I can hardly believe that another year has almost come and gone and the holidays are just around the corner. 2010 has been a year filled with economic challenges for many of us and the real estate market continues to ebb and flow. I think we are all a bit overwhelmed by the twenty-four hour news updates about national housing statistics—some of which seem to be conflicting, or confusing at the least. As I was writing this article—which addresses the current status of real estate in Solano County and Benicia in particular—I was determined to see the glass as half full, and focus on the positive aspects and trends I see happening in the local market and in our hometown.

In my last article I mentioned how fortunate we are that Benicia’s real estate market has been affected far less by the recession than our neighboring cities, and that still holds true today. Although the number of homes sold this year has decreased, Solano County as a whole has shown an upward trend in the average selling price compared to the same period of time last year (See statistical chart from BARIES MLS,® dated October 15, 2010). Benicia has remained relatively steady since last year, with a median price of $427,500 for an existing, single-family detached home sold during the month of September—which is well above the September median price of $309,900 for a home sold
in California.

We are all collectively looking for some sign of stability in our marketplace, and—short of having a crystal ball—it is difficult to make firm predictions for the upcoming year. However, California Association of Realtors® recently released its California Housing Market Forecast for 2011, and “after two consecutive years of record-setting declines, the median home price in California will climb 11.5% for the 2011 year to $306,500,” and the economists do predict small increases in both home sales and median home price
in 2011.


Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc.
Southern Solano County Two-Month Closed Sales Report
Residential: SFR, Condo-Co-op, Farms & Ranches, Mobile & Floating Homes
Status: SOLD

I have had the good fortune to live and work in this area for the past twenty plus years, and find stability in the sense of community that most Benicians share. Benicia continues to be a very desirable area to live and is known for its reputable schools, main street charm & family focus, waterfront activities and thriving art community. There are many wonderful opportunities to get involved, which help to create a sense of balance in an uncertain time. I have found my passion in the Arts, and have been an active member of the Board of Directors of Arts Benicia, www.artsbenicia.org, which maintains a renowned gallery and is responsible for many of the wonderful artists’ events throughout the year. They also offer an array of classes for budding & advanced artists of all ages. If you are a current resident and have not taken advantage the many wonderful local activities or programs that are available, please take some time to enjoy some of these amenities: check out www.VisitBenicia.org. If you are new to Benicia, it is still a great time to buy a home. Home prices are still favorable and interest rates continue to be historically low. I am sure you will find the same warmth and sense of community that I have come to enjoy.