Hi Sachin, Carl has provided an excellent response to your question. I'm not sure if you are absolutely only interested in Union City or other cities within Alameda, but here are some useful facts for both Alameda County as a whole and Union City specifically as of 10/24/08:
Alameda County Active/Pending Listings (detached): 3,247 / 1,433
Percent Distressed (short sale or REO): 49% / 71%
Alameda County Active/Pending Listings (attached): 1,434 / 440
Percent Distressed (short sale or REO): 71% / 75%
This definitely shows that the distressed segment is getting most of the Buyer attention in Alameda County.
Here's Union City's numbers, which are actually even higher percentage wise:
Union City Active/Pending Listings (detached): 201 / 103
Percent Distressed (short sale or REO): 61% / 81%
Union City Active/Pending Listings (attached): 103 / 51
Percent Distressed (short sale or REO): 80% / 94%
Market activity has certainly picked up recently in the "distressed" housing category, so being aware of market demand in the specific area of interest is very important. With 81% of detached SFRs being distressed in Union City you can bet multiple offers are happening. Banks certainly will counter if you are not ridiculously low-balling (any offer should be based on a CMA).
As JR points out, there's really no set strategy, each purchase should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Case in point: the first week of October I not only negotiated a 5% reduction in asking price on a detached Hayward SFR, I also negotiated a 6% Seller Credit where the percentage of Pending properties is even higher than Union City's (81%) at 89%.
Steven A. Ornellas, GRI, ABR, e-PRO, CMPS, RE Masters, MBA
REALTORÂ® / Mortgage Banker-Broker / Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist
Steven Anthony Real Estate & Financial Services
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