Bay Area home values drop 8 percent


As bad as thing are across the country, the numbers are even worse here in the Bay Area, especially in hard-hit Contra Costa County where home values have declined to levels not seen since November of 2000.

Horace and Rujena Davis are living the nightmare that is the Bay Area real estate market. The Discovery Bay couple is among a growing number of homeowners who are upside down on their mortgage.

"We're in the $500,000 range and the house, I would say, is somewhere around $230,000 in value right now," says Horace.

"It's an awful stressful situation having to go through this as long as we've been going through it," says Rujena.

According to, more than 38 percent of Contra Costa homeowners owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth, and home values just keep falling.

"Since the peak of the market, home values have fallen even further, close to 35 percent in the Bay Area… compared to 25 percent nationally," says Amy Bohutinsky of

Pittsburg mortgage counselor Elaine Brooks-Cox of Pacific Community Services says homeowners are giving up in a county where home values have dropped 51 percent since their peak in 2005.

"The banks are not doing principle reductions," says Brooks-Cox. "Homeowners are losing hope and if your values are continuing to drop, and we haven't hit the bottom yet, wow, that's a hard one."

And according to Zillow, the bottom of the market may still be at least a year away.

"It seems to me that we still just have very, very fickle buyers in this market," says Oakland realtor Tracy McKendell of Better Homes Realty, who believes buyers still feel like they're the ones calling the shots. "I think it's just that people really want deals now and they're afraid that the market's going to continue to go down, so if they feel like they're buying something for not too much money, then they're better off."

Contra Costa's numbers are pretty bad, but things are even worse for the hardest hit market in the Bay Area -- Solano County -- where 58 percent of homeowners are upside down in their mortgages and home values have plunged 59 percent since the peak of the market there in 2006.

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