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Danville Express

Real Estate - February 1, 2008

Danville 2007 Year in Review

Danville Real Estate sales, for the most part, continued to experience a slowing trend in 2007, and modest declines were observed in the market when compared to 2006. However, a ray of hope appears to be emerging as the rate of decline has slowed in all segments and land sales are showing some resistance to decline, perhaps signaling that the worst of the storm has passed.

Compared to other parts of the East Bay, single family detached homes in Danville faired pretty well last year. Unit sales were down about 4.1 percent from the 467 reported sales in 2006 to 448 in 2007, the lowest recorded sales number in the past five years. Average unit sales for the past five years is 614 homes, so Danville home sales are down 27 percent from their five-year average and 44 percent below 2003, during which 801 Danville homes sold.

The price story is more pleasant. Average price paid for a single family home in Danville during 2006 was $1,177,829 while the average price paid in 2007 was $1,139,042 for a more modest (3.3 percent) price decline. For the statistics fans among you, median price decreased about 2.8 percent from $1,060,000 to $1,030,000 during the same time period. In 2006 the highest price paid for a home was $3,700,000, while in 2007 the highest reported sales price was $3,550,000. The lowest price paid for a single family home in 2006 was $610,000, slightly more (2 percent) than the $597,000 low price for 2007. Average price paid per square foot declined from $440 to $430 from '06 to '07, a slight (2.3 percent) decline, and a significantly smaller drop from last year's decline of 4 percent. One hopes that this reduction in the rate of decline suggests that the bottom is near.

Danville has a respectable market for condos and town homes, so there is a goodly quantity of data to review. A total of 122 units sold in 2007, down from 137 in 2006. That's an 11 percent drop in sales from the previous year, which is significantly smaller than last year's drop of 33 percent, and provides further encouragement that the bottom may be near. Average sold price in 2007 was $589,951 compared to a $619,564 average in 2006, for a 4.8 percent decline in price. That sales price declined far less sharply than unit sales is also a positive sign that this battered market sector may be close to a bottom.

Beneath it all there is the land, so let's take a look at undeveloped land sales in Danville. A total of nine parcels sold in 2006 at an average price of $1,571,111. In 2007 only seven parcels sold at an average sales price of $1,027,142. Size definitely matters with land and since the parcel sizes varied from as little as a quarter acre to multiple acres the comparison of price alone is not useful. On a square-foot basis, land sold for $27 per square foot in 2007 compared to $24 per square foot in 2006. That represents a 12.5 percent increase in square-foot price for raw land and may provide the most encouraging news that a change in market direction is at hand. While it's probably way too early to call a turnaround for Danville Real Estate in 2008, it is clear that the market is not in free fall as many have feared for so long and that market conditions may well be improving.

For a copy of The Combs' annual Danville Market Review including the complete details, e-mail joecombs@thecombsteam.com and place Danville Market Review in the subject line. Or call 989-6086.

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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