Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Monday, February 27, 2006

MLS Listings Inventory Up... Jobs Inventory Down...again

Sonoma Valley

GMAC MLS listings for sale

Homes for sale priced under $950,000 = 157

Homes for sale priced above $950,000 = 57

Total listings: 214

Houses Sold February 2006: 25

Median price for Sonoma Valley: $686,818

Sonoma County MLS listings: 1934 (SFR only)

Median price - Sonoma County $614,000

Oops... the county made a mistake, seems county added fewer jobs than previously stated.


"Employment peaked in Sonoma County in 2001 at the end of the tech boom when the county had 196,700 payroll jobs. By 2003, the economic downturn had wiped out 7,600 of those jobs, based on average annual employment. Through 2005, only 2,400 had returned."

"The count of jobs is important as a key gauge of the economic health of Sonoma County, and the update each year with the January report is watched closely as the best measure of county employment."

"Throughout much of 2005, monthly reports suggested Sonoma County added about 1,000 jobs last year over 2004. But economists suspect that may be revised downward Friday, based on an update done by U.S. labor analysts every year to improve the accuracy of their numbers."

"The revision could show that the county has fewer payroll jobs than the 191,500 reported for 2005. If so, it would mean there was very little job creation in Sonoma County last year.
A downward revision this week would reveal an even weaker job recovery than has been acknowledged."

"Some companies are hiring. Fred Coleman, assistant to the human resources manager at American Home Shield in Santa Rosa is adding up to 16 new customer service representatives a month at its West Coast headquarters in Santa Rosa, with wages starting at $13 an hour, Coleman said."

These people take calls from customers all over the United States and send out technicians to homes to make repairs."When call volume increases, we hire accordingly," Coleman said. "We just want to make sure we meet our service demand."

"American Home Shield has about 230 employees in Santa Rosa, including 70 or 80 customer service representatives, Coleman said."

How much house do you think $13 per hour can buy?

Anyone feeling the pinch of rising interest rates? American Home Shield in Santa Rosa is looking for customer service reps.

Don't miss the Experts sounding off on what's to come for the Housing Bubble.

(choice snippets from BusinessWeek's story)

"Business Week did an interview with some housing industry professionals. “I caught up with three housing heavyweights, CEO Angelo Mozilo of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, CEO Bruce Karatz of KB Home, and real estate bear Professor Bob Shiller of Yale University, and asked how worried we should be.”

MOZILO: The market has turned. The psychology of the buyers for single-family homes has clearly changed. We are seeing it from the flow of loan applications.

“SHILLER: The real question is: Will it be a soft landing, or will prices come down substantially? It’s hard to say because this is the biggest housing boom that this nation has ever seen, so we are in uncharted territory. I worry about a big fall because prices today are being supported by a speculative fever.”

“How severe are the price declines you are expecting? SHILLER: In Los Angeles in the last cycle, prices peaked in 1989 and bottomed out in 1997. In that interval, L.A. lost 40% of its real value. I can see that happening there again or in any of the cities that have had tremendous price increases, and there are quite a number of them in this country. I think a pullback of as much as 40% is plausible in many places.”

Catch the rest over at Ben's place


At 4/20/2007 02:29:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where the Press Democrat gets its data but I double checked the EDD web site and the # of employed as a percentage of total population has been almost dead steady at 51.3% in 1996 and 51.6% in 2006. I see no mass exodus of workers from the county.

At 5/07/2007 10:45:00 AM , Blogger Katherine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5/07/2007 10:46:00 AM , Blogger Athena said...



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