David Streitfeld wrote an interesting story for yesterday’s L.A. Times about some places in the state where “location, location, location” still dominates buyers’ thinking. In most regions these days, buyers seem to be waiting for prices to drop further.

During the boom, the adage about location being the only thing that matters in real estate was turned on its head. Everything everywhere, including newly built tract homes in Victorville and Rancho Cucamonga as well as estates in Malibu and Beverly Hills, spiraled upward.

Things have come full circle. Location counts again. That’s why the East Bay towns – along with a few other places around the state … are still reasonably hot. There are more people who want to live in these areas than there are available houses.

Streitfeld used an anecdote from a guy named Rob Rambo, who was looking in El Cerrito, an East Bay town, at “a mid-century home equipped with an impressive bay view and enhanced with a recent architect-designed addition.” But the yard was small and you couldn’t see the view from the living room. The sellers were asking $698,000.

What happened?

Rambo bid $798,000, but it was a few thousand dollars short of what was needed. “Crazy, isn’t it?” he said. “This area is nice, and we do like it, but you pay a premium.”

You can read the whole story here.


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