Real Estate Winter Begins To Thaw | Print |  E-mail
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Wednesday, 11 April 2012 14:13

Real Estate Reality

By Carl Medford, CRS
Special to the Forum

It’s been quite a ride!

According to Jill Schlesinger, CBS Moneywatch, “since the bubble burst in 2006:

• The S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index tanked 33.8 percent from the peak, recorded in Q2 of 2006.

• The housing depression has wiped out more than $7 trillion in homeowners’ equity.

• We’ve seen 5 million foreclosures or short sales.

• According to CoreLogic, this has given rise to 11.1 million households owing more on their mortgages than their properties are worth (negative equity).”

It’s had its effect locally as well. Central County home prices have been chopped in half — Q1 home sales prices from 2006 averaged $626,000; we just closed Q1 2012 with an average of $308,000.

On a personal note, I’ve seen many friends lose their homes. Jobs have disappeared, entire industry sectors have been outsourced and many have had personal savings and retirement accounts obliterated.

Unable to cope with the financial strain, countless marriages have blown up, leaving a trail of devastated families in their wake.

Our government has been powerless to assist in any meaningful way: one of the hallmarks of the ruin has been the spectacular collapse of the vaunted Obama foreclosure prevention plans.

It’s not a ride any of us ever want to visit again. And, it appears, it may be over. Indicators from all over seem to suggest the sun is finally peeking from behind the clouds of financial catastrophe.

We’re in an election year, stock markets are headed up, IPOs are popping up like spring’s first blooms, foreclosure rates are spiraling downward… and Central Alameda County home prices are spiking upward as inventory plummets and buyers swarm like killer bees from one house to the next. In fact, the supply of available homes is so low, it’s reminiscent of Soviet supermarket shelves during the height of the cold war.

While it’s not completely over and, in reality, most of us will feel its affects for the remainder of our lives; the longer, cold season of financial desolation seems to be drawing to a close.

It’s akin to Aslan’s return to Narnia where his presence begins the thaw from the long, cold winter and Jadis, the dreaded White Witch, finally meets her well-deserved demise. And, like the Narnian talking beavers, we’re more than just a little bit excited that it feels like spring is finally on its way.

Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Prudential California Realty in Castro Valley and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association at



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