May 12, 2013

How do we know SF Bay Area Real Estate is in a Bubble? Part 712

In today’s installment of Yes There Is Too a Bay Area Bubble 4.0, we present a few signs what it looks like when a region is not in a real estate bubble.  Notice that there is nothing like this in the Real Bay Area.  When we have a recession here, homeowners simply don’t list their properties at a loss from typical RBA overbidding.

Not so in the “Gateway to the Delta.”  Remember, you can’t spell Solano County without S-O-L.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tom Paine for shooting us this article.

9 Worst Recession Ghost Towns in America

The Fiscal Times (Slideshow)


Rio Vista, CA

Once envisioned as an 855-home suburb with families populating the grid of freshly paved streets and sidewalks, now the only life you’ll see in this desert development are cows and eucalyptus shrubs. Thirteen abandoned model homes lie clustered in the center of the development, and streets like “Serenity Drive” stretch on past empty dirt lots into the barren distance. Construction was halted in November 2008 when developer Shea Homes abandoned the project.


These three photos below are from that link as well.  Truly stunning, spooky, and sad, these would make great material for Edgar Martins.


Be sure to check out this older story from the Chronicle on this unsuccessful development.


20130511-recession-riovista-statsThere’s more of the death of this development’s boosterism on the Rio Vista Wikipedia page.  The Census data for 2007 predicted the city’s population of 7,800 would swell to 20,000 by the year 2020.  The 2010 Census update mentions no such expected population surge.  Meanwhile, population dropped to 7,300.

This charming graph, courtesy of Zillow, gives you an idea of just what a “recovery” looks like far from the Real Bay Area. This shows the median sale price per square foot over the past ten years.

There are photos of other places on both sites further from exurban Bay Area.  California City (Not Anywhere Near the Bay Area, Hell, Not Even in Northern California) has huge areas that were platted out but never built on.


Just wait until you get to the Florida pictures!

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

5 Responses to “How do we know SF Bay Area Real Estate is in a Bubble? Part 712”

  1. Real Estater Says:

    If you click the link, you’ll see that things are worse outside of California. Remember when someone here touted the virtues of Tennessee not so long ago?

    I think it would be good for Burbed to do a feature on the jokester posts of yesterday. All those guys are buried now, which is why Burbed forums are so sparse these days.

  2. nomadic Says:

    Why is Tom Paine sending you articles from August 2011 as if they are relevant to the new bubble? Even the comments on some of the “ghost towns” (like the one in Fort Myers) say the development is 90% sold out now. Maybe not a bubble there, but at least it’s recovering.

  3. Jb Says:

    It’s a bubble everywhere. The sky high debt we carry will haunt us in the near future. Close relatives in finance predict a Japan like scenario down the road – serious inflation and general ugliness. Is that 3 years out? 5? Who knows. Except that sub prime lending is back, bridge loans are back….and next time there won’t be bail out money to pass out by the bag full.Of course whether that means buy, sell, hold or….I prefer to be like Scarlett and worry about it tomorrow.

  4. madhaus Says:

    I think it would be good for Burbed to do a feature on the jokester posts of yesterday. All those guys are buried now, which is why Burbed forums are so sparse these days.

    You want something covered, suggest you get cracking and write it. Better yet, why not start your own real estate blog since you obviously know way more about it than anybody else.

  5. Dewane Says:

    If you keep taking Hwy 160 past the Rio Vista bridge, you get to a town called Isleton. Go out of town and look right, maybe 200 yards out of town or so. There are three houses there, obviously newly-built, but appear to have never been inhabited. You would think that this is part of a tract, but they are really close together, almost like they were going to be built there and then moved somewhere else. All houses are built in a long rectangle, almost shotgun shack configuration, but are two stories. Delta farm house style with very sloped roofs. These have intrigued me every time I go to Sacramento (I take the river road every time I can). Anybody know the story of these houses?

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