July 10, 2011

Bay Area Price Drops: Dude, Where’s My Equity?

Mapping Home-Value Drops by Zip Code

By Matthew Strozier, Wall Street Journal
Published June 28th, 2011

imageThe housing bust could be described as a tale of two collapses: Pain was widespread but it wasn’t always evenly felt.

Stan Humphries, chief economist for the real-estate website Zillow, mapped the price decline from the peak for zip codes in six major metro markets – Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago (see maps). The data provide a detailed look inside the anatomy of the downturn: Green dots show declines from the peak that are above the metro average; reds are below the metro average.

Zillow’s maps show that poorer center-city neighborhoods and far-flung suburbs tended to fare worse even as trendy urban neighborhoods or established suburbs managed to either weather the storm with limited damage or see losses half that of other zip codes with 50% or 60% declines.

Using useless aggregate data from Zillow, the Wall Street Journal creates some maps by zip code for six different regions, including the Bay Area.  Everywhere, every single zip code, showed a decline from 2006, but some places were hit even more than that 60% figure mentioned above.

imageTake a look at the key for the Bay Area map.  60% is not the worst of it.  Oh no.  One zip code comes within kissing distance of down 80%.  Yes, property value down 4/5ths, across an entire zip code.

What’s also amazing is not a single zip in the entire region managed to hold onto its value since 2006.  While one zip in New York City (10128, Upper East Side) actually gained value, two zips here were notable in keeping their losses under ten percent.  And these two are a couple of old friends to Burbed that we’ve visited many times before.

Holding losses to 9.1% were West San Jose 95129 and South Mountain View 94040.  Right behind them, at exactly a ten percent loss, was Cupertino 95014.  No zip codes managed better than that and all the others were over the ten percent loss mark.  Other “winners” that managed not to lose too much are in SF (94105, SoMA), San Jose (95113, downtown!) South Palo Alto, and South Sunnyvale. Both Los Altos/Los Altos Hills zips are right behind this group.

Now, for the zips that were clobbered beyond belief; these are the ones that lost 75% or more of their value since 2006.

  • In 4th place, losing 75.1% of its Zillow Home Value Index that they swear they weren’t making up, is 95215, in beautiful Stockton.
  • In 3rd place, shedding an embarrassing 75.2% of its made-up number, is 95351, in Modesto.
  • In 2nd place, misplacing an astounding 76.3% of a number Zillow made up to drive eyeballs to its site, is 93620, two cheers for Dos Palos!
  • And the Champion in Value Erosion, tipping the scales at an eye-popping 79.1% of value gone, gone, gone is 95205.  You know where that is.  Give it up for Stockton!

Not only are none of these in the Real Bay Area, none of them are even in the Bay Area.  So let’s find what got eviscerated the most within real commuting distance from the Googleplex, and then let’s see what’s left of the RBA.  That means we can leave out all the places south of Santa Cruz that were pummeled with declines over 60%.

  • Worst Zip in all of San Mateo County, a Burbed favorite: 94063, or the crap part of Redwood City!  Down 42.1%!
  • Worst Zip in all of San Francisco: 94158, down 44.9%.  Google maps calls this area Mission Bay, just a bit north of beautiful Hunters Point.
  • Worst Zip in Santa Clara County, excluding San Jose: 95020, Gilroy, down 48.1%.  What a surprise!
  • Worst Zip in San Jose, handily beating out its Gilroy challenger, 95122, down an amazing 55.5%. Of course this is another favorite Burbed neighborhood in East San Jose.
  • And the Worst Bay Area Zip, Overall Award for Sucking the Most value out of its real estate is 94621, and that’s in Oakland.  This zip is down 74.4%, meaning a Bay Area zip managed to lose three quarters of its value. Not just one property or a block, this is an entire zip code!  Wow! Congratulations to Oakland on showing Stockton a thing or two!

But don’t worry too much about any of these numbers.  Zillow recently changed their Zestimate formula, so feel free to throw out what you don’t agree with.  Just assume in adding up all those Zestimates, the zip-wide index must have have all erred in the same direction!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:36 am

6 Responses to “Bay Area Price Drops: Dude, Where’s My Equity?”

  1. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    I’m not surprised by the decline in values in Gilroy. It was becoming a bedroom community to San Jose and the Peninsula. When the job goes away, no more commute, and you can’t afford a car any more. And out here, without a car you’re kinda screwed.

    Anyone remember the extreme rise in prices in Merced of all places? For some reason it became fashionable to plunk down huge amounts of money for a house in Merced. Then of course the crash, and I’m sure the decline has been very steep.

  2. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Bay Area housing market reflects different rebounds.

    East Palo Alto’s median home price is $246,000 in the current quarter, down 62 percent from $650,000 in the second quarter of 2007.

    $650k in East Palo Alto… Good old days… The most expensive house for sale now is $599k.

  3. madhaus Says:

    Thanks for the link, #2. I’m astounded how well the Zillow index matches Dataquick’s sales numbers, even if the latter is by city instead of zip code.

  4. SEA Says:

    Imagine the average declines if the RBA homes were excluded from the data set. I fully realize that the largest declines are in areas where no part of the RBA exists, but some of those green areas would very likely be red, if the RBA were excluded.

    Alternatively, imagine the price gains if the map only showed the RBA. Instead of percent, we could use time to double. On the unfavorable end (red) would be RBA probation, the properties that take the full 10 years to double. On the priced out forever end (green), the Real of the Real RBA, would be the Real areas in the Real RBA that double much sooner, like 3 years, for Real.

  5. Real Estater Says:

    I think San Jose Mercury News discovered the difference between RBA and non-RBA after researching on Burbed.

  6. sfbubblebuyer Says:

    Hey wait a minute! Zillow says my zip declined by 20%, but my property taxes only went down by 7%

    Oooooh! Looocy you got some ‘splainin to do!


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