Bay Area real estate market heating up

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area real estate is heating up again, which is encouraging to sellers and discouraging to buyers looking for bargains.

A condo near the water in Richmond is going for $250,000. It was an investment that went under water after the market crash of 2008, which forced the developer to turn condos into rental apartments and then back into condos.

Real estate is all relative. For example a 500-square-foot condo turned apartment, then remodeled again as a condo is selling for a quarter of a million dollars. It's a condo that could go for $1 million just a few miles across the bay. A Mecca Morgan sales agent said it reminds her of the pre-recession days.

The Shores at Marina Bay complex in Richmond has access to water views and trails. The developer Oz Erickson may have bought the properties to sell before the 2008 market crash and only now is seeing them return to their former higher values. "Our reaction was to stop sales, pull all the units off the market, lease them up and move on," Erickson said. He added the condos were selling for an average of $400,000 a unit before the 2008 market crash.

The appeal is home ownership and the fact they're in Richmond keeps the price down.

For example David feinstein, 62, had been a tenant at The Shores at Marina Bay complex. Now, he's buying a unit for $380,000 and will pay less than his rent used to be. He was another victim of 2008. "I owned a beautiful place in Sausalito, with the downturn of the economy I ended up having to short sale it and I never thought I could afford to own in the Bay Area again," he said.

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