How SF ranks in price reductions nationwide

Here’s an interesting article I found on my google reader from the SF Chronicle.  They are reporting on the top 15 cities that have price reductions in excess of historic levels.  OK, that’s a mouth-full.

To simplify it, it’s the top 50 list of cities, the percentage of active listings (not including foreclosures) that have experienced price reductions and the average percentage reduction.  Measured over the last year.  I’m usually a little hesitant to totally rely on media for this sort of thing, as it’s usually sensationalized.  One of the reasons I hate median price.

I like visuals and the map gives a stark snapshot of the hardest hit areas.  Of course, working in San Francisco, I wondered how we ranked.  As it turns out, we’re 42nd out of 50.  Better than the top 15 for sure.  In looking through the list, the average price reduction, on the whole, seems to range from 9-13%; that certainly seems in line with what I’m seeing locally.  Those reductions, according to the article, are on 25 percent of our listings.  That means that 75 percent of listings are not seeing that reduction.  That’s pretty encouraging in my opinion.  In a balanced market, I would expect those sorts of numbers.  Speaking for the SF market, that 25 percent probably represents poor locations, condition and overpricing for market conditions.

That means to me that there are still opportunities out there for buyers; that in conjunction with extremely low interest rates means great opportunities abound!

On the Block-SFGate

Loan Modification Considerations

This is an older article I’ve had saved from the San Francisco Chronicle-but still very timely.

With the economy still on the long, slow road in recovery (I wonder if there is a 12 step program for this?), many homeowners are still considering their options when it comes to loan modifications, short sales and foreclosures.  The SF Chronicle article reiterates the need to be cautious and ask lots of questions as it relates to loan modification considerations.

Of course the double whammy is that by the time you get to the point where you have to make the decision, there isn’t much money to pay professionals to ask questions.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you need to do.  Certainly, talk to your accountant, a real estate attorney, your favorite mortgage broker and your real estate agent to get a sense of what questions each of them would ask, your future goals and how a modification may fit into that plan.  Before you spend $1,500-2,000 for someone claiming they can do a modification for you, talk to all the folks I listed above.  For under $1,000, you should get all the info you need to proceed.

Loan changes can hurt your credit score-SF Chronicle