Especially during these turbulent times, by far the first questions I get asked by any first time buyer or anyone looking to purchase a home for under $500,000: Is it a foreclosure and what type of deal can I get? I then have to explain how things work and how almost every foreclosure and/or short sale, if priced correctly and in reasonable condition, is getting multiple offers and generally selling over the asking price. Even my more sophisticated, upper end buyers want to know if a property is a distressed sale, which is what we in the business refer to for any foreclosure, short sale and REO. I then have to explain how the Napa Valley is truly two different markets and almost all such properties are in the cities of American Canyon and Napa and there are virtually none up valley.
Being this was the case 4 months ago, I decided to reconfirm this statement and thought my readers would find the facts supporting this interesting. Since approximately 90% of all real estate sales are reported in my multiple listing service, BAREIS, I have used them as my sole data source. What I am calling up valley are the cities/towns of Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Calistoga, Deer Park and Angwin. For the cities of American Canyon and Napa I have looked at all properties and those $400,000 and less which is were virtually all the distressed sales action is . For up valley, I used $500,000 since there are so few properties for sale at the lower figure.
Amer Cyn Napa Up Valley % distressed
All for sale, pending, sold 2 months 207 706 274
Distressed Sales 154 275 19 74% 39% 7%
All to $400,000 159 284
Distressed to $400,000 135 211 85% 74%
All to $500,000 31
Distressed to $500,000 12 39%
Thus, based on the numbers my statement is only partially correct and I now have to qualify it for even up valley, lower end properties are being affected by this market. Granted the number of $500,000 up valley homes is very small when compared to the number in American Canyon and Napa to $400,000, 31 vs 380, but the percentage, 39%, compared to 14% only four months ago is a definite increase. Thus the meaning of my title “Two Times Two”; by far the vast number of distressed sales are still in American Canyon and Napa, but the percentage of lower priced homeowners feeling the pinch are everywhere.
One new area of concern is for homes priced $800,000 to $2,000,000, especially up valley. In all sales meetings and discussions I am involved in concerning distressed properties, this price range is mentioned most often as the new crack in the dam. Even the news headlines are beginning to point to homes priced in this range as the “new wave of foreclosures which will be going to sale over the next few months.”. Thus I am beginning to track this for up valley properties. Today, there are only 2 distressed sales of 110 in this price range. Tune back in for I think I will begin adding this as a new monthly blog article. It will be interesting to see if does really happen here in the Napa Valley.