You really need to look at the year before to see how the market performed – and from the statistics, we can see the median home price, county-wide, is actually down 33.5% in April of 2009 compared to a year ago. … Honestly, I am mystified how people can take a few anecdotes, completely ignore the state of the economy and the housing market as a whole, and now herald, with strident authority, that we are now at the bottom of the market and THIS, TODAY is the time to buy, or you will miss out on the chance of a lifetime. … Well, that’s not true – short sales can also occur at those prices, and some people who have had their homes a long, long time may have enough equity in them to compete with all the REOs and short sales. … Personally, I think it’s going to put increased pressure on the bottom of the market, as many people who were looking at buying a lower-priced “starter” home may now be thinking of stretching to go for one of these “premium” foreclosures which I expect we’ll be seeing.
The C.A.R. report breaks it down county-by-county, and reports this as the Santa Cruz county: Q2 2007: 18 Q1 2008: 28 Q2 2008: 30 So since Q2 2007, Santa Cruz county has soared 12 points – that’s 67%! … C.A.R. also goes on to report that the median entry-level priced home is going for $531,250 – and that’s a steep drop from what homes used to be going for ($750K+). … In case you’re curious, C.A.R. also figures that a home costing $531,250 is going to cost a buyer $3,380 per month including principal, interest, tax, and insurance (PITI) – assuming a 10% down payment (check under your mattress for that $53,000 you have lying around). … And the good news is, these prices are still dropping in many areas – it’ll be interesting to see where Santa Cruz county sits in next quarter’s affordability index.
I frequently receive e-mail from people, asking questions about a listing they have seen on this or that web site. It may not surprise you to learn that the majority of this communication is about the cheapest properties on the market – often times about raw land, sometimes about mobile homes, and frequently about condominiums. Everyone’s looking for affordable housing, and that often means Below Market Rate Properties in Santa Cruz county. Indeed, the condos and townhouses I get the most questions about are the least-expensive condos…these tend to be these “BRM” units (Below Market Rate). There are varying programs throughout the county, and in various cities, to create these BRM units. An example of such a program is Measure O in the city of Santa Cruz. You can find out about Measure O using this link. Another example is Measure J – similar to Measure O, but it is for the County of Santa Cruz, rather than the city itself. To read about Measure J, click this link. The Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County has a web page that summarizes the information about the various BRM and first-time buyer programs found throughout the county. You can visit that page here: http://www.hacosantacruz.org/homebuyers/ One thing to be aware of with these properties is that often times they come with deed restrictions which limit how much the property can be re-sold for, and to whom you can sell it to. One of the primary advantages of buying a property is the prospect that it can be resold … Read More