Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home price rally in Q3? Yeah right...

The National Association of Realtors reported yesterday that the national median home price was up in Q3. At the same time, the article points out that 1 in 5 homes are still underwater - at risk of foreclosure.

The rally is still at the low end of the market which is still a bit of a problem when applied to the local area. The median in San Jose, at $566,000, makes us the most expensive metro area in the U.S. However, that's off 12.9% from last year.

In Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View the medians are up or down depending on where you are in each town and what price range you're in. For example, the median sales price in the "South of El Monte" area of Los Altos was $1.770M in Q3 2008 and was $1.549M in Q3 2009 - a decline of about 12.5%.

Compare that to the "Country Club" area which saw it's median go from $2.195M to $2.750M and it looks like the market is doing great.

I've never been a fan of using median prices. They're especially deceptive when very little inventory moves - a common issue in high-end markets. I'm more inclined to like the average selling price (ASP) metric.

When applied to the aforementioned areas, the Country Club saw its ASP increase about 10.5% and the South of El Monte area saw its ASP drop about 8%. See the difference?

For Los Altos overall, the ASP is down 14.7% in Q3 2009 vs. Q3 2008.

Here's the original CNN Article:

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