Jobs, Rents, Foreclosures in Half Moon Bay

Three important factors being watched by real estate market followers are local jobs, local rents and nearby foreclosures.  The following information is for Half Moon Bay or San Mateo County.  Each area will have either a (+) or a (-) sign after my notes on what’s happening in Half Moon Bay and why.

+ means could be more favorable to buy
–   means could be more favorable to rent

Half Moon Bay and San Mateo County Jobs:  +
Job growth, or the lack of it, is on everyone’s mind.  Last reported December 2010, our unemployment rate is 8.4%.  San Mateo County is at 8.1% as of May 2011.  California is at 11.7% as of May 2011.  Local employers such as the City of Half Moon Bay and Nurserymen’s Exchange have both experienced economic hardship this year.  Both report a positive outlook moving forward after making tough decisions.  San Mateo County is clearly economically healthier than the state as a whole.  For those readers from out of the area – we (the coastal towns) are within an hour to either San Francisco or Silicon Valley, normal commute distances; both places where medical, biotech and computer industries look bright.  As the economy recovers, the emphasis on “survival” will take a back seat to nesting, connecting and growing.

Half MoonBay Rents:  + or – depending on the price point
High end homes (e.g. see neighborhoods Ocean Colony or Miramar), many with ocean views, get approximately $4000 – $5000 per month in rent.  Mid-sized ranchers or two-story homes rent for approximately $2000-$3000 per month.  Studios or small apartments rent for $1100 – $1500 per month.  Based on the activity we’ve seen, the middle group has noticed that it could make more sense to buy rather than rent in Half Moon Bay (following the necessary “where do I want to be in 5 years” discussion with partner or self and accompanying number crunching).  With the median sold price now at $726,600  (based on 10 sales in May 2011), compared to a median sold price of $685,000 in May 2010 (based on 4 sales), the buyers are coming back into the market.  The upper end is still trying to find its balance.

Check out the rent-or-buy financial calculators to see what makes sense.  If you don’t know the answer to a number, get it, because leaving it blank will cause your answer to be inaccurate.  I tried a few online and can’t guage their accuracy so I won’t link them here.  You can get the accurate numbers to do a rent vs buy scenario from these resources:  Realtor, loan officer, insurance carrier and your own records.

Half Moon Bay Foreclosures:  +
24 now owned by the bank or lender; called “bank-owned” or “reo” properties.  These definitely have to be sold at some point.
24 properties have a recorded Notice of Trustee Sale, meaning an Auction Date has been set.  Most properties at this stage go on to foreclosure.
31 properties have a borrower who has fallen behind on one or more payments and the foreclosure timeline has begun.  Not all of these properties end up in foreclosure.

Note:  The foreclosure numbers are not related to what is or is not on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), or “on the market”.   The above information is public record taken from Real Quest Pro, which is a tool we use.

Please remember this is general knowledge and resource sharing; not an opinion about what is right for YOU.  You have to pick up the phone for that kind of advice! – but I do hope this post, as well as my past posts, give you a good idea of what’s going on in the Half Moon Bay real estate market.  It is my intention to keep you informed amidst tons of new articles and national real estate sites out there that may or may apply to real estate here on the Coastside.