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Bay Area Real Estate Continues To Jump Around. More News At 11

Mar 23, 2008
The Bay Area Real Estate Market is still showing signs of volatility affecting consumer confidence. This is truly a very interesting area with several niche communities doing completely different things. The more affluent areas seem to be stable and have more activity while the lower end sectors seem to be plummeting at a rapid rate. San Francisco, Marin and parts of the Peninsula are actually increasing in value. The East Bay reports that Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Orinda, Walnut Creek, Lafayette and Pleasant Hill are remaining relatively stable. In Alameda County, Alameda, The Oakland hills, Piedmont, and Castro Valley are stable. The unique thing is that by simply traveling a few minutes away from these areas, there are deals galore. East Oakland has more than 100 homes for less than 200,000. There are bargains to be had in Richmond, San Pablo, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, San Lorenzo and Berkeley. Part of this niche market is due to being a very high cost area and prices tripling from 1999 to 2005 in most areas. Many were buying two or more properties hoping to jump on the get rich train and now are in foreclosure. The cost of mortgage money was dirt cheap and just about anyone who could sign on the dotted line could get a loan.

The good news is that the Federal Government has passed a bill to raise the conforming loan amounts. This will make a substantial difference to Bay Area buyers who can now obtain a conforming loan up to $729,000 compared to the previous $419,000. The median housing price in desirable areas is still above the six hundred thousand dollar mark. This combined with all of the new lending restrictions priced many previous potential buyers right out of the market place. The new Federal Bill is a good thing that should help to generate sales. There are also eight of the Nation's biggest lenders who have teamed up with the government to help home owners redo their loans in order to avoid foreclosure. These lenders include groups like Citibank, Wells Fargo, Country Wide and Bank of America. The best thing for home owners who may be in trouble to do is to contact the lender right away. The worst thing in the world to do is not contact the lender. It is far worse to find out one day your home is being sold at auction.

We have seen more activity merging from the investor sector in the past few weeks. This is also a good sign for the Bay Area meaning that investors are sensing the bottom is near. Most of us will not know when the bottom will hit but will find out after the prices start going back up. The bottom line is that if for those who have been waiting to purchase Bay Area properties at a great price, the time is right now. There are hundreds of great buys out there many of which are thirty percent or more under market value. We had a showing for a property in West Oakland this last week that was listed for $84,000. This same property would have sold two years ago for more than $400,000. It has become difficult to keep and eye on the prices in the Bay Area market because of such fluctuation in prices from area to area. The rental market has continued to go up and many consumers we have talked to are just plain scared to make a move. It is important to remember to take the media at face value and not absolute truth. Their job is to sell stories to get viewers and sometimes paint a gloom and doom picture.

We are watching the greatest investment market in Bay Area real estate since the early 1990's when the last down cycle took place. The inventory is fantastic and there are many great loan products available that are very affordable. Talk to your local professional and find out what's out there. There is no reason to be afraid of making a move. Contact Team Enterprise with any questions. We are happy to help.
Team Enterprise
Matt Larsen
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