San Bernardino Housing Values: October 2008

The news so far this year has been uniformly depressing. Why should the end of the year be any different?

This month San Bernardino County, along with Riverside, one of the hardest hit areas in the country, has most a median home value 38% lower than last year at this time. Remember: median means half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Countywide, the median has now sunk to an amazing $190,000

While horrible news for homeowners, it’s great news for investors and home buyers who can now get the deal of a lifetime. Plus, as indicated here before, this is the best time of the year to buy if you want to get a bargain. Buy now or repent later!

Where have the homes sunk the most? The two areas that have lost the most value are the High Desert and the City of San Bernardino.In these areas the devastation has been considerable.  Apple Valley’s two ZIPs have dropped 49% to a median $149,000 [92307] and 37% to $142,000 [92308], Victorville has sunk 36% to $152,000 [92392],43% to $155,000 [92394] and 44% to $140,000 [92395]. Of course, foreclosures are raging in the area as well, though banks are starting to do some loan modifications. The other horror story is the City of San Bernardino itself which in 3 ZIPs [92405, 92410, 92411] have lost 61%, 64% and 68%, plummeting to median values of $106,000, $94,000 and $73,000. Southern California has not seen prices like these for many, many years.

Areas that have lost value more in keeping with the county median include Fontana losing only 29% to a median of $295,000 in 92336, 36% to $229,000 in 92337 and a lamentable 47% to $173,000 in 92335. Rialto home values have fallen precipitously to about $190,000 or 42%. The City of Ontario hit almost exactly the countywide median at a loss of 34% to a home value of about $230,000.

Beautiful Rancho Cucamonga has also been hard hit, with two ZIPs [91701,91730] losing 17% and 22% but still maintaining value at $354,000. Also among the highest values in the county are Rancho’s other two ZIPs [91737,917390] sinking 34% and 10%, but still clocking what now are high values-$461,000 and $450,000.

Other cities which are looking considerably better than the rest of the county include Chino which has lost about 28% of its value to a median of $325,000, affluent Chino Hills dropping 20% to a median of $465,000 and Upland which has dropped 20% 91784 to $495,000 and 13% to $330,000 in 92392.

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.