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12-06-2012 09:47 AM
I thought the other post was really good, but it didn't cover much in East Bay Area like Pittsberg/Brentwood) area. I know that market has been really hot in like South Bay where I live all the way to north bay. I think the prices jumped like 20% to 30% in most areas even in Oakland. So I'm looking further and further out so I don't miss out. I wonder what's the market like in East Bay for 2012, I see there are still houses under 200K. So it seems like prices didn't increase as much compared to inner Bay Area. Is this true? If so, do you think East Bay will appreciate faster than inner Bay Area in 2013?
I thought I start a new thread since the other post seem to be more addressed the inner Bay Area.
12-06-2012 11:27 AM
If you have to sit on a property for more than a year waiting for the price to go up by 15% or more while you will not live there AND YOU HAVE TROUBLE TO GET REAL RENT MONEY, then it is not attractive.
And who know we will get hit by another bubble in that place like 2006-2007. There is simply not enough jobs in that area to support the growth so you are talking about a bunch of opportunists hiking up and down or desperate 1st-time buyers with limited resources who will be foreclosed first if anything bad happens.
I'd rather put my money somewhere else.
12-06-2012 08:42 PM
We all saw the panic on people's eyes when they run out of properties to buy and "flip". Their only recourse was to travel to areas so far thinking they would get there and be the pioneers of flipping. That's what killed the market, the sensation or urgency to buy and resell because such property would be worth 20-30% in couple of months. Only to find out the market froze in their face and left them stiff as a cadaver.
12-07-2012 07:19 AM
I know someone in the Brentwood area and although prices have appeared to stabilize and modestly increase in the Brentwood area, one of the problems is the number of short sales and vacant properties. Neighborhood character is really dynamic in Brentwood. Not sure if the forces that created the real estate boom along Highway 4 will ever be back.
12-07-2012 08:43 AM
I've lived in East County for 30 years.
The real estate bubble pop hit here, much harder than most of the other areas of the BA partially because this area had "bubbled up" more than other areas as desperate buyers braved the arduous commute to buy that 3,000 sq ft McMansion for less than the 1,200 sq ft, 40 yr old rancher in Pleasant Hill or Walnut Creek. And, lots of "investors" jumped on the comparatively cheap housing bandwagon of that run up and brought in Section 8 renters, much to chagrin of many existing homeowners when they found out about the complete lack of social graces and tendency towards criminal behavior that came with those Section 8ers.
Drops of 60% or more in values from the bubble peaks were not unknown and, they remain pretty firmly in place in many neighborhoods. As I type this from Antioch north of SR4, I can tell you with certainty that my own place dropped from just over $600 at the peak in 2006 to just under $200 at the trough in 2009 and has now gained maybe 5% to 10% with some nearby places identical to this having been flipped at just over $200 recently. The bloom is definitely off this rose.
Do your math. Check the listings. Most all sales here are REO or short sales. That continues to weigh heavily on prices and probably will for some time. I'm continuing to see a lot of strategic defaults including the fraud short sale we made an offer on in Brentwood earlier this year that I shared with this forum.
There was a massive demographic shift in all of East County that started way before the real estate bubble burst. This shift brought a lot of societal problems to East County and a rather unsavory reputation, akin to Oakland's or Richmond's. I've seen a fair number of negative comments about Concord - my boyhood home - here on this forum. The perceptions of East County are far worse and always have been.
Increased crime, declining schools, a growth in gang activity, social unrest have all raised their ugly faces in this part of Contra Costa. in fact, long time residents often point to a massive influx of inner city residents from Oakland and Richmond as having brought their inner city attitudes, lifestyles and problems with them, the very things they were trying to escape by moving out here in the first place.
IMHO Brentwood is no better off, it's just further behind the curve. There are many here who feel that, with their gated, retirement communities, Brentwood has escaped many of these issues. But most longer term residents such as myself, see this as an elitist fantasy. The Brentwood High Schools reflect the same demographic shifts that have beset Antioch and Oakley. Their performance scores reflect this. The residents there just haven't accepted yet.
I will give them credit though, their PD has a reputation of kicking a** and many leaders there have expressed that they "aren't going to become Antioch" in an effort to try and avoid what befell their much larger neighboring city. At least they seem to be proactively fighting back. I just think it's too little, too late against a rising tide that is much larger than they are.
Some also believe that Pittsburg undergone a renaissance with it's "revitalized" downtown. Pittsburg used to have the reputation of being the undesirable city in East County due to hooliganism and problems associated with high numbers of low income residents but now is perceived as having turned around. The downtown area is quite nice but Pittsburg is saddled with an awful of debt now, on top of the standard municipal unfunded liability problems that all California cities face. And, the loss of redevelopment authority to the state, exacerbates Pittsburg's problems immensely as, they were the poster child for what's wrong with City Redevelopment Agencies. Pittsburg had put more than 75% of the entire City into redevelopment areas as a way to control more tax dollars towards their own, idealistic centrally planned goals. I'll bet that, in the near future, Pittsburg's experience will be used as a real world example of what went wrong with CA redevelopment agencies in college urban planning classes.
All of East County still suffers from image problems along with a desperate lack of jobs, with little hope of improvement other than retail jobs that followed the rooftops out here. It is beset with transportation issues that eBART will not solve, despite the window dressing that local politicians like to throw on that. All of the schools are low performing and there are an excessive (and still growing) ratio of rental to owner occupied homes due to all the newly minted William Nichorsen wanna-bes that found low priced SFHs out here to purchase as rentals to a particularly high number of Section 8 renters that has been associated with the higher crime rates. Antioch is second only to Richmond in the number of Section 8 renters living here.
This area now suffers from a lower educated population, dysfunctional city councils (sandbox politics) and the cities are staffed by decimated and demoralized municipal employees providing sub par services. There are entire strip malls with vacant storefronts that have turned into hang outs for ner do wells. Have you seen the area around the Sommersville Towne Center?. Etc., etc.
My assessment is, the future is bleak in the short run and it will take many years for this area to turn around in terms of desirability and real estate values.
East County is geographically separated from the rest of Contra Costa County as well as the major population centers of the Bay Area by a row of hills extending from Mt. Diablo down to the delta waterfront in Port Chicago. East County has always been, and continues to be, treated like the undesirable step sister by the other, larger and more politically influential areas west of here.
However, do the math. If you are that interested in rental properties, I see some opportunities as prices are low compared to rents which attracts many people to cheaper housing. The folks who serve those who live in Danville, Walnut Creek and other such desirable enclaves have to live somewhere and it certainly can't be where they work.
Whereas I've spoken against this in the past, not wanting to contribute any more to the blight and decay of this area, we're voting with our feet by leaving altogether. So now I say, "go for it"! Just analyze carefully.
12-08-2012 12:06 PM
Thank you Tjh for such in depth explanation and assement.
One gets what one pays for.