February statistics are in for the local starter market (Concord homes in zip codes 94519 and 94520).  Based on condition and location, these two zip codes contain the best starter market properties in Contra Costa County.  The most accurate way to judge market direction is to compare what happened last month to the same month in the previous year.  This is called a month-over-month comparison.  Here is how the local market performed in February, 2012, compared to February, 2011:

-The starter market median sales price was down from the previous year.  Last month (February, 2012) had a median sales price of $210,000.  February, 2011, had a median sales price of $230,000. This represents a drop of about 8.7% ($20,000) year over year.  It’s unfortunate that February came in so weak after a strong January start (2.7% increase).

-The current median list price for homes ($232,000).  It is down $5,000 from the previous month.  List prices have been up the last few months indicating that sellers either sense or hope for an upturn in the market. February showed a slight weakening.

-Buyer demand was down in February.  There were only 23 sales in February, 2012, compared to 29 for the previous year.  I suspect this is because lots of motivated buyers could not find suitable property to bid on in the current low inventory market.

-Inventory remains extremely low with only 48 active listings at this time.  In the previous month (January), there were 92 active listings. In comparison, there were 154 active listings in February, 2011.  Right now, current inventory stands at only 31% of the level from one year ago.

-Days on market for properties was only half that seen in the previous year.  In February, 2011, a home was on the market about 61 days before it went to escrow.  In February, 2012, the average time was 30 days. Again, this can be attributed to lots of motivated buyers and few properties available.

-In  Concord starter market, there were 52 new single family detached homes that received notices of default in February. This compared to 26 in January.  Ouch! Today there are 185 bank-owned homes.   This compares to only 82 REO properties in January.

- Sales of bank-owned properties (REO) and short sales dominated the market in February with 19 of the 23 sales.  That represents 83% of the market. There were 3 flip properties sold and only 1 traditional sale.

-Some interesting properties on the market in February.  Last month I mentioned a flip property at 3850 Bayview Circle.  It came on the market and went pending in 1 day with a list price of $289,000.  It appraised and sold at a contract price of $285,000.  This is a very positive sign for higher prices for good homes in the area. There were several pendings in February to watch for indicators on value.  3120 Baker went pending in 7 days with a list price of $279,000.  It did not appear to be a flip property but was in really good condition.  3100 Ida was on the market for 43 days with a list price of $290,000 before it went pending. It was in fantastic condition. The question is where the  seller was able to hold  their list price after a long period on the market.  Another home at 3107 Ida was a flip with huge square footage.  It was listed at $298,000 and pended 6 days after going on the market.  These homes will give us some good indicators of where the top of the market is right now.  The only traditional sale to close in February was 1750 Gelbke.  It sat for 30 days with a list price of $289,000.  The sellers finally closed at $250,000. This is a good reminder for buyers to look for motivated sellers and submit an offer more in line with recent closed transactions.  The buyers got a good price on this one because they were willing to do some serious negotiating with a seller who had market fatigue.  If you are interested in the best available properties the day they hit the market, please email me! (

The current market continues to present a great opportunity for serious buyers. As always, smart buyers must be financially prepared to make an offer (note: see a lender first) AND have an experienced agent who can find property and provide the aggressive representation necessary to secure the home at the best price (note: call Terry).

If you have specific questions about the Concord starter market or I can help you in any way, please email or call me (925-286-4619).

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-25+ years of local real estate knowledge. Terry has been closely involved in the Concord market since 1987. He knows neighborhoods. He knows streets. He even knows many individual houses having represented more than 500 local sellers. This knowledge gives you a powerful tool when looking for the right home at the right price.-25+ years of experience. Negotiating offers, solving sticky escrow problems, working with other local agents, understanding the meaning of contracts/contingencies etc., dealing with problems after the close of escrow-Terry has pretty much seen it all and can draw upon past experiences to solve your real estate problems.-Responsive and available. Just look at Terry's recommendations. He understands that a real estate transaction can be a stressful situation for his client. He is available to answer your questions and concerns quickly. He recognizes those times when immediate action is necessary to protect you. You can count on him.-Associated with the biggest CENTURY 21 company in the world. CENTURY 21 M & M and Associates was the #1 CENTURY 21 company in the world in 2011. Consider the advantages to you of having such a powerful company representing your real estate interests-Free stuff!! Yes, you get all of the above and some free stuff to boot! At the start of each month, Terry will send to you his personal newsletter, Concord Starter Market Update. It's filled with valuable real estate information that you will not find anywhere else. In addition, you get a free membership to Terry's web site which gives you information about local properties in the same time frame that real estate agents receive it! This gives you a huge advantage over other buyers who are using web sites which update information 24 to 48 hours after the fact. To receive these items, just send a request to Terry via email.

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