San Bernardino County: Prices Plummet

Falling prices are hardly news anymore, yet San Bernardino County is a special case: the Sick One of SoCal. According to MDA DataQuick, prices have sunk 38% from September 2007 to 2008, bottoming out to a median of $194,000 countywide. It’s been many years since would-be home buyers have had such wonderful bargains to choose from….

Some areas are hit even harder, of course, following the pattern in all other  SoCal counties. San Bernardino city itself is down over 60% in two ZIP codes [92408,92410] to medians not seen in years–less than $100,000. Other city ZIPs are hardly much better, down 56% [92405], 55% [92411] then 48% [92404] and 44% [92407]. The highest median value for the city is $133,000. Again, these are prices not seen in literally years.

The High Desert has also been smacked down by the housing crisis. Victorville is down 44% to a median value of $150,000. Hesperia is down 45% to a median of $175,000. Apple Valley is down 44% to $147,000. These are parts of the county where, until recently, new home builders could offer reasonably priced homes for commuters to L.A. County.  Rising foreclosure rates coupled with rising gas prices mean that commuters will choose homes closer to work if at all possible.

And, increasingly, it is possible. Fontana now offers its median-priced homes at around $275,000, a 38% drop over last year. For years Fontana has provided a  wide variety of new homes and new home prices.  Buying in the last few years, especially buying a new home, frequently means foreclosures today. New home builders are packing up their operations and licking their wounds if they survive at all.

Rancho Cucamonga, growing at a breakneck pace, and, until this year, the jewel of western San Bernardino County, has been hit hard by the crisis. Rancho, like Fontana,  boasts many communities of new homes which are the first to go “under water” and succomb to the tsunami of foreclosures. Rancho is a large city and some ZIPs are better off than others. 91701 has dropped a mere 21% from last year to a median of $368,000 while 91737 has sunk 52% to a median of $380,000. 91739 is skating along at a mere 6% drop to a median of $480,000.  Many new homes in Rancho  sold for over $700,000 last year or the year before are now close to or below the $400,000 mark.

Even established Upland is not immune. In one ZIP [91784] a median of $510,000 represents a drop of 12% over last year. While the other ZIP [91726] has sunk 27% to a median of $320,000.Prestigious Chino Hills has not escaped either: down 21% from last year to a median of $440,000.

Rounding out the line-up is Ontario, another large city. Like other working-class areas, Ontario has suffered more than others: down 33%, 37% and 44% [91761, 91762, 91764] to medians of $276,000, $260,000, and $222,000.

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