Nothing like a color-coded chart replete with red dots to drive home the point that the house you bought in 2007 is now worth about half what you paid.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal Developments blog yesterday, the real estate site Zillow has mapped housing price declines from their peaks in the metro areas of Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The Journal posted this chart of housing haircuts Bay Area homeowners have taken in terms of price. The worst declines have come in Sonoma, Napa, Solano, and Contra Costa counties. And the Sacramento area has really been hit hard. Click here or on the image for a .pdf of the chart.
But try to take heart as you crumple up your latest mortgage statement, set it on fire, and stare glumly into the flames, brooding about how great that adjustable-rate deal sounded in the mouth of your broker. (
Not that I’ve done this myself. Not that I’ve done this too much.) The latest Case-Shiller home price numbers were released yesterday, and according to the San Jose Mercury News, “expensive San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties and more affordable communities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties had the nation’s second-biggest gain in April, with prices climbing 1.7 percent from the month before.”