Walnut Creek Market Weakens

Though Walnut Creek is one of Contra Costa’s hottest cities, it’s clear that the Creek, as the cognoscenti refer to it, hasn’t escaped the cooling housing market. The median price of a home in Walnut Creek is $866,845, compared to about $935,000 in May of 2007, some eight months ago, and around $890,000 as of September 2007, four months ago.

Like most of CoCo County, the Creek is a buyer’s market, according to Altos Research, which supplied all these numbers. The town’s market action index is 18.35; below 30 is a buyer’s market in Altos’ estimation.

The average property has been on the market about 75 days, more than two months, according to Altos’ figures – a good thing to know when you’re thinking about making an offer on a house and are unsure how fast to move, or when you’re selling and need an idea of how soon you can move out.

The median price per square foot is about $442 and there are about 153 properties on the market. And, in general real estate terms, none of this is exactly disastrous; it’s just that everything is relative, and relatively speaking, things are trending downward.

As we know, Ben Bernanke and his pals at the Federal Reserve bank cut interest rates sharply, and 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates are now the lowest they’ve been in almost four years, averaging 5.48 percent last week. The lower interest rates, plus falling home prices, could make it easier for many to own a home.

In more good  news, a deal announced Thursday wold allow government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy mortgages for as much as $730,000, a huge jump from the former $417,000 limit.

Alas, with an $866,845 median price, this may not be as useful for those wishing to buy in Walnut Creek. But prices are still falling even as we post, so who knows? (Photo: garthimage on flickr.)