http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/01/30/quarter-by-quarter-review-for-alamo


Danville Express

Real Estate - January 30, 2009

Quarter by quarter review for Alamo

Now that 2008 is behind us it makes sense to take a look at what happened in the Alamo Real Estate Market during perhaps one of our most challenging economic times to date. In this analysis we will focus on three measures: unit sales, median price and dollars paid per square foot.

Not surprising, unit sales continued to fall in Alamo with a total of 127 properties changing hands in 2008 compared to 170 in 2007 for a 25 percent decline in unit sales. As truly awful as this may seem with a "Trifecta" of negative growth quarters, the 4th quarter of 2008 showed a slight sign of improvement and maybe, a glimmer of hope, up +05 percent.

Alamo Real Estate Median sales price tracked somewhat differently on a quarter by quarter basis, with the 1st quarter of 2008 starting out in positive territory at a +6.4 percent increase over Q1 2007. In lock step with the panic created by the ever helpful media's overplay of the sub prime meltdown news, 2nd and 3rd quarter prices dipped significantly, dropping -18 percent and -19 percent, respectively, reflecting perfectly the loss of confidence they inspired along with the increased difficulty in securing high end mortgage financing. Surprisingly, the 4th quarter of 2008 showed a slight positive advance over the 4th quarter of 2007 posting a +06 percent gain. Arguably this positive sign may well be tempered when juxtaposed against the three straight quarters of median price decline experienced during 2008. Time will tell.

On a happier note, dollars paid per square foot for Alamo Real Estate dropped far less significantly than either of the other two measures. Q2 showed the greatest per square foot decline at -14 percent.

While no quarter showed positive improvement during 2008 when compared to 2007, the 4th quarter square foot price declined only slightly by -1 percent. Perhaps most noteworthy is that during 2007 average price paid per square foot in two quarters exceeded $500 and in not a single quarter during 2008 did average price paid per square foot meet or exceed this level.

In a small space such as this, it is a challenge to accurately depict the total market picture. For this reason, Nancy and I have prepared a far more detailed display of this information for Alamo, Danville, Blackhawk and most other Bay Area communities, reaching as far back as 2004. For a copy of our Bay Area Quarter by Quarter Review, send an e-mail to joecombs@thecombsteam.com and place Quarter by Quarter 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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