Jump down to the UPDATE on 721 Rosal.
2 good examples of the mess (for sellers/owners) in Oakland are highlighted by these properties currently for sale:
6690 Girvin (above) and
721 Rosal (below). Girvin was built in 2001 and sold for $855k in October 2004. It was listed for $1.249M (per zillow) as of 10/12/07 but currently is listed for $799k, an astonishing $450k drop. Rosal is in a fantastic neighborhood in Crocker Highlands hear Piedmont, and was also purchased for $855k (no relation to Girvin) in August 2005. It is currently listed for $829k after a 100k reduction and has been on the MLS for 35 days at the new price. Owners purchased with 100% financing. This is only the beginning, folks... and a major reason I have my radar on certain parts of Oakland for 2008-2009 purchases.
UPDATE 12/19/07: 721 Rosal has been reduced yet again to $749,950 - a total reduction of $180k from original asking price 3 months ago. The trustee sale is still scheduled for Thursday 12/20/07 so this seems to be a last ditch effort as a relist to get an offer before the bank buys it back.
UPDATE 12/9/07: 721 Rosal has been reduced for a 2nd time - now to $799k (down from $929k about 3 months ago). A trustee sale is also scheduled for Dec 20 on the Alameda County courthouse steps in Oakland.
An interesting visit to the vacant open house today revealed the location to be on the far Lakeshore side of Crocker Highlands (not bad, but not great) and the "stylish contemporary home" to be a strange mix of design including strange bright-colored plastic sheets as backsplash and wall panels (not kidding) in the kitchen and "media room."
A discussion with the listing agent revealed his belief that it comps at $850-860k right now - this after I commented on the downward direction of the market in Oakland. He disagreed, and then in true realtor sales-speak said "someone paid that much once, someone else will pay that much again." I was speechless, but then again not surprised. He not only subscribes to the idea of the greater fool but also the idea of the NEVERENDING greater fool! Cheap comedy.
He also claimed that it comped out at the original $929k asking price only 3 months prior. So he admits there has been a drop in "value" of approximately 70-80k in 3 months? But according to Mr. Real Estate Agent, there is no slowdown in Oakland. Of course not.
All asset bubbles burst, my friend. The air leaks slower in some (real estate). Fast in others (dot com bust).