The Aptos real estate market

September 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 
Seal of Santa Cruz County, California
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The Aptos real estate market, a section of the larger Santa Cruz County housing market, has remained relatively static throughout the last several tracking periods. It appears that the federal housing tax credit might have temporarily stabilized the market, which now appears to be trending into negative territory thanks partially to a high unemployment rate. According to a September 17, 2010 report from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Santa Cruz County unemployment dipped in August to 11 percent, down from 11.3 percent last month, but up from a year ago, when it was 10.2 percent. The reason: Not job growth, but a smaller labor force. The jobless rate remained steady nationwide at 9.5 percent and inched up to 12.4 percent in California. “Californians are continuing to suffer from slow job growth, and things will only improve when there is strong hiring in the private sector,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. Most private-sector industries in Santa Cruz County have a long way to go to recover jobs lost since last August. Real estate, rental and leasing are down from 1,400 jobs a year ago to 1,200. Membership at the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors is 1,227, down from 1,283 a year ago, according to executive director Kathy Hartman.”

One large block of properties – an apartment complex in Santa Cruz County as opposed to an Auburn home for sale – was finally purchased in the beginning of September. It was not significant because of the sale, but because it sold over the asking price, which might indicate some nascent strength in the market. According to a September 3, 2010 article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Tropicana Apartments, a 37-unit apartment complex in Live Oak, sold Tuesday for $4.125 million, $130,000 over the original asking price. The property, which went on the market in July, generated 13 bids, several of which were cash and over the original asking price. The deal closed in an unusually short 30-day escrow as a wholly cash deal. The buyer is a local family investment team that owns similar property in the county, according to Mike Bloch, an agent with Santa Cruz-based Lifestyles Real Estate who co-represented the seller with Andy Kay, also of Lifestyles Real Estate.”

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Santa Cruz real estate update

September 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California, Home Searches 

SantaCruz6There is some good news for people in the business of Santa Cruz real estate.  Recent Yahoo! Real Estate statistics show a +1.2% price change in the median price of homes for sale and a weakening rate of foreclosures as the global economic recession that wreaked havoc on the nation begins to subside.  As of September 14, 2009, the local median price for single family homes was $742,000.  Mortgage rates in the state of California helped to steady the industry.  Several real estate moguls have claimed that the midpoint of 2009 has brought the lowest of lows in the real estate industry and that a brighter future is down the road.  How far down the road is another question while many believe the market will never return to the status it once held prior to the recession that struck around the world.

On September 18, 2009, staff writer Jondi Gumz of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that earlier predictions about Santa Cruz homes for sale were fully realized in August.  Back in March, a seasoned real estate veteran Mark Hanson “forecast the median would rise during spring and summer with a surge of traditional sales muting foreclosure-related sales, then drop in autumn as seasonal buyers left the market.”  True to this concept, Santa Cruz’s median price for a single-family dwelling “inched down to $500,000 in August after climbing $100,000 in the previous five months.  Popular opinion claims that the summer housing boom helped to prevent Santa Cruz’s real estate prices from falling to all-time lows.  Many also claim that government stimuli and “servicers keeping foreclosures off the market” have helped to bolster property prices.

These updates show a radical change from the real estate situation in the area a year earlier.  According to an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel written on September 19, 2008, the median for a single-family home was $582,000, down from $770,000 in August 2007.  In the previous year, according to Scotts Valley real estate agent Nick Vrolyk, real estate in Santa Cruz experienced significant foreclosure rates due to  “very creative loans that should never have been allowed.”