Many Reasons for Antioch’s Property Value Decline

In July, the Antioch City Council sent a letter to county Assessor Gus Kramer audaciously asking him to appear in person to explain why the latest property valuations show the city’s projected property tax revenues to be $850,000 less than expected. (Councilman Agopian queried why Brentwood values dropped 4.5% while Antioch’s dropped 7%.)

If I were Mr. Kramer, I would politely reply to their correspondence, but I would not appear in person. Here are some of the explanations I’d provide.

Proposition 8 mandated that homes’ assessed value must be temporarily reduced to their current market value during downturns. Certain areas of the state were harder hit than others. Compared with coastal areas with job centers, unemployment in our county remains high and all foreclosure activity for August was up by 9% from July.

As for the Brentwood vs. Antioch property values:

Fact is, a property’s value to a prospective buyer depends on 1) the condition of the property 2) the appearance of the neighborhood 3) proximity to retail, commercial and mass transit and the local school districts’ progress on the statewide Academic Performance Index (Antioch’s 2011 score was 731 vs. Brentwood Union’s 843).

Home values in Brentwood are higher than Antioch’s because the word is out – the Antioch Police force is understaffed and the city no longer has a code enforcement department due to the city’s anticipated decline in property tax revenues and sales tax revenues for the next fiscal year.

Because 70% of the city’s General Fund revenues go primarily toward personnel costs, the city implemented furloughs and layoffs, and negotiated concessions with employee bargaining groups (Antioch Police Officer Association situation still not resolved satisfactorily), all of which diminished services to the public. That’s just not appealing to folks looking to buy a home.

It may be hard for council to admit that Brentwood’s property values have held up better than Antioch, but facts tell otherwise. Sure, our city has assets that Brentwood doesn’t have, e.g., an underdeveloped waterfront with great potential and an e-BART station. However, our shopping centers, like the Safeway center on Deer Valley Road have numerous vacant stores, and I know for a fact that many of the business were purloined by the City of Brentwood.

As for those of us who have been able to hold onto our homes in this stagnant economy, we’ve appreciated the temporary decline in our property tax bills. We’re having to pay more for food, etc. despite government telling us the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which they revised, has not risen since the last cost of living adjustment was determined in 2008! Who are they kidding?

4 Comments to “Many Reasons for Antioch’s Property Value Decline”

  1. the_dude says:

    You for got to mention that our city has also become the dumping ground for section 8 ghetto rats and is quicly turning into the next oakland, vallejo, richmond, etc. That reputation might have a little bit to do with why no one in their right mind would want to live in Antioch.

    • Your comment doesn’t make any sense. How would section 8 impact property values in one of the biggest foreclosure capitals of the US? We need investors to bank on that section 8 income so that they’ll be enticed to buy up more homes to rent out. I’d rather live next to the worst section 8 renter then an empty house being inhabited by a squatter. If anything section 8 is improving property values, even if you don’t feel that it improves the neightborhood. You may think that I’m not in my right mind to want to live next to the “ghetto rats”, but I’d rather live next to down to earth people then the snakes that are in other neighborhoods.

      • From The Bay says:

        Down to earth? Is this what you call the garbage on Section 8? You think that trash that came from the ghetto would actually have any respect for the places they were PRIVILEGED to inhabit in such once-exclusive neighborhoods? Not that I blame the hoodrats from taking advantage because if it weren’t for those homeowners who sold out their homes to the lowest (and I mean lowest) bidder for the sake of money only proves that as long as you feed a rat, it will get fat off the cheese and want more eventually. And these Section 8 rats just spread more and more. Word gets out and next thing you know, Cache Peak Drive, Country Hills Drive, The Shellborne subdivision – heck the entire Hillcrest corridor – becomes nothing more than Oakland East. I am from Oakland, was raised there and then in Richmond and Pittsburg. I know the garbage in those towns. There was a time when Pittsburg was jealous of Antioch and their rapid growth, high home and property values and very affluent way of life at least in the SE Corridor. There was a time when Pittsburg residents would want to move to SE Antioch for the good life. Now, you can’t even keep ANTIOCH residents in Antioch. And that is because of the trash that was dumped on this town. When Pittsburg becomes a more desirable and less crime-ridden place, you know your city is in the sh*t. Until Antioch expels the trash and cuts off the Oakland-Richmond-trash pipeline that is Section 8 and a welcoming attitude to ungrateful people, Antioch will remain a cesspool of failure. And Antioch will have nobody to blame but themselves!

  2. karl says:

    to get sec 8 under control, we need the rental inspection program back on line. we also need to handle so called “investors as a business with biz licenses. they need to be held responsible for the condition oif their properties. period.

    one example is spanos st. for many years the renters there trashed up the street, laud music, none residents hanging out, crime and drug, cars repairs and so on, and so on. finaly the property owners installed a fence from sycamore to mahoghany. guess what…that’s the very best thing happens for that neighborhood. no more cars, parties, trashed up, bumbs hanging out.
    my suggestion to fix some of the sycamore problems is to install also a fence from the apartment building al the way down to that circle k store.
    i don’t like fences, but …if it helps why not.
    our city council should compair police calls to spanos before and after, then contact all of the owners on sycamore and make them built that fence.

    we have ordinaces about trash cans and how to ride a bike, so lets get back our city.

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