Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Real Estate Reality Check


Dismal economic news seems to be everywhere these days. But today I discovered a little glimmer of hope for Suisun City: Homes are selling, and our first-time homebuyer's program is very popular!

On March 5, Business Week reported that Fairfield had the nation's highest percentage increase in home sales for the fourth quarter of 2008. The 94533 ZIP code (that's central Fairfield) showed a 226% jump in home sales during October to December 2008.

But wait! Rod Herman over at noted that Suisun City actually outperformed Fairfield in 2008 compared with home sales in 2007. For the year, Fairfield posted a 219% increase while Suisun City posted a 239% jump.

In January of 2009, Suisun City posted a 371% increase in home sales to Fairfield's 310%, according to

Aside from local bragging rights, what these numbers show is that the market is beginning to absorb the glut of foreclosed homes by moving them back into private ownership. Investors and first-time buyers are taking advantage of real estate deals. This is a first step in rebuilding a healthy local real estate market.

Part of that effort is Suisun City's $4.4 million investment in our First-Time Homebuyer/Foreclosure Eradication Program. Our program offers income-qualified buyers up to 25% down-payment assistance in the form of an equity share loan to be repaid upon sale of the property. We've closed six of those deals and have more than a dozen more qualified while we are taking lots of calls everyday about the program.

All of this activity is before Suisun City even receives $950,000 in federal stimulus money designed to address local foreclosures and help first-time home buyers!

So here's the good news: Suisun City is way ahead of the curve helping first-time homebuyers, and our local market is beginning to show signs of positive movement.

Need more good news? Check out this letter from Mayor Pete Sanchez published in the Daily Republic this morning.

While it's not an end of our economic trials, the light at the end of the tunnel looks a lot less like an oncoming train!

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