4/4/06

Bubble Update

Here's one link on one important point:
http://www.russwhitneyblog.com/2006/03/is_the_real_estate_bubble_goin_1.html

That Real Estate markets are local, so you can hardly compare the dot-com bubble bursting to real estate. I'd like to take this one step further to point out the importance of location and what "local" means. In my previous post I was refering to 4 very different listings in 4 parts of San Francisco. Well, one of those 4 got four offers, all over asking, with the highest offer setting a record for that particular condo building. The listing was in the "Marina District" of San Francisco which is always highly sought after. So prices have continued to climb. Another of my listings we reduced the price twice, and it has finally sold. Some one elses Blog picked up my Craigslist ad that I posted for the Twin Peaks condo that had "price reduction" written into it, and used the ad to "prove" that there's a bubble. Well first off, this Blogger didn't pick up the listing that got 4 offers. Secondly, they had no idea that my Seller on the "price reduced" listing over priced in the first place.

But, my true point is that the "price reduced" listing was on Twin Peaks 1 mile from the nearest Starbucks or restaurant. Buyers loved the place, but continually passed over the listing saying "but it's too far away from the action for me". This truly was a "location" issue. The Marina District listing was only 5 miles away from the Twin Peaks listing, yet those 5 miles made a world of difference. Both are in San Francisco, both were one bedroom condos, both had lots of people coming through to view the properties. But one was 1 block from a shopping area, and 5 blocks from restaurants and night life and got a $702,000 offer. The other only got a $535,000 offer because it was away from the "action". The $535,000 offer on Twin Peaks was a definite drop in appreciation from last year in that neighborhood and that building. The $702,000 was a definite INCREASE in appreciation from last year in both the neighborhood and in the building.

So who is right in their Bubble opinion? Well, everyone is probably a little right, but I say anyone who is generalizing is mostly wrong. Real Estate markets are local, and the difference of 5 miles can be as dramatic as the difference in States 3,000 miles away from each other.

And in both cases, I think there is ENORMOUS opportunity for savvy buyers. Another way at looking at this is that there is no such thing as a "savvy renter" unless they are investing in rental properties elsewhere.

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