Alameda Home Prices Rising Despite Reports

Local experts refute WSJ article

Home sellers and Realtors are starting to feel the benefits of the recent recovery of the housing market in the Bay Area.

Default payments on high-interest home loans led to a rise in home foreclosures toward the latter part of the last decade. As a result, banks bought back foreclosed homes and held on to them and with the recession, homes were sold for less than the asking price.

Today, the Bay Area, much like the rest of the country, has begun to show signs of an upswing in the housing market, making it easier for home sellers to get better value for their old homes.

According to a Wall Street Journal article ("The Bay Area Housing Recovery is Spreading," Aug. 15), the median price of a single-family home rose in 61 percent of Bay Area communities in the second quarter of this year compared to the same quarter a year earlier, according to research firm DataQuick.

A DataQuick regional map shows cities that saw the highest increase in the second quarter — April to June — were Oakland at 28.8 percent, Richmond at 22.9 percent and Palo Alto at 14 percent. (These figures are based off resold home sales and not newly built home sales.)

DataQuick analyst Andrew Le- Page cites the slowing stream of foreclosures and the dearth in supply as reasons home prices have increased. However, on the same map, DataQuick shows median house prices in Alameda declining by 9.2 percent.

Realtors in Alameda do not agree. "I don't know where they got their figures from, but it's not true," said Karen Miller, real estate agent for Harbor Bay Realty. Miller said median housing prices in Alameda have jumped this year compared to last. "It's definitely a seller's market," said Miller, who has been a Realtor since 2003. "Alameda has seen a month-by-month increase of 1.4 percent and the second quarter saw a 3.7 percent increase."

Miller, who has lived in Alameda for more than 25 years, also said Alameda has seen a two percent increase in home price figures in the past year. Miller said she got her data from zillow.com, an online real estate marketplace that provides information on every aspect of real estate. Mark Wyman, owner and real estate broker of Bayside Real Estate in Alameda, agrees with Miller.

"The housing market in Alameda is starting to go back to the way it was in 2004, 2005," said Wyman, who has been a broker since 1989. "People are paying way over the asking price. We have 24 offers on a house right now."

Wyman agrees that the housing supply in Alameda has caused house pricing to go up, but also said with better interest rates it is a good time to buy a home.

"It's not just a seller's market, it's also a buyer's market," said Wyman. Contact Ekene Ikeme at eikeme@ alamedasun.com.

‘I don’t know where they got their figures from, but it’s not true.’

— Karen Miller

 

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