The Bay Area housing market is back on fire… but is it sustainable???

What can we attribute the turnaround in the market too? In simple terms, it’s back to the old supply/demand curve. In the depths of the housing market depression (think back to 2009), many cities were running resale inventories of several hundred homes and typically at least 50% of those homes were in some sort of distressed condition (bank owned, short sale, etc.).

Now, when we look at the market it’s done a complete 180. Inventory levels are down to their lowest levels since the peak of the housing market back in 2005-2006 and the percentage of distressed sales is down significantly from a few years ago. The question everyone should be asking is whether this is sustainable or is the “shadow inventory” of distressed homes about to flood the market and put a damper on things.

In our opinion, given how low the inventory levels are and the strength of most markets, even a doubling in the number of distressed homes on the market will probably not have much of an adverse effect on the market and in some circumstances might actually be helpful. FULL STORY

Source: Steve Reilly, Marketing Consultant, (925) 368-3128

Take a quick look at the inventory and sales levels of many of the East Bay Cities and decide for yourself if we’re in the beginning stages of a long term bull market in housing.

Active Listings Distressed Listings Percent Distressed Avg Monthly Sales Rate Months of Supply Based on 2012   Closed Sales
Antioch 101 55 54% 123 0.82
Brentwood 71 24 34% 82 0.87
Castro Valley 71 12 17% 41 1.72
Concord 73 34 47% 99 0.74
Disco Bay 43 8 19% 24 1.76
Dublin 22 9 41% 27 0.81
Fremont 133 10 8% 122 1.09
Hayward 82 30 37% 97 0.85
Livermore 85 16 19% 82 1.04
Oakley 39 17 44% 46 0.85
Pittsburg 34 19 56% 56 0.61
Pleasanton 67 6 9% 57 1.17
San Leandro 50 12 24% 72 0.69
San Ramon 49 12 24% 61 0.81
Union City 30 13 43% 36 0.83
Walnut Creek 57 2 4% 47 1.23

N. Central Valley Gears Up for Recovery

Land Advisors’ Northern California Team is proud to announce that it recently closed 507 single family lots in finished condition in the northern part of the City of Merced, a project known as Bellevue Ranch West.  The buyer is a long-time local farming family who plans to hold the asset as a long-term investment.

Although little building activity is occurring in Merced County at the moment, K. Hovnanian Homes is currently open and selling homes in one project.  The project, known as Eagles Ridge, is an active adult community in the Santa Nella market.

Despite the fact that Merced County new home closings are projected to hit a post-crash low volume in 2012 (off 98.9% from peak new home closing volume), year-to-date home prices are starting to rebound for regular re-sale and REO transactions with each up 2.47% and 1.96% respectively from their troughs. In addition, foreclosure sales (borrower-to-lender) are down 75.13% year-to-date from the 2008 peak.  REO (bank-to-new-buyer) sales are down 71.38% from their peak in 2009.  Our interpretation is this represents a positive sign that the overall Merced County housing market is healing – slowly but surely. (Source: Housing Intelligence Pro by Hanley Wood)

BIG LISTING: As part of a recent major lender-owned land listing for the California Division of the Land Advisors Organization, the Land Advisors Northern California Team covering the North Central Valley is actively looking for buyers for six assets in the bank’s portfolio.  Collectively, the listed assets include 479 single family homes in varying stages of development.  These asset sales represent the last few remaining bank-owned deals in the North Central Valley.  They should attract multiple investors and likely a few builders as the chance to buy lots well below replacement cost dwindle statewide.

Asset Breakdown:

  • Atwater:  Stonecreek – 129 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Winton:  Winfield Station – 22 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Modesto:  Thomas Terrace – 9 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Ceres:  Bing Cherry Estates – 39 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Merced:  Amberly Court – 162 Single Family Detached Lots in Rough Graded Condition (on 15.93 acres); and
  • Sage Creek – 118 Single Family Detached Lots in Rough Graded Condition (on 13.55 acres).

Other North Central Valley Updates:  San Joaquin County is experiencing improved new home sales in the towns of Mountain House, Manteca, and Lathrop.  New home projects are getting started in Stanislaus County, with two in Oakdale and one in Patterson.

Slow and steady as they are… all signs of building activity in the North Central Valley show that we are on our way to recovery!

Source: R.J. Radler Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 12; and Jim Radler Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 11

 

Bay Area Tertiary Markets Recovering? Maybe…

In the depths of the downturn (say, March 2008), the City of Antioch had over 800 active listings of single family homes on the market.  According to the MLS, only 105 homes sold that month, which translated into an 8-month supply of inventory.  Needless to say those were also the months where we saw double digit price declines year-over-year.

Fast forward to today: In the first two and a half months of 2012, 247 homes sold in Antioch, or approximately 98 sales per month.  The current active inventory according the Contra Costa MLS is 103, meaning a 1.1-month supply of inventory!  While this may not mean that prices are going to rocket up anytime soon in East Contra Costa County, it is definitely a great sign that the market has found a “natural” bottom and might have even overcorrected on the way down.

This same story is being repeated in Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg and other tertiary Bay Area markets, which were first to fall off the “cliff” a few years ago.

This work-off of resale inventory is starting to show its affect on new home absorptions.  In 2011 builders in East Contra Costa County were struggling to get to 1 to 2 sales per month on average. In the first few months of 2012, absorptions have been running between 3 and 4 sales per month. If this trend continues we expect more builders to begin venturing back out to the tertiary markets to look for new residential land deals.

Source: Steve Reilly, Senior Marketing Consultant, (925) 368-3128