May 31, 2006

$3048 – average Bay Area mortgage

DQNews – Most Recent Press Release
The median price paid for a Bay Area home rose to a record $628,000 last month. That was up 1.0 percent from March’s $622,000, and up 7.2 percent from $586,000 for April a year ago. Last month’s year-over-year increase was the lowest since August 2003 when the $447,000 median was also up 7.2 percent.

DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $3,048 in April. That was up from $2,958 in March, and up from $2,659 for April a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, mortgage payments are 20 percent higher than they were at the peak of the prior cycle sixteen years ago.

So you know those Capital One credit commercials where end asking “What’s in your wallet?”

For the Bay Area, I guess that’d be “NOTHING.”

(Thanks to for the find) 

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 30, 2006

$529,988 for a 720 sqft garage in East Palo Alto

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 629633
East Palo Alto, CA 94303


Alright, so it is actually a house – not just a garage. But the real question is – does the buyer get to keep the flag?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 29, 2006

CSS help needed

Hey everyone,

This page looks ok in FireFox, ok in Internet Explorer, but horribly awful in Safari.

Would any one out there like to help figure out what I can do to make it look better?


Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:04 pm

Great Video: The California Economy — Housing Boom or Bubble?

Economics Roundtable: The California Economy — Housing Boom or Bubble? – Google Video
Christopher Thornburg, senior economist at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, offers his perspective on whether the recent cooling trend … all » in residential real estate indicates an imminent bubble burst or just a lull in California’s otherwise booming housing market in this edition of the Economics Roundtable at the University of California, San Diego. Series: “Economics Roundtable” [Public Affairs]

This is well worth the watch. Chris is pretty funny – including the only joke you’ve heard that has both Rafael Palmeiro and Alan Greenspan!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 2:35 pm

Some website improvements

I’ve made some improvements to the website:

  • Links are now sorted – and slightly categorized
  • Categories are sorted (thank goodness!)
  • There’s a banner ad promoting the service I use to host this blog. It’s a great service! Check it out – and if you do, I’ll get some rewards.

Happy Memorial Day!

Let me know if you see any “Special and unique” homes!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 27, 2006

850 open houses in Santa Clara county this weekend

Thinking of going to an open house this weekend?

MLSlistings Property Search Results
Open House Search Results Page

Listings 1 through 100 of 850 listings displayed

Yeah… there’s a few to go to. When you step in the door, ask them to give you a 15% discount. See what happens!

Have a good weekend!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 26, 2006

Reversion to Mean for Bay Area House Prices?

charles hugh smith-After the Bubble: How Low Will It Go? 

This chart provides a very clear picture of what a bubble looks like: a slow rise in values which suddenly turns up in a hockey-stick ascent to unsustainability. Note that the decade between 1986 and 1997 ended with housing values a bit above the historic line, but not by much. During all those years of flat-to-modest appreciation, the population was also growing, they weren’t making any new land, etc. etc.–all the conditions were present which are trotted out to justify the bubble. Note that the hockey-stick rise began as the Nasdaq bubble created hundreds of billions in new wealth in the late 90s.

Let’s go over the numbers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, $100 in 1986 equals $178 in today’s (devalued) money. To that 78% rise due to inflation we add Shiller’s 1% per year appreciation in “real” terms, which adds up to a historically supported value 98% above the 1986 median price of $161,000. In other words, a reversion to the historic mean will bring Bay Area median prices down from $715,000 to around $315,000–a decline of $400,000.

This is the inescapable conclusion of Shiller’s analysis and historical trends dating back to the 19th century. It cannot be denied; but you can of course retreat into denial. Sadly, that’s what most investors did back in the dot-com heyday. As stocks tumbled, every brief uptick was embraced as the “bounce back” to the good old days, and every such bounce was a sucker’s rally, leading only to further precipitous declines.

Fortunately, as we all know, this is impossible.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 25, 2006

Home sales drop to 5-year low / Steep decline sparks debate over whether the Bay Area real estate boom is over

Home sales drop to 5-year low / Steep decline sparks debate over whether the Bay Area real estate boom is over
Despite a record for Bay Area home prices in April, sales tumbled to their lowest level in five years as a chill continued to creep through the region’s housing market.

Experts remain split on whether the slower rate of appreciation and softer demand during what is typically a robust sales season signal a pause or the beginning of prolonged slowdown in a sector that has bolstered the region’s economy and vastly increased wealth for many homeowners in the past few years.

The median price for a single-family home in the nine counties last month was $664,000, up less than 7 percent from a year ago, and just above the previous record of $656,000 in autumn, according to real estate information firm DataQuick.

Uh oh! Quick! We need some more IPOs!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 24, 2006

495,000 Real Estate Agents in California

Inman Real Estate News – Real estate licensees are booming in California
The California Department of Real Estate announced today that there are about 500,000 real estate licensees in the state – which means that one in every 52 adults in California has a real estate license.

In 2005, the number of licensees grew 14 percent over the previous year to a then-record 476,000 licensees. That total represented a 57 percent increase compared to the number of California real estate licensees in 2000. The number of licensees reached 495,000 as of April 2006.

Holy cow. To put things in perspective, if all of these real estate agents got together and formed a city, they would be the 33nd largest city in America.

There are more real estate agents in California than there are people living in Sacramento, Atlanta, Miami, or Honolulu.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 11:28 am

Santa Clara SFH Trends for April 2006

The Santa Clara County Real Estate Report


Wow that’s a growing inventory. Wow that’s a dropping home sales count. What does this real estate company have to say?

For buyers, if you’re an investor, this is not the market to be in. But, I suspect you are already out of this market. If you are a buyer planning to stay in your home for over five years, go ahead and buy. Although prices are still increasing, the rate of increase has slowed quite a bit. There’s a good deal of inventory, so there’s no need to be frantic. For sellers, right now it is all about the pricing. Price it right and your home will sell. Also, make sure it shows well. Buyers are looking for fairly priced homes, if not bargains. The question is how do you make your home a bargain, or at least look like a bargain, to attract many buyers and offers.

Some more stats:


Pretty interesting numbers. What’s your take?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am