Danville Express

Real Estate - November 23, 2007

Examining the condo market

With the recent and much reported nationwide downturn in Real Estate, and the mortgage market singing "The Sub Prime Blues," one would expect that lower price point homes such as town homes and condos would be highly impacted. This month we will examine the market for town homes and condos in Alamo and Danville (The Condo Market) and see what is happening.

Taking a look at the condo market as it stands today (Nov. 12) we find 61 properties are listed as active or pending. Twelve properties are currently pending sale with an average list price of $582,216. The average list price for the remaining unsold properties is $585,709. The highest priced home currently on the market is listed at $785,000 and the lowest price in these data is $339,000

Among the 12 properties currently pending sale, the highest price is $769,000 and the lowest is $399,000. The current pending list price is $383 per square foot. We cannot know the actual sale price, but from experience we can surmise that it is somewhat less.

Looking at a year to date ('06-'07) comparison (Jan. 1-Nov. 12) we can see that 123 condos sold in 2006 and 110 condos sold in the same time period during 2007. This was a -11 percent decrease in unit sales year on year. Average sold price in 2006 was $627,685 compared to $592,818 in 2007. This represents an average price decline of -6 percent. Price paid per square foot also declined from $433 per square foot in '06 to $402 in '07 for a marked decline of -7.2 percent.

During the first quarter of 2006, a total of 33 condos sold. This compares to 28 condo sales in the same time period in 2007. This represents a unit sales drop of -15.2 percent. Average sold price in Q1 2006 was $607,298 whereas the selling price in 2007 was lower at $585,401 for about a -3.7 percent drop in price. Price per square foot during the first quarter in 2006 was $427 compared to $408 in 2007 reflecting a -4.5 percent decrease in price per square foot in the first quarter of the year. Not surprisingly, days on market more than doubled from 19 to 49.

The second quarter in 2006 saw 50 condo sales while the second quarter in 2007 decreased significantly to 37 sales for a -26 percent decrease in units sold. During the second quarter of 2006, average sales price was $650,377. Average sales price in Q2 2007 dipped to $617,325 or, stated more simply, the quarter on quarter comparison shows a -5.1 percent decrease in average selling price for condos and town homes. In step with the overall down trend, per square foot price dropped -7.6 percent from $436 in Q2 '06 to $403 in Q2 '07.

Third quarter sales for 2006 were 29 properties sold compared to 41 sales in 2007. That's a surprising and significant upswing in unit sales of 41 percent for this time period. Average selling price Q3 '06 was $611,380 while average selling price YTD 2007 dipped to $578,347, a decrease of about -5.4 percent. Median price also declined -6.5 percent from $620,000 compared to $580,000. On a price per square foot basis prices also declined in the Q3 comparison from $440 per square foot in '06 to $397 per square foot in '07. This represents a -9.8 percent price decline quarter on quarter.

The picture is pretty clear that the condo market in Alamo and Danville has eroded significantly through the first three quarters of 2007. One bright spot is that unit sales in the third quarter are on the upswing in the face of what appears to be accelerating declines in price, begging the question, "Is this the bottom?"

If you would like to receive our periodic Condo Market report, please send an e-mail to joecombs@thecombsteam.com and include "Condo Market" in the subject line. Or call The Combs Team, Joe and Nancy Combs, at 989-6086. Please visit our Web site www.thecombsteam.com to view properties for sale.

Data presented in this column is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Contra Costa and Alameda Multiple Listing Service and other quoted sources. Joe and Nancy Combs, Remax and the MLS Service do not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

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