Feb 112011
The Watsonville Plaza in the downtown area.

The Watsonville real estate market, a portion of the larger Santa Cruz County housing market, saw a decline in the quantity of properties sold as well as a decrease in the median sales price of condominiums and negligible movement in the median sales price of single-family homes. According to a December 2010 report from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, there were only 119 single-family detached homes sold during November 2010, representing a decrease of approximately fifteen percent compared to November 2009. The median price of a single-family home in Santa Cruz County was $536,000, little changed compared to year-ago levels.  For condominiums, the median price was $287,700, a decrease of more than $20,000 compared to $310,000 a year ago. In addition to a decline in median sales price, the quantity of condos sold fell to a mere 20, or a decrease of nearly fifty percent. The average prices of single-family homes and condominiums, as opposed to the median sales price, decreased and increased year-over-year, respectively. The average price of single-family homes was $572,298, compared to $619,160 a year ago, while that same figure was $364,087 for condominiums as opposed to $360,022 during November 2009.

The commercial sector of Santa Cruz real estate has suffered along with Santa Cruz and Watsonville homes for sale. According to a January 6, 2011 report from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, many small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Santa Cruz area were unable to secure lines of credit or start-up loans during the economic recession. This is largely the result of large lenders such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo proving hesitant to release credit during economically uncertain times. One major lender cut back on loans by well over eighty percent, while another slashed the number of loans by seventy-nine percent. Taken as a unit, the three largest lenders in California slashed the total number of small business loans statewide by sixty-four percent between 2007 and 2009. In addition to sparsely available credit, small businesses throughout Santa Cruz have been facing lower property values and declining sales for several months.

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Mar 162010
Palm Desert
Image by megatick via Flickr

Palm Desert is an inland city in the Palm Springs area of California. Over the past couple of years, the city saw its market – like many others nationwide – plummet, and has since seen its real estate market rise and fall, plagued by lower prices, rising foreclosures and struggling to make it back to where it was before the financial crisis set in in America.

According to the Desert Real Estate Report, in January and February of this year, average and median prices were on the rise, a trend that began in December. Average prices of Palm Desert homes for sale were up around $$500,000, while the median price actually remained mostly steady from January, and was down slightly from December.

Sales volume in February was at 49, up slightly from January, continuing a gradually rising trend in the Palm Desert real estate market that began around summer of 2009. The condo market in Palm Desert showed a similar rise in sales volume. In February, there were 43 sales, up from the month prior and continuing a slowly rising trend that began to set in around June or July 209.

Despite the rise in volume, however, the median price for condos has followed a downward trend. Since January 2009, when it was over $350,000, the median price has fallen to less than $250,000. The average price, too, has shown a generally downward sloping trend. Much of the rise in activity can be attributed to the simultaneous fall in prices, prompting many who were on the fence of getting into the condo market to jump in and buy while prices are still low.

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Jan 232010
The Inn at Loretto, a Pueblo Revival style bui...
Image via Wikipedia

Despite the many struggles the real estate market in Santa Fe has faced over the past year as a result of economic recession that began in 2008, many real estate experts have reported seeing promising signs of a recovering real estate market in Santa Fe over the past few months. Santa Fe has suffered from high vacancy rates in apartments, declining median sales prices, and sluggish real estate activity. However, in the last several months of 2009, realtors have posted numbers showing that that real estate in Santa Fe is stabilizing, a signal that many real estate experts believe indicates the beginning of the recovery of the Santa Fe real estate market.

The Santa Fe New Mexican has reported that of all the problems that the real estate in Santa Fe has faced over the past year or so, the market for apartments has struggled the most. While most experts expect the majority of the Santa Fe real estate market to improve significantly by mid-to-late 2010, the market for apartments isn’t expected to fully recuperate until sometime in 2011. Realtors have noted that despite a recent spike in single-family home sales, apartments have not attracted many buyers. Many landlords have been forced to significantly lower rents over the past year. The large inventory of apartments has been a sign of the enormous vacancy rates for rental properties in Santa Fe. Many landlords have resorted to offering significant discounts and special deals to entice buyers.

The Santa Fe New Mexican has also noted that despite the continuing struggles of the rental market, the majority of the Santa Fe real estate market has shows signs of a stabilizing market that is ready to rebound in the next few months. Although the median sales price for single-family homes in Santa Fe declined slightly during the fourth quarter, the median sales price is still 16 percent higher than that of 2008. Realtors are also optimistic that the federal tax credit will play a major role in influencing the improvement of the Santa Fe real estate, especially as the expiration date for the tax credit is due to expire in April.

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