November 6, 2011

Non-RBA Poseurs Not Priced Enough for Top 50

imageIn a previous article, we profiled the Northern California cities that hit the Forbes 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes out of 500 of those suckahs.  But we only care about the ones where the weather is nice, sushi is abundant, and you can get stock options without being the CEO.

These are the Zips that didn’t make the Top 50.  Forbes didn’t think they were worthy of home listing photos, so I had to dig them up myself.  And let’s remind Forbes about their messing up their detail data, what with every single DOM value set to 200.

Should any of these zips be allowed in the RBA?

#51: Los Altos 94024

  • imageMedian Home Price: $1,895,000
  • Median Price Change: -36.3%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 119
  • Inventory: 119 43
  • Rank in 2010: #18 (-33 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $5.5 Million (12445 Hilltop Rd)

Forbes avoided last year’s screwup with this zip by simply not admitting Los Altos Hills exists in 94024 this year.  Last year LA and LAH had identical data and ranks.  This year they screwed up by picking a property in Los Altos Hills as most expensive.  The most expensive I can find in Los Altos proper is this one (whose photo appears at right) at $4M.

And there’s plenty more, after the break!

#53: Pebble Beach 93953

  • Median Home Price: $1,875,000
  • Median Price Change: -18.8%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 273
  • Inventory: 273 133
  • Rank in 2010: #36 (-17 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $30 Million (3414 17 Mile Drive)

imageI think that listing price has to be some kind of a typo.  Usually when you live in a place that has numbers for streets, they aren’t included on Expensive Zip Code Lists and the asking price is more likely to be four digits than eight.  If you don’t believe me, check out this listing.

Yes, thirty million for a drawing.  Value is in the 2.34 acres.  Also, if you don’t build this house, no golfers will accidentally smash your windows with errant tee-offs.  Maybe you should buy this land and instead build something a little more hardened.

#67: Carmel and Carmel-by-the-Sea 93921

  • imageMedian Home Price: $4,010,200
  • Median Price Change: 4%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 173
  • Inventory: 57 properties 74
  • Rank in 2010: #120 (+53 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $4,010,200

In the big zips table it says the median is $1,698,250, the median price change is up 20.2%, DOM is 173, and there are 74 properties listed.  The most expensive house is $19.2 million.  I didn’t spot-check anything else to see if the details differed from the table, but this data was obviously wrong.  Four million is a fairly hefty median, so I looked to see what rank that would be.  It would be right behind Atherton at #3 if those numbers (rather than the ones in the table that correspond with this rank) were correct.  Update: Every detail page has incorrect DOM of 200 and inventory was actual DOM.  This one was just more wrong than the others with all the data coming from Planet WTF.

Also this entry generates an error message when you go look at it.  Nice going, Forbes!  But at least you fixed last year’s error of identical entries for Carmel and Carmel-by-the-Sea and having them tied for 120th place.

Not sure what the $4.01 million house is, either.  I found plenty that were more expensive, though.  This place (in photo) is asking $10.9M.  I’ll assume that other place had its price reduced.  Or increased!

You know what’s fun about looking at Carmel properties on Redfin?  A lot of the high end properties have an address of zero so you won’t know for sure where they are.

#82: Blackhawk 94506

  • Median Home Price: $1,597,000
  • Median Price Change: -0.5%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 164
  • Inventory: 164 36
  • Rank in 2010: #93 (+11 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $10.5 Million

imageNow that I found a blatant data error I checked the next item and sure enough, the table says that 164 is Days on Market and the Inventory is only 36.  I thought all these inventories were too high.  Update: They were all actually the DOM, which were usually, but not always, too high for inventory.

Not like it matters, being out in the East East Bay and all (with the East Bay being bad enough).  Plus this zip is shared with Danville.

And there’s no sign of any ten million dollar property.  Maybe Greg Fielding knows where it is, because this was the most expensive place I could find at $5.4 million.  Since it sold for $5 million in 2004, that means it’s really worth about $2.1 million.

#89: Stinson Beach 94970

  • imageMedian Home Price: $1,510,000
  • Median Price Change: -15.7%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 277
  • Inventory: 277 26
  • Rank in 2010: #69 (-20 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $3.7 Million (256 Seadrift Road)

Like I am supposed to make dirty jokes about number 89?  Chew on a baguette, then.  I found a $3.6M house (pictured, literally, as in check out the freestanding picture window) but this one is much more expensive, at $6.45 million.  And only 3/4 of an acre, too.

#94: St. Helena 94574

  • Median Home Price: $1,492,800
  • Median Price Change: 10.2%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 216
  • Inventory: 216 96
  • Rank in 2010: #134 (+40 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $24 Million (2900 Spring Mountain Road)

imageLess than a million and a half?  Why should we even bother?  Even the highly-touted $24 million dollar house has had a SIGNIFICANT PRICE REDUCTION to $19 mil.  And that’s for 7 acres of “vines producing wines” and a 9600 square foot house that’s been listed on and off since… 2005.

And according to Zillow, that $24M was a price increase from the 2010 asking price of $21M.  Way to go.  Because when it didn’t sell for $22.5M in 2010, it would definitely sell for $24M in 2011.

Remember, all it takes is one buyer.  Just one really stupid buyer.

Who Vanished From the Top 100?

imageThe most notable Missing In Action from 2010 was the zip that never belonged on the list at all: Duarte 91008, which came in first last year.  Alpine, NJ has clawed its way back to #1 and Duarte is just gone completely from the list.  Most residents of 91008 live in Bradbury, which isn’t there either.

Of greater interest is the missing NorCal zips from last year’s Top 100, and the example of Duarte should be ringing in your ears as you check this out.  I am beginning to suspect that this year’s list isn’t all that comparable with last year’s, because Altos Research is including condos in the median price.  That would favor cities that don’t have any, such as Atherton, over those that do, such as San Francisco.

18. Los Altos Hills 94024: merged into Los Altos above

30. Ross 94957: Told you Marin isn’t RBA, except this zip is also not to be found anywhere in the 500

49. Diablo 94528: Neither is the East Bay in the RBA, and this zip has also gone walkabout

53. Tiburon 94920: Merged with Belvedere, see #42 in previous article

59. Danville 94588: Ah yes, another Forbes screwup.  This zip was actually Pleasanton, not Danville at all.  This year it’s completely missing from the list.

74. Piedmont 94611: Like I said, East Bay drools, and Piedmont is French for OAKLAND.  But that doesn’t explain why Oakland 94618 is #295 on the list and Piedmont isn’t on it at all.  Maybe they got drummed out for having too many houses from before 1911 and Altos’ computers assumed they weren’t built yet.

92. San Francisco 94123: Actually, I don’t understand why this zip is missing, either.  Everyone knows SF is HOT HOT HOT.  So why has the MARINA DISTRICT dropped to #293, beaten out by 94114 and 94127?  They’re both in that 200-300 tier as well.

Now send in lots of listings, post good comments, and wash behind your ears, or I’ll run the next installment of this series real soon!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

12 Responses to “Non-RBA Poseurs Not Priced Enough for Top 50”

  1. waiting_for_the_fall Says:

    The dreaded Sunday zipcode post.

  2. madhaus Says:

    Yes, everyone dreads it will come to an end.

  3. SEA Says:

    The Halloween horror continues.

  4. Divasm Says:

    I guess I’m a data junkie because I find this all pretty interesting – thanks for pulling it together! Unfortunately I’m far too sleep deprived to interpret the stats and also comment sarcastically on them, so please pretend this was a sly and piercing witticism here and thumbs up accordingly.

  5. steve Says:

    another fantastic installment. thank you for these!

  6. wahnny Says:

    Yes, quite an informative and entertaining piece … nicely done!

  7. SiO2 Says:

    So it does include condos. The medians sure seem high then.

    In Carmel Village, many (all?) of the houses don’t have street numbers. That’s why there’s so many 0s. The address is just the nearest intersection. If I have to ask where someone lives, perhaps I don’t belong there.

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  9. A. Lewis Says:

    I thought I’d rented #94 for a vacation once, but after checking the listing, it wasn’t the same house. There are just so many cookie-cutter lookalikes in St. Helena – 6 bedrooms, poolhouse, heliport, I got confused!
    Boring architecture!

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