Stuck at $140,000.
December was the fourth consecutive month for Stanislaus County to have a $140,000 median home sales price.
While most of California climbs out of its home price hole, Stanislaus prices have barely budged since bottoming out in April, MDA DataQuick statistics showed Thursday.
Stanislaus finished 2009 with home prices about 11 percent below what they were in December 2008.
That was not the case elsewhere in California. Statewide, home prices rose 6 percent in 2009, including a healthy 15 percent rebound in the Bay Area.
Even San Joaquin County finished the year with prices up a bit above 2008, and Merced County was down less that 5 percent.
As prices elsewhere in California rise, Stanislaus homes look like a relative steal.
Example: Rather than buy one median-priced $650,000 San Francisco home, bargain hunters last month could have purchased four median-priced Stanislaus houses and had $90,000 left over for decorating.
Home prices, of course, are controlled by supply and demand.
With an unemployment rate of 17.2 percent, many Stanislaus residents are struggling make ends meet. Qualifying for home loans is tough for those out of work.
And for those who already own homes, paying existing mortgages can be a chore. In Stanislaus Countty in November, nearly 1 of 6 home mortgages was 90 days or more delinquent, according to First American CoreLogic.
Those delinquent mortgages mean thousands of additional Stanislaus families may face foreclosure this year.
Stanislaus already has had 17,911 homes repossessed by lenders since September 2006, ForeclosureRadar statistics show.
New home sales in the valley have suffered.
The California Building Industry Association's latest sales statistics show Stanislaus builders sold exactly one new home during the entire month of November.
Compare that with the buying frenzy back in 2004 and 2005, when hopeful buyers literally would camp out for days in front of new Modesto subdivisions just for the chance to buy.
Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2196.