Home prices in the greater SoCal region continue to decline, though the declines are slowing. Finally! Some counties are hit harder than others, of course, with San Bernardino and Riverside leading the way as they have throughout this ordeal. The good news is that home sales of these now-bargain homes are increasing during these spring months, traditionally the most active of the year.
So, let’s see, what’s the bad news in San Bernardino? It’s a massive 45% decline to median $135,000 over last April when prices had already been plummeting for six months. Some San Bernardino City ZIP codes are down over 60%, approaching 70% in one year. This is truly horrendous for the homeowners involved. In the six San Bernardino City ZIPs, only one median value is above $100,000 [$123,000 in 92407]. Other hard-hit areas include the high desert cities of Hesperia [down 53% to $89,000 in 92345], Lucerne Valley [down 62% to median $67,000], Apple Valley [down 50% to $100,000 in 92308], Victorville [down 58% in 92395 to $84,000 median, both others down 48% to just over $110,000 median] and Barstow [down 68% to $48,000 median]. These prices are so low, they are undoubtedly below replacement costs in many areas, clearly unsustainable.
Down in the basin, other San Bernardino County cities are also devastated. Fontana is down 50% in 92335 to a median of $127,000, though its other ZIPs are not so hard hit [92336 down 23% to $262,000 and 92337 down 27% to median $192,000. Rialto is down 45% to a median of $116,000 in one ZIP and down 28% to $195,000 in the other.
A few cities have escaped the worst, so far at least. Upland, an upscale suburb close to L. A. County is down around 23% to a median of $434,000 in 91784 and $270,000 in 91786. Chino Hills, another upscale community, is down 14% to median $400,000 while Chino is down 30% to a median $301,000. The City of Ontario is down about 35% overall to a median of about $200,000.
And, what of pricey Orange County, what has happened there? As expected, the devastation there is less with a countywide drop of 23% to a median $430,000 since last April. In fact, many cities in Orange County have done much better than that. Most of the beach cities either didn’t have enough sales to count or did fairly well. Capistrano Beach with a few sales is up significantly.Huntington Beach stayed the same as last year in 92646 [median $580,000] and lost 13% in 92647 [median $450,000]. San Juan Capistrano is up 8% to a median $527,000 while, perhaps surprisingly, Laguna Beach is down 31% to a median $1,160,000, still pretty pricey by our new standards. Newport Beach, too, lost value [79% down in 92661, 59% down in 92663 and 47% down in Newport Coast] but all ZIPs maintain medians well over a million.
So, what cities did reasonably well? Irvine, for one, the family-friendly city either stayed the same of slipped considerably less than the county median but in all ZIPs values are over $600,000..these days–not too shabby. Laguna Hills jumped up 28% to a median of $655,000. In general, the drop in values has hit Orange County, but the strike is much less severe than to its neighbors Riverside, San Bernardino and even L.A. County.
Santa Barbara, devastated by fires in the last six months, has also lost 24% of its home values county-wide. Interior cities like Buelleton [down 39% to $440,00], Guadalupe [down 33% to $120,000], Santa Ynez [down 53% to a median $551,000 with very few sales counted] and Santa Maria. Summerland is actually up 10% to $1,375,000 and most of Santa Barbara city is down as well, though its lowest median is $540,000  while 93103 is up 60% to a median of $1.5 million and 93110 is up 15% to just over $1 mil. 93108 still maintains a median $2.4 mil despite a 16% drop in value.
As we have noted previously, more expensive homes have not really suffered the tremendous drops mainly because more affluent home owners can hang on longer and do not put their homes on the market. As time marches on, however, this will change and even more expensive homes will come on the market, including as foreclosures and short sales, forcing prices lower.