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Double dip in housing isnt likely scenario for Manteca market
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The topic of many water coolers today, and for that matter the last 5 years has been and still is real estate.  The subject though has changed as of late to the question of, “Are we really headed for a double dip?”  

This question has caused some to fear our local and national markets.  I remember when I was a kid and a double dip was something they did to my ice cream cone at the creamery my grandfather always took me to after a great day of fishing.  Now it carries a whole other meaning.

Is the double dip eminent?  I would argue no, at least not for our markets.  I think the bigger question is, “Is the double dip real or just more political hype before an election?”  Nationally speaking, we have seen a decline in home values of 3.2 percent from July of 2009 to July of 2010.  But like I have reported before, that is the average of all our local markets.  Bend, Oregon has seen a 22.3 percent decline while Boston Metro has seen a 3.8 percent increase.  Miami - Ft. Lauderdale Metro  has had a 16.9 percent increase and Los Angeles Metro has seen a 5.7 percent increase in year-to-year comparison.

What does our local market look like?  Manteca has seen a decline from August 2009 to August 2010 of 2.6 percent, but we are still up by 3.9 percent compared to 15 months ago.  County wide we have seen an increase in the same time period of 7.6 percent in the average home sold price.  Who’s leading us out of this mess?  Mountain House, Tracy and Stockton all have had gains of over 4.6 percent, even our neighbor Lathrop has seen an increase of 1.1 percent, but the big dog is Mountain House with a whopping 14.6 percent increase from August 2009 to August 2010.

What does this mean to you the home owner?  Well that all depends on your situation.  If you are a distressed home owner you should note that our inventory of homes for sale has increased by 64 percent in Manteca.  Why should you care?  Because that means more competition and a longer time line to get your home sold.  Banks are becoming increasingly aggressive in the last few months. Wells Fargo released a memo this week stating that they will no longer postpone a Trustee Sale.  Another lender has told my client they will board up her windows and change her locks, and they have only missed two payments!  Now is the time to take your situation very seriously, because the banks and lien holders are.

What about the homeowner with equity?  Although you may not be able to sell your home for what you “think” or “feel” its worth, you can practically steal homes in the upper end of our market.  Homes over 3,000 square feet are going at unheard of prices, most well below the city average of $100 a square foot.  Now is definitely the time to sell and buy that home you have always dreamed of before it gets too expensive.
If you are an investor, you have been enjoying a bountiful harvest.  Relatively low home prices, historically low interest rates and a strong rental market with high return makes even the most timid of investors salivate.

So are we really headed for a double dip in our housing market locally?  I would say no, BUT a lot is riding on our local, county, state and national elections next month.  If taxes stay the way they are now we could very well move along just fine.  The big problem is all the uncertainty about future taxation and implementation of bills that will cost us large amounts of money as tax payers.  

How does that effect your home price?  If you take the money out of the hands of the people to spend, they can’t spend, they can’t invest, they can’t buy their first home, they can’t go on a much needed vacation.  Not to be too political, but our housing market and whole economy depend heavily on what is going to happen politically in our local and national government in the near future.  If people are uneasy about spending because they are not sure if they will have a job, they will not spend and we will lose more jobs and more distressed properties will flood the market cause home values to dip once again.

Is it all doom and gloom?  Absolutely not!  It’s actually exciting because we live in a free nation where we determine our financial and social futures based on a vote.  Thomas Jefferson said, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.”

To find out more information on our housing market or how to stop a foreclosure with a short sale, you can reach me at (209) 416-6732 or visit