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.

Where Are Those REPOs?

For Southern Californians, the short answer: right where you live.

In the San Gabriel Valley, homes which are REOs, short pays, NODs, short sales or corporate owned are everywhere. In fact, at this point, they are the only properties selling and often even these bargain properties offered far below the prices they sold for just one or two years ago are on the market 100 days or more.

Just where are these properties? Here’s a short list compiled in haste from the Multiple Listing Service [MLS] access to which I offer on my website

City Properties Range
Arcadia 12 $450000-$1,500,000
Azusa 70 $179,900-$914,900
Claremont 15 $249,000-$579,000
Covina 77 $215,000-$675,000
Duarte 22 $261,000-$610,000
Glendora 17 $300,000-$855,000
La Verne 17 $212,500-$749,000
Monrovia 23 $320,000-$649,000
Pasadena 77 $185,000-$790,000
Rancho Cucamonga >319 $105,000-$1,290,000
San Dimas 15 $330,000-$1,400,000
Sierra Madre 1 $358000
Upland 88 $135,000-$999,900

Look at those prices!

These are amazing prices that we haven’t seen in this area for literally years. $105,000? Wow! Many of the cheapest listed here are one-bedroom condos, but, still, a year ago even they were commanding prices over $200,000 or $300,000 pretty much everywhere.

Pasadena ,by far the largest city, so has a very large number of foreclosures. That $185,000, by the way, is a studio. Still. Rancho is also a large city, but 319? That is what it is like in San Bernardino/Riverside County, as delineated here previously. To my mind, some of the most undervalued homes and so the best deals are in Covina which with 77 repos is out of step with the other foothill communities. Azusa is another surprise.

Most of the repos concentrate at the lower end, but there are some truly beautiful homes in the mix, many with 5 bedrooms and commanding views of the valley. Despite these prices, however, many of these homes listed at seemingly rock-bottom prices are not selling.

Right now is a fabulous time to buy. Among these repos are some fantastic values which will not get any better. Like anything else, the buyer who gets the great deal needs to do his homework and plod through those 319 listings in Rancho to find the real gems.