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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

S.F. Cracks List of Nation's Three Fastest-Plummeting Housing Markets (We Took Bronze)

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge New statistics show you absolutely can't afford these houses, but they now likely cost 28 percent less than last year's ridiculous prices
  • New statistics show you absolutely can't afford these houses, but they now likely cost 28 percent less than last year's ridiculous prices

What do Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco have in common? Yep: sketchy nightclubs and plummeting housing prices. According to S&P data released today, San Francisco's median housing prices have dropped 28 percent since last spring, one of the three largest declines in the country. We take the bronze behind dubious gold-medalist Phoenix (down 35.3 percent), with the silver going to Las Vegas (down 32.2 percent).

When it comes to housing, San Francisco isn't used to being lumped in with the rest. We like our bubble, thank you very much. And while it may be one of the three most rapidly devaluing housing markets in the country, San Francisco is still enjoying its bubble -- as the assessor's office expects to still see property taxes rise six percent this year compared to last. Many counties outside the Bay Area, including San Joaquin and Merced, expect a decline.

Despite the fact that San Francisco will see plenty of tax revenue, it's still millions less than the pinched city often gets. The blanket decline in housing prices means that S.F. property taxpayers can expect to see a little more pocket change this year thanks to a little thing called Proposition 8 (no, not that one). 

This Prop 8 requires tax assessors to reevaluate property values so that homeowners aren't taxed on values that may be above the current market (which means that, as the market declines, so do the property taxes). Assessor Phil Ting says that the decline is so widespread that the office will be automatically rolling back taxes in neighborhoods most affected by the housing meltdown for the first time since the mid-1990s.

While Alameda and Contra Costa County Assessors say they've been doing mass tax reductions for years, San Francisco has, until now, enjoyed the luxury of making its residents apply for decreases on a case by case basis. But in the past year, roughly 94 percent of all homes in the city have lost value, according to the online real estate service, Zillow.com. The assessor's office has yet to announce the exact neighborhoods that can expect automatic rollbacks, but Ting said in a recent interview that it would mostly be areas in the south and southeastern side of the city.

Photo   |   Archer5054



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