Double Dip — Again?

Woke up this morning to NPR announcing that new home sales were the lowest they’d been in 15 years.  The housing market is already in a double dip, with some additional price declines  on the horizon, though we’re near the bottom.  As for the broader economy, we’re skating awfully close, but nobody really knows yet whether we’ll eke out some anemic growth or slide back into recession.

This charming news was followed by another bit of analysis that makes so much sense in retrospect that I’m surprised we haven’t heard it stated more often.  What’s well known is how the wave of foreclosures has affected millions of people directly and the corresponding effect on the economy as they lose their homes, their savings, and their credit ratings.  But second only to that in terms of its drag on the economy is the effect that declining values have had on people’s ability to move to where the jobs might be.  Simply put, there’s a huge number of people who would move, but they can’t because they’re so underwater on their homes.  Since they can’t move, they remain unemployed or underemployed, and since there won’t be any significant recovery in the housing market until jobs come back, they remain stuck in a vicious downward cycle.   You can find the transcript here. ...  Additional Details

Heat Map of San Francisco Foreclosures

There’s been a fair bit of discussion on various real estate blogs about the state of foreclosures in San Francisco.  Here’s a picture of SF, courtesy of Hotpads, on our little patch of heaven.

Picture 2

Core SF neighborhoods seem to be doing OK, though worse than “average” — not defined by Hotpads as best as I could tell.  Outer neighborhoods are not doing so well.

The big surprise is the amount of red over in Marin, including toney areas like Sausalito and Mill Valley.  Frankly, I’m skeptical; it just doesn’t add up.  There’s not a lot of information on the free part of their website on their methodology though I believe they’re using data from Realtytrac, which has its own fee-based foreclosure radar website.  If I come up with better information I’ll update this posting. ...  Additional Details