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Real Estate Roundup with Sharon Alva: Measures and measuring

Submitted by on 1, June 18, 2010 – 4:50 amOne Comment


The Senate voted Wednesday to extend the home buyer tax credit closing deadline to September 30, giving an estimated 180,000 buyers who met the contract deadline of April 30 extra time to close the transaction. Transactions that were delayed because of slow short sales or loan issues now have added time to close and still qualify.

The extension came about when it was added to a bill to pay for jobless benefits.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that one-third of qualified applicants have been notified that they will be unable to close by the deadline. The Mortgage Bankers Association says delays are caused largely by the volume of transactions.

The measure still must be approved by the House.


May saw a rise in volume of sales in many of the mid- to high-end neighborhoods of the Bay Area, according to researchers at DataQuick. The rise pushed the median sale price to over $400,000 for the first time in 21 months. The inventory of low-end properties, though, shepherded a drop in volume in that slice of the market.

Last month a total of 8,264 homes closed escrow in the nine-county Bay Area, up 18 percent from 7,003 in April and up 11 percent from 7,447 in May 2009, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

Looking at the April statistics from DataQuick, Alameda stands out as having lost 1.15 percent in median value from April 2009 to April 2010. Our sample group is relatively small, with 46 transactions. Berkeley saw a 12.29 percent rise in value in the same period and Oakland can boast a 29.03 percent rise with 331 closing that month. San Leandro also saw a rise in median value but far more modest, at 5.34 percent.

For a closer look at these and other municipalities go to DataQuick‘s website.


Measure E is a hot topic in the real estate community in Alameda. The Alameda Association of Realtors did not take a position for or against the measure, which led over 100 agents (this writer included) to sign onto an ad in the local papers supporting it.

On Thursday morning we heard that a “No on E” campaign mailer had been distributed throughout the city stating that the Alameda Association of Realtors stands in opposition to Measure E. Association president Rob Platt clarified again that the Alameda Association of Realtors has not taken a position on Measure E, and delivered that message to the press as well.

Sharon Alva is a real estate agent with Alain Pine Realtors, living in Alameda. You can reach her at sharon@alvaproperties.com.

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