Statistic Quo


Sometimes it’s interesting to look at numbers and statistics because they often provide really wonderful answers to the negativity we’re frequently exposed to in the mainstream media. Here’s alot of hard data that demonstrates where we are right now…and where we’ve been.

Recent data distributed by Realtytrac, a company that compiles data on home foreclosures shows that in fact foreclosures are a regional problem, not a national crisis. While parts of Contra Costa County and Stockton have foreclosure rates in excess of 4%, the national average is 1.033%. Foster City had 4 foreclosures in the last calendar year while Antioch had almost 600. Considering the fact that 30% of all homes are actually free and clear of any mortgage the true foreclosure rate is only seven tenths of 1% of all homes.

In 1978 3.9 million homes were sold. In 1988 the number was 4 million homes. In 1998 the number jumped to 4.9 million homes. Then came this decade…in 2005 7.1 million homes sold with 40% of them being non-owner occupied. Folks went a little hog wild trying to flip houses, 12% is a typical number. Also, anybody who could fog a mirror could get a stated income subprime loan. In 2007 the total number was 5.6 million…the 5th best year ever for home sales in a supposedly dead market. There’s a whole website filled with positive statistical data put out by the National Association of Realtors that you might want to explore, here’s a link:

Ultimately you and I can peruse stats all day long, and maybe we would even agree about their authenticity but the fact remains that it’s the presence of fear in the marketplace that moves, or slows down, the pace of the market. If the majority of people think it’s a bad time to buy it’ll be a flat market at best. Way back when, I sold a waterfront townhouse on Juno Lane in Isle Cove (Foster City) to a client of mine. The market was slower and this unit had been on the market, vacant, for several months. It was pretty much original and was a little worn around the edges, we negotiated a great deal well under asking. Several other agents, including the listing agent, cautioned that it hadn’t sold because it was the end unit right next to the tennis courts and across from the pool and thus it would be a noisy problem. The seller really wanted to get rid of this place and my client got a really great buy on it so she didn’t worry about it’s location challenge. A few years later, and after some remodeling, she sold it and moved up to a bigger place. We had 5 offers on it and it went way over asking. I still clearly remember holding it open that first Sunday afternoon as droves of people filed through and I’ll bet half of them told me how much they liked the location…so conveniently located right next to the tennis courts and the pool! The fear that was present in that original marketplace had disappeared…it had been replaced by a different fear. That of being shut out of an escalating market. I suspect this pendulum will swing back again too.

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