August 4, 2013

Another Bay Area Bubble Call!

We’ve been boosting the Bay Area Bubble 4.0 news all year. Now, another voice joins in the chorus we started months ago. And this is a one of our long-time fans, PK from DQYDJ! That stands for Don’t Quit Your Day Job.  Recently PK revisited the post that introduced the Bay Area Income and Home calculator, so this is definitely worth your while!

Bay Area Housing Prices: Beware the Inflating Bubble

130803-dqydj-graphPosted By PK    Last updated July 14th, 2013

Two years ago (well, September 28, 2011 anyway), we regaled you on this site with tales about how the Bay Area’s home prices – while admittedly quite high – were complete justifiable.  If you don’t have time to read those prescient words, I can summarize: home prices may have been high in 2011, but Bay Area households pulled in a ton of income (second only to the Government driven economies around Washington, D.C.), making houses somewhat affordable to many households in the area.

Am I proud of that call now that we’ve seen 20% year over year price returns in many areas, and 52% absolute returns on the house I purchased in July 2011?  Well, yeah, of course I am.  However, the mark of a truthful person is to change your opinion when presented with new data.  Here’s to being honest: the Bay Area is getting pretty frothy.

Told ya.

While we do want you to head over to PK’s site and read it, we’ve got the new calculators for you to play around with right here for afters.  First, here’s where you can see how well your income stacks up against the competition. Zuckerberg, you’re not, but go ahead and type in your income and see where you are compared to everyone else.

Remember, Inner Bay Area isn’t quite the same thing as Real Bay Area, because the former is by county. Everyone in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara is included. Unfortunately they also invited Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and by adding those East Bay locales the numbers already skew down.  Leaving out Marin County made prices even lower! Wanted: data so we can unskew these calculators by zip code!

Next, here’s the home edition, whoops, the home value edition.  Are you building a Larry Page-type compound in the most prestigious part of Palo Alto? Didn’t think so. But you can find out how affordable your home is, or the home you’re thinking of buying, or the home Larry Page is going to buy.

Let us know what you think of PK’s calculators, or anything else you’d like to talk about.  Yes, it’s Weekend Open Thread time!  How affordable were the Open Houses you saw this weekend?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am






July 7, 2013

The End is Nigh? Or is that Ni?

Terrible bad news! Someone let the air out of Bay Area Bubble 4.0’s tires!  Tragedy!

Bay Area housing frenzy cooling off

By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   07/04/2013 04:00:00 PM PDT, Updated:   07/05/2013 08:44:05 AM PDT

130706-over-signThe Bay Area’s frenzied housing market, marked by soaring prices, short supply and a scramble for homes, is showing signs of cooling.

Some buyers, fearful of a new bubble or worried about higher interest rates, are putting their plans on hold, while new listings of homes for sale have been increasing since March, which should put the brakes on spiraling prices.

"It’s a welcome break in the trend, even if it ultimately means prices start to cool off a bit too," said ZipRealty CEO and President Lanny Baker.

Real estate agents in Silicon Valley, where homes have commanded offers hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking price, say bidding is less frenzied than a few months ago, although it’s still one of the hottest markets in the country with a median of 10 days to sell a home.

Santa Clara Median Sale Price / sq. ft.

This can’t be! The party isn’t over just because mortgage rates are going up, or more homes are being put up for sale. Not in the Real Bay Area, anyway! The above map of Santa Clara County real estate sale prices per square foot says so. The spiking rental market keeps pushing buyers forward as well. Besides, It’s Special Here!  (It’s so special we have to tell you that red is county, green is city.)

And that median of ten days to sell a home proves that things can’t be cooling off. Everyone knows the smart agents wait 10 days and get all the overbids all at once. Houses could sell in 15 minutes if the sellers wanted them to.

The housing frenzy isn’t cooling off. This is wishful thinking. Mortgage rates don’t affect the Real Bay Area, because every single house in it was purchased by suitcases-full-of-cash-wielding foreigners, who, HELLO, don’t care what the mortgage rates are because they have, HELLO, suitcases full of cash on hand.  And more houses being listed? That just allows more people the opportunity to lose out to overbids on an excellent property.

We don’t understand why anyone would be allowed to print something this misleading, although the quote from the president of a county Realtard association (in the East Bay, yet), makes us glad they did:

While the steep climb in median sales prices for single-family homes in the East Bay, Peninsula and South Bay has made some buyers nervous, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a bubble, said Robin Dickson, president of the Contra Costa Association of Realtors.

"Clients say they are just not going to buy at the top of market, but really, how do you know this is the top of market?" Dickson said.

Other things we don’t know is whether the sun will rise tomorrow morning, when the San Jose Mercury News will admit it’s just a website, and when real estate writers will stop asking realtards for economic analysis knowing damned well all they’re going to get is cheerleading and happy talk.

Really, how do you know this is the top of the market?  It could actually be the floor of the NEXT market, Mr. Negativity!

Comments (33) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:15 am

July 6, 2013

Fake Realty Win: North Side of made-up city is “better”

Any reader of this blog knows that some parts of the Bay Area are just better than others, and that’s what we call the “Real Bay Area.” Do you know where the RBA is? According to this study, it’s probably north of you.

Study Points to Bias Toward a City’s North Side

People tend to see the north as more desirable and affluent, in turn fueling stereotypes about where the rich live

130705-north-mapBy Sanette Tanaka, The Wall Street Journal
SPREAD SHEET, July 4, 2013, 8:14 p.m. ET

North, south, east or west, researchers find north seems best.

Most people, knowing nothing else about a city, would rather live in the northern half of town than in the southern, says Brian Meier, associate professor of psychology at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa. People tend to see the north as more desirable and affluent, in turn fueling stereotypes about where the rich and the poor live.

"For some reason, people see the north and south as very different," Prof. Meier says. "When all else is equal, people have this bias to think that northerly areas are better or more affluent.

Prof. Meier and co-authors Arlen Moller of Northwestern University, and Julie Chen and Miles Riemer-Peltz, both of Gettysburg College at the time, conducted four studies with groups ranging from 28 to 87 participants to see how "north" and "south" affects housing preferences. The study, "Spatial Metaphor and Real Estate: North-South Location Biases Housing Preference," was published in Social Psychological and Personality Science in August 2011.

130705-north-heatscWe’re going to note a fairly seriously flaw in this study (or at least Tanaka’s description of it) right off the bat: the participants aren’t identified in terms of where they live. We know what schools the researchers did the study out of, but this article doesn’t indicate if the participants were from the surrounding regions, randomly chosen throughout the United States, or were a worldwide sample. And that’s actually an important bit of data. How could they possibly assume that all people, everywhere, prefer the north side of a city when we don’t know if anyone from the Southern Hemisphere was represented? Maybe South is the “better side” in Buenos Aires, Melbourne, and Christchurch.  Maybe South is superior if you get too far north as well, as it would get more sun.  Northern exposure isn’t a good thing if you want sunlight.

130705-north-mapmvThis silly study suggests people are so used to thinking of north as “up” on a map, that they conflate the direction with the emotion. We’ve just found that prices keep heading north as long as you’re looking at the RBA.  Although the heat map of Santa Clara County above suggests that high prices are found not in the north, but the northwest and to a lesser degree, the northeast. North Central, though, does not impress..And the map at right shows sales for hot, hot, HOT Mountain View, hottest in the part that is the Exact Opposite Of North.

And… open thread! What direction are you heading to check out Open Houses this weekend? Or, if you’re on vacation and can’t stay away from us, what direction did you head for your getaway?

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:22 am

April 28, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0: The Real Bay Area is Real, too

We told you there was a Bay Area real estate bubble. This mercurynews.com (motto: we were once a newspaper, really!) article caught our attention. Not only does it lend support to everything we said about peak housing prices in northwest Silicon Valley and other prime real estate markets, there’s another interesting reveal as well.

Bay Area housing recovery spreads from Silicon Valley to East Bay

130427-svpeak-mapBy Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   04/26/2013 06:54:33 AM PDT, Updated:   04/26/2013 06:54:55 AM PDT

The Bay Area’s overheated housing market is restoring thousands of homes to their pre-crash peak values in a ZIP-code-by-ZIP-code recovery that is rapidly spreading from Silicon Valley to the East Bay.

Thirty-four of 185 ZIP codes in five counties have regained or surpassed their bubble-era peak home value or are less than 1 percent from it, according to this newspaper’s analysis of February median values for all homes from online real estate site Zillow.

Another 49 ZIPs are within 15 percent of their previous highs, including 18 in the East Bay. A year ago, only part of leafy Palo Alto had regained the value it lost after Bay Area home values crested in 2006-07.

"Seven or eight years ago, there was really a bubble," said Richard Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California. "Now it’s just good real estate where values are returning to near past peaks."

Yes, This Time It’s Different 4.0.  This is “good real estate” as opposed to Bay Area Bubble 3.0 which was also considered “good real estate,” as we can see by looking at some of the stories they ran in 2006.  Here’s one:

MercuryNews.com | 10/03/2006 | ‘Burdened’: Area owners pay a big chunk of their income for housing
Lenders and other home buying experts said they’re not surprised by the numbers, which they said reflect a long-running trend in the Bay Area. And some questioned whether the 30 percent figure was outdated, saying many people can afford to pay more.

[snip]

Lenders and real estate experts said home buyers in the Bay Area are used to paying more for housing than home buyers elsewhere, and that many, like Singer, use their homes as a savings plan. Most have figured out how to manage the extra debt, they said. In some cases, borrowers are making smaller down payments than previous generations of home buyers.

“(They) are going to make the lifestyle change necessary to own a home, which may mean that 50 percent of their income goes to their mortgage. . . . (They) don’t go out to dinner, they don’t go shopping anymore. It’s about changing their lifestyle,” said Andrea Lanier, a mortgage broker with the San Mateo office of Bankers Preferred Real Estate Loans.

But what we’d also like you to pay attention to is the map pictured above.  Green represents home values above the 2005-08 bubble previous peak, and red means the current value is below the pre-crash peak.  And by “values” they mean those Zestimate numbers that Zillow not only made up, they keep changing the historical data retroactively. Hope that’s science-y enough for you because we’re sure convinced! 

The first thing we noticed was that there’s green where we expect to find it: along the 280 spine.  Where’s the red? Why the East Bay, of course.  Now, let’s look at this map next to a few others we’ve featured in the past.  As always, you can click on any map to see a larger version.

First, here’s the map above next to a recent Zillow map of negative equity.  Difficult to have high home values when the homes are worth less than the “owners” owe on them.

130427-svpeak-map

Next, the infamous “Whole Foods vs Walmart” location maps.

And finally, the some of the “Real Bay Area” maps we’ve provided in the past.  2010 is on the left, 2008 on the right.

And here’s the granddaddy.

Hate to say we told you so, but we told you so — about ten kajillion times.  Eventually Bay Area Bubble 4.0 will raise East Bay home prices above the last peak, by which point The Real Bay Area (which most certainly does not include the East Bay) will be so expensive that even dual-income Google couples will be Priced. Out. For-EVEH!

Until Bay Area Bubble 4.0 goes all Bubblepopcalypse on us and we start preparing for Bay Area Bubble 5.0. As you load up on gold bars and dried beans, let us know what Open Houses you were checking out, because this is also your Weekend Open Thread!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

March 21, 2013

This is why The Real Bay Area is Awesome

We get some interesting comments from people who don’t agree with our definition of what the Real Bay Area (RBA) is. Many seem to think that if an area is wealthier than its surrounding community, that, in and of itself, is sufficient for RBAhood.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The whole point of the RBA is that it is not only expensive, it is that you will pay a crapton of money to live there and the sellers can ask over three million yet treat you with complete and utter disdain. You will also end up with a house that isn’t even worth photographing. Today’s property illustrates this perfectly.

130320-waverly-redfin1801 WAVERLEY St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$3,295,000

5 Beds
3.5 Baths
2,982 Sq. Ft.
$1,105 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1932
Lot Size: 9,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 7 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Old Palo Alto
MLS#: 81307920
Style: Colonial
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Mar 23: 1:30-4:30 pm
Sunday, Mar 24: 1:30-4:30 pm

Prime Old Palo Alto!Old world charm meets modern amenities! Lovely 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath home. 2 master suites; one on each floor. Large family room adjacent to spacious kitchen. This home features a huge 9000 +/- sf lot. It is perfect for large gatherings & extended family visits. Updated kitchen and baths with tile counters and newer appliances.

130320-waverly-streetviewYes, this is a vintage home (just slipping in under our definition to earn the “old house” tag) in a desirable part of Palo Alto, but it isn’t being marketed as a teardown. It’s just that the agent obviously has better things to do than pull out the iPhone and snap a dozen listing photos.

Good thing there’s Google Streetview!  Isn’t this place just fabulous?

130320-waverly-streetview2Guess you’ll never know unless you show up at the Open Houses this weekend.  Also, many sections of Streetview around this house have been blurred out. Perhaps this home is owned by a highly-placed Googler.  This view around the corner from Tennyson was the best we could do.

But you’ve seen plenty of properties on Burbed showcasing Palo Alto. (Heck, we’ve visited Waverley Street so often they ought to rename it Burbed Boulevard.)  We were trying to make a point about the difference between RBA and not-so-RBA.  Let’s see what you could get for pretty much the same amount of money over the Bay and through the Caldecott.

130320-oaks-redfin6 GREAT OAKS Cir
Orinda, CA 94563
$3,350,000

3 Beds
3.5 Baths
4,350 Sq. Ft.
$770 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1949
Lot Size: 2.32 Acres
On Redfin: 541 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: Glorietta
MLS#: 40544806
Style: Contemporary
View: Other
County: Contra Costa

Original Frank Lloyd Wright designed home built in 1949. The stunning grounds were landscaped by Henry Matsutani who did the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Incredible opportunity to own a bit of history/ a work of art. All showings subject to screening process. Call agents for details.

130320-oaks-diningThat’s right.  If you’re willing to spend the same amount in Orinda, you can own a house actually designed by Frank Lloyd fucking Wright. Not only that, the landscaping is by the same master gardener behind the Japanese I-shit-you-not Tea Garden.  In Golden goddamned Gate Park. Which we think even Silicon Valley software dweebs have heard of. Plus the Orinda house is on more than two acres.

It’s also been for sale for a year and a half and has had two major price reductions.

130320-oaks-statuesBut in Old Palo Alto, you get a house on nine thousand feet, and you will like it.  And if you don’t plenty of others will, because this house has only been on the market for a week, and after the Open House you know the sellers will be receiving all seventy-nine offers the following Tuesday, and decide which of the no-contingencies-extra-cash-please-with-homemade-brownies-and-a-Tesla-Model-S begging letters they will accept.

And THAT, my friends, is the Real difference between the Real Bay Area and the Rest.

Thanks to the fun folks at Redfin Forums for inspiring today’s article.

Comments (23) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

March 14, 2013

Whole Foods versus WalMart

This image has been bouncing around teh Intertubez this week.  Perhaps you’ve seen it:

Bay Area Explained WF vs WM

130313-wfwm-wfThis tweet from Jarrett Barrios credits someone else, but we can’t find an earlier use of the map.  (Could be this,) It’s a lovely image that clearly sets up Real Bay Area versus Not the Real Bay Area, with the oddball exception of the WalMart in Mountain View.  Other than that, It’s 280 versus 880.

130313-wfwm-wmBest comment on this map: Mountain View’s town motto is "Even our poor people are rich."  Don’t know if that’s true, but the Whole Foods and the WalMart are less than a block apart.

Note: Google Maps only creates ten pins per image.  Those little red dots are additional location, location, locations.  So yes there are Whole Foods stores, 3 of them, in Marin.

We’d like to know if you can you come up with other easy-to-map measures for RBA versus Not the RBA.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

March 2, 2013

Ever wonder why the East Bay isn’t in the RBA?

This is why.

130301-negeq-norcal

This is Zillow’s map of negative equity by county in Central California.  The more red, the more they bled.  You can look at the map by state, by county, and by zip code.  At the county level, we can see that the only Bay Area regions that aren’t about to terminate from failure to clot are Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin Counties.  Santa Cruz County is looking a little pink around the neck (it’s 22% underwater) but it’s downright alabaster compared to the abattoir north and east of San Jose.  Here are the county by county numbers for 2012.

Bay Area County Percent of homes w/mortgage underwater Median Zillow Home Value Index Decline from peak value
Alameda 25% $447,100 -30%
Contra Costa 33% (highest 20% in US) $334,200 -46%
Marin 16% $716,500 -20%
Napa 30% $365,100 -42%
San Francisco 10% $771,100 -3%
San Mateo 15% $689.900 -15%
Santa Clara 15% $642,600 -13%
Santa Cruz* 23% $503,400 -31%
Solano 54% (highest 1% in US) $202,400 -58%
Sonoma 29% $357,800 -40%

And here’s a live version for you to play with, although you can also head over to Zillow and see it in action wherever you want to examine.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

January 6, 2013

A New Mapping Tool that is Completely Useless in the RBA

We love real estate tools.  Maps are awesome.  Here’s a new one with the cute name Rich Blocks Poor Blocks that Burbed readers wahnny and Divasm both sent in this week when someone posted about it in Redfin Forums.  (No link, Redfin, until you resume trackbacks to our featured homes.  Neener neener.)

It’s a fairly good idea: take ACS income data for each official Census tract and show graphically how much they vary.  As they say on their main page, “See how much money people make in every neighborhood in every city in America.”  In theory you could use it to see how Special each part of the city is.  Here’s what it looks like when it’s working as the authors intended.

130105-blocks-chicago

Each state uses its own scale, applying the color key to its own income range.  In the case of Illinois, above, the deep red, lowest income is under $23,120 and the deep green, highest income is over $106,503.  There appear to be 20 different segments in the color key, although we think there’s far too much green and not enough in the red, orange, and yellow. 

130105-blocks-nj

Since these are Google Map tools, you can zoom in and out to your heart’s delight, but you can only map one state at a time.As you can see in in the case of New Jersey, above, this tool isn’t that useful with metros that span multiple states.  Fortunately, that’s not an issue even in the furthest exurbs of the Bay Area.

No, the Bay area has different issues.  See what happens when we map the core RBA.

130105-blocks-mountainview

Too. Much. Dark. Green.

The California income scale ranges from $28,183.65 to $122,762.90.  We hope you’re beginning to see the problem: the top 5% income for all of California seems to apply to an awful lot of Census tracts in the RBA.  Or even places that are NOT in the RBA. Like this part of Santa Clara with the Oracle campus:

130105-blocks-nsj

Contrast with an RBA tract we know is loaded: Los Altos Hills.

130105-blocks-lah

It’s the exact same shade of green, because the danged scale tops off far too early for the RBA.  According to this map, there is no difference between northeast Santa Clara and Los Altos Hills even though the latter’s median household income is 72% higher.

If a tract in the Triangle of Lost Equity can have median household income above 95% of California, Rich Blocks Poor Blocks in the Real Bay Area might as well be called Five Red Tracts of Suck Amidst A Sea of Deep Green Money.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

June 9, 2012

When your home won’t sell: An electrifying solution

As regular readers of this site already know, homes in the Real Bay Area don’t need to convince buyers of their value.  No matter how inept the Realtard representing it, even a turkey of a home within RBA limits will go pending quickly.

This isn’t the case for homes far, far away from the RBA. Thanks to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for this example of how to sell a house that has the misfortune of not being anywhere near Google or Facebook.

1501 GUTHRIE Dr
INVERNESS, IL 60010
$1,149,000 (Reduced from $1,490,000)

120604-guthrie-redfin

BEDS: 4
120608-guthrie-theaterBATHS: 5
SQ. FT.: 6,757
$/SQ. FT.: $170
HOA DUES: $17/month
LOT SIZE: 1.03 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family, 2 Stories
STYLE: Traditional
EXPOSURE: East, West
YEAR BUILT: 2001
COMMUNITY: Inverness
COUNTY: Cook
MLS#: 08047047
SOURCE: MRED
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 46 days

Wide open floor plan with granite, stainless, and maple kitchen w/ viking range and commercial hood. Hardwood floors throughout much of the home. !st flr. Theater, office, and sun room! Dining room is perfect for large dinner parties. All bedrooms with private baths and walk-in’s. luxurious master suite with sitting room, and high end master bath with vaulted ceilings, cherry cabinets, and marble. Huge deck.

120608-guthrie-kitchenWhat can you do if you own a ginormous housing tumor in flyover country and no longer wish to have it sap your precious bodily fluids?  You list it for sale and more than 30 days go by, which means, according to Jim the Realtor, that the price is more than 10% too high.  In this case, probably way more than 10%, as you’ve already cut it 23% without any takers.  It could mean that nobody wants your expensive mistake.

Clearly, more drastic marketing measures are needed.  Have a look at them by clicking on through.

(more…)

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

March 25, 2012

UPDATED: Trulia weighs in on Buy vs Rent by putting finger on the scale

120324-trulia-usamapTrulia has a new blog entry on the eternal Buy vs Rent question, and they have lots of meaningless aggregate data to wave around!  Here’s their Winter 2012 Rent vs Buy Index, and and it isn’t restricted to the Real Bay Area. 

Don’t be surprised that Trulia thinks signs point to Buy.  Their being in the listing information and real estate agent referral business shouldn’t have anything to do with their conclusion, right?  After all, Now is Always the Time to Buy!

120324-trulia-prr-graphRemember, the Index is the Price Rent Ratio: sales price divided by annual rent.  So, if a house in the RBA sold for $1.5 million, and rented for $4,500 a month, the rent ratio would be 1500000 / (4500 x 12).  That equation simplifies to 27.8, which sounds about right for the RBA.  Trulia considers 15-20 to be the swing zone between whether buying or renting is a better option; below 15 is buy and above 20 is rent.  We’ve written about the price rent ratio before, and 15 was always the inflection point mentioned in these articles, not 15-20.

Update 10:26 AM: The swing zone was 15-20 from other sources, but the other sites and articles counseled renting over buying unless the home you were considering was an unusually good find.  Trulia considers the rent vs. buy decision as completely balanced when the ratio is between 15-20.  That’s the thumb on the scale.

120324-trulia-logoTrulia is pushing their own agenda with this redefinition of terms by asserting a higher ratio for the buy zone.  The lack of yellow on the map above could indicate homes are more affordable, or it could show that the unlabeled color key breakpoints were chosen incorrectly.  Perhaps they simply wanted the map to match their brand color.

Now for some bad news. The Bay Area appears at #2 and #4 on Trulia’s list of least buy-friendly metro areas. It’s always a disappointment to not first on a list.

120324-trulia-most-expensive

At least SF beat NYC this time, but they’re going to gripe that was because New Jersey pulled them into the Hudson like a pair of cement overshoes.  We can counter that SF has the East Bay to contend with, and San Jose has, well, East San Jose. 

Here’s a little bit more breakdown, by county, but this still doesn’t get to the city level, let alone by zip code. 

120324-trulia-bayarea

Look, Pacific Heights is going to have a higher rent ratio than the Outer Sunset.  Palo Alto is going to completely clean Gilroy’s clock.  Foster City will stomp Daly City, Montclair mauls Hayward, and Danville going to defeat Discovery Bay in the “mine’s bigger” sweeps.  Even when outside the RBA, we still have an idea which places would be contenders, and which are permanently assigned to LOLsville.  And it’s the Definitely Not In The RBA places that are going to have the lower ratios.

Here are some other metros that score lower on the Index.

120324-trulia-least-expensive

The same rule applies within the Bay Area as well.  The not-so-Special places that are “slow-growing with high vacancy rates and land to spare” will have the best ratios.  These places also have the most foreclosures, which might explain why so many FBs are turning into renters themselves.  Too many foreclosures thus drive home prices down and rents up, resulting in a lower price rent ratio.  But in the RBA, prices are sticky because more owners can afford to wait out the price lulls.

These ratios are much lower than what we’d been seeing before.  Do you agree that prices are down and/or rents are up where you live?  Here’s what Trulia has to say about how the Index has changed recently: San Jose has been stable but San Francisco is dropping. 

Updated 11:14 AM: Added Oakland, Sacramento and Fresno to the table.  Note how the numbers don’t agree with those in the Bay Area table.  Stockton not called out separately.

Metro Winter 2011 Spring 2011 Summer 2011 Fall 2011 Winter 2012
San Jose 14.8 13.6 14.5 14.3 14.5
San Francisco 19.5 16.9 17.2 17.4 15.5
Oakland 12.8 11.0 11,9 11.7 11.6
Sacramento 11.2 10.4 10.0 11.1 9.9
Fresno 7.5 7.5 7.8 8.1 7.9

San Jose Metro also has the second lowest vacancy rate (3.9%) of the 100 regions surveyed. The “winner” is Long Island, NY, by one tenth of a percentage point. It’s also the third highest in growth in the employment rate, at 3%.  In the first two spots are Louisville, KY and Salt Lake City.  The latter is gearing up for a ginormous government data mining operation, so there may be some tech jobs!

Their  full press release on how they came up with these numbers is here.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am