 months on the market prior to going into escrow.    The discount between the list price and eventual sale price was 3.7% overall.    The average home price fell about 10% compared to 2010.

The highest priced home sold for $821,000 – this was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home on 25 acres – a traditional sale between people.

The lowest priced home sold for $77,000 – it was a shack deemed uninhabitable by the county, on just under an acre along the San LorenzoRiver, sold by JP Morgan Chase.

Ben Lomond Home sold by MC Dwyer
Ben Lomond Home sold by MC Dwyer

Above is a custom hilltop home I helped my sellers through a short sale in Ben Lomond

2010 –year in review

42 homes sold in Ben Lomond during 2010.    The average home sales price was $421,672, taking an average of 2 1/2 months on the market prior to going into escrow.    The discount between the list price and eventual sale price was just over 2 % overall.

In 2010, the highest priced home sold for $875,000: described as “a funky old farmhouse” on 27 acres.

The lowest priced home sold for $60,000 – this was a red-tagged property high in the mountains along Love Creek without power.

Why did prices fall in 2011?    In Ben Lomond the number of higher end homes – those selling for more than $500,000 – was fairly stable between 2010 (10) to 12 in 2011.    On the other hand, in the affordable and fixer-upper home segment,  21 homes sold in 2011 for less than $300,000, more than 3 times the number (just 6) that sold in that price range in 2010.

50% of all sales (31 houses) were distressed sales in 2011 –  homes that were either foreclosures or short sales, quite similar to  2010, when 54% (22) were distressed residential transactions..     All but 5 of the homes which sold in the affordable segment in 2011 were distressed sales.    It’s my feeling that Ben Lomond prices fell due to the mix of homes that actually sold as much as anything else.      Most buyer activity lately has come from first time buyers, investors, and those seeking vacation homes

To find out what your Ben Lomond home is worth now, click here.

Source: MLS Listings.com, Single Family Residences, data compiled by MC Dwyer

Gallery

Felton Home Sales, Prices and 2011 Market Update

Felton Home Sales, Prices and 2011 Market Update

2011 –year in review

63 homes sold in Felton during 2011.   The average home price fell about 23% when compared to 2010.   The average home sales price was $328,643, taking an average of just over 3 months (101 days) on the market prior to going into escrow.    The discount between the list price and eventual sale price was 4% overall.

The highest priced home sold for $736,861 – this was a bank owned 5 bedroom, 3 bath home on 22+ acres.

The lowest priced home sold for $44,000 – it was a tiny, bank owned, burned down home on Highway 9.

Why did prices fall so dramatically?    In my opinion, the main reason is that the number of higher end homes – those selling for more than $500,000 – shrank from 14 in 2010 to only 5 in 2011.    On the other hand, in the affordable and fixer-upper home segment, 28 homes sold in 2011 for less than $300,000, nearly 3 times the number (just 10) that sold in that price range in 2010.

63% of all sales (40 houses) were distressed sales in 2011 –  homes that were either foreclosures or short sales.     All but 2 of the affordable segment were distressed sales – just two were normal, owner occupied sales.    This is in contrast to 2010, when 47% (28) were distressed residential transactions.

In conclusion, prices fell due to the mix of homes that actually sold as much as anything else.        Most buyer activity is either first time buyers or investors.

What I am seeing is that many people who might be trying to move up into a bigger home, or downsize into a smaller home, are waiting for the market to recover before they put their home on the market.    A few people are able to rent out their homes, and taking advantage of low interest rates to buy a second home that suits them better.

If you would like to find out what your home is worth now, click here

Felton Wall Mural
Wall Mural in Felton

2010 –year in review

In 2010, 60 homes sold in Felton.   The average home sales price was $427,195, taking an average of 80 days on the market prior to going into escrow.       The eventual sales price was an average discount of 2.2% off the list price.

The highest priced home sold for $795,000 – a lovely owner occupied 4 bedroom, 3 ½ bath home on about 3 ½ acres.

The lowest priced home sold for $97,000 – a small 1 bedroom, bank owned cabin.

Source: MLSListings.com, Single Family Dwellings

MC Dwyer, copyright 2012