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June 18, 2009

Walnut Creek: Where the Bay Area's biggest home discounts are?

As analysts noted an uptick in median home prices in the Bay Area for the second straight month, SFGate.com’s On the Block blog looked at how Walnut Creek has become the place for home buyers to find the biggest discounts off list prices.

That’s according to new data released by Redfin, which looked at the month of May. The overall discount from the final list price in Walnut Creek was 7.4 percent. “Walnut Creek placed first for April, too, but the discount percentage has nearly doubled," On the Block says. 

But, not surprising, you're not going to start finding cheap housing in Walnut Creek. 

The median home price for a home in the nine-county region is up to $341,500 (up 12.3 percent from $304,000 in April, but down 33.9 percent from $517,000 in May 2008), according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

The median prices for homes in Walnut Creek’s four zip codes range from $427,000 in 94597 to $622,500 in 94598.  In the 94595, the median price is $447,500; in the 94596, it’s $550,000. 

However, the median home price for all of Contra Costa County is the second lowest in the Bay Area nine counties, at $234,000. That’s just ahead of Solano County at $189,000.  Contra Costa’s May median home price is 39 percent lower than May 2008. 

7 comments:

Jason Wheeler said...

I read an article about this just yesterday and was surprised to see Walnut Creek with the best discounts. Great news!

Anonymous said...

As someone who bought a condo in Walnut Creek in 2006 after losing my SF apartment, I am very disheartened by this information. At the time, I felt as though I got a good deal (the place had re-listed at about $80,000 below its original asking price -- the higher price being what a similar unit had sold for that year or the year before), but since then, another comparable unit in my complex has sold for $50,000 less than mine. And so it goes.

I'm just hoping I'll either be there long enough or make enough cosmetic changes to it that I won't lose money on it when I go to sell it however many years down the road. I don't expect to make a profit on it, I just don't want to lose a lot of money on it. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

"or make enough cosmetic changes to it that I won't lose money on it when I go to sell it"

Good luck with that! Seriously though, if you wait long enough you'll be able to sell for more than you paid thanks to inflation, so you can tell everyone you 'broke even' on it. Congrats.

DeLaSalle said...

Can we really use or do we want to use the housing #'s from 2006-2008?

We already know that Countrywide was having appraisers fudge numbers to get loans where they needed to be. How many people were allowed to buy homes with nothing down?

Those practices artificially inflated those numbers, and look what we got out of it.

Anonymous said...

Great point, DeLaSalle!

Anonymous said...

Let's put this in to perspective. Take a look at the names of the cities on the chart; Los Altos, Mill Valley, Lafayette, San Anselmo, Orinda. These represent some of the highest-value cities in the Bay Area. The foreclosure mess has not quite hit these cities at the same rate as other (lower-value) cities, although some are showing up of late. The so-called ‘discount’ is a result of higher-value homeowners selling their homes in a declining, bottomed-out market.

Another point from the article that should accompany a huge grain of salt is their statistics for ‘all of Contra Costa County’. Keep in mind that ‘all of Contra Costa County’ includes our neighbors to the east (Antioch, Brentwood, Disco Bay, etc) who have seen property values plummet upwards of 60%+ and our neighbors to the west including Richmond which was also hit hard in the foreclosure mess.

Perspective…. All things considered, Walnut Creek and central Contra Costa County in general has weathered this storm much better than many other areas.

Seattle-based Redfin has no local presence and is reporting irresponsibly by posting these types of numbers without perspective. Declining property values become a self-fulfilling prophecy if the press continues to report it this way.

ALL REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL. Talk to your Realtor to get the facts.

Anonymous said...

"Talk to your Realtor to get the facts."

Gee, let me guess, you're a realtor? This has got to be the stupidest statement I have read in a while. Should they have talked to you two years ago when you told me people to buy now or be priced out forever? Realtors and mortgage brokers have zero credibility, sorry, the truth hurts.