Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sonoma's State of the Bubble


For Sale Listings: 176 (www.ziprealty.com)

Listings w/reduced prices: 52

Listings with price reductions: 30%

183 For Sale listings according to Pacific Union/GMAC MLS

(GMAC MLS) claims 50/183 under contract

Realtytrac.com shows: 16 in foreclosure (many correspond to some of the listings below)

Foreclosure.com shows: 48 in 95476 in foreclosure (once again, many correspond to the listings below)


1. 792 AUSTIN AVE, Sonoma, CA 95476
Price Reduced: 02/14/06 -- $910,000 to $889,000
Days on Market: 27
Total Reduction: 21k round about 2.3%

(wow, this guy is really pricing to sell. Hurry, Hurry, come one come all... this one is priced to move quickly, come and get your 2.3% price reduction)


2. 18423 RIVERSIDE DR, Sonoma, CA 95476
Price Reduced: 02/18/06 -- $650,000 to $575,000
Days on Market: 31
Total Reduction: 75k round about 11.5%

3. 222 & 226 W SPAIN ST, Sonoma, CA 95476
Price Reduced: 02/10/06 -- $2,275,000 to $1,975,000
Days on Market: 31
Total Reduction: 300k round about 13%

4. 193 GUADALUPE DR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/07/06 -- $629,000 to $619,000
Days on Market: 43
Total Reduction: 10k round about... don't make me laugh

5. 435 JACEY ST, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/26/06 -- $599,950 to $589,950
Price Reduced: 02/16/06 -- $589,950 to $559,950
Days on Market: 45
Total Reduction: 40k round about not even 10%

6. 111 W MACARTHUR ST, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/18/06 -- $450,000 to $430,000
Price Reduced: 02/13/06 -- $430,000 to $410,000
Days on Market: 47
Total Reduction: 40k round about still less than 10%

7. 18817 RAILROAD AVE, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/19/06 -- $649,000 to $644,500
Price Reduced: 02/01/06 -- $644,500 to $639,500
Days on Market: 48
Total Reduction: 9,500k round about... couldn't even spring for the full 10k reduction huh?

8. 731 5TH ST E, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/03/06 -- $875,000 to $849,950
Price Reduced: 01/09/06 -- $849,950 to $849,444
Price Reduced: 02/01/06 -- $849,444 to $799,444
Days on Market: 56
Total Reduction: 75,556k still less than 10%


9. 609 ROSS CT, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/06/06 -- $849,950 to $829,950
Price Reduced: 01/17/06 -- $829,950 to $799,950
Days on Market: 69
Total Reduction: 50k round about 6%

10. 17660 17662 MIDDLEFIELD RD, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/02/06 -- $1,140,000 to $1,095,000
Days on Market: 69
Total Reduction: 45k round about... why bother?

11. 304 DECHENE AVE, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/26/06 -- $659,000 to $639,000
Days on Market: 76
Total Reduction: 20k round about... so not impressive

12. 18585 MANZANITA RD, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 12/20/05 -- $740,000 to $729,000
Price Reduced: 02/07/06 -- $729,000 to $699,000
Days on Market 79
Total Reduction: 41k round about .... pppfffftttt

13. ? 18677 MELODY LN, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/06/06 -- $649,000 to $629,000
Days on Market: 75
Total Reduction: 20k wooohooo... can I get a "Hell Ya!!" for round about 3% ?

14. 1385 BAINBRIDGE LN, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 12/13/05 -- $710,000 to $675,000
Price Reduced: 01/03/06 -- $675,000 to $670,000
Price Reduced: 02/09/06 -- $670,000 to $669,000
Days on Market: 91
Total Reduction: 41k around 5.8%. ..was this the guy's interest rate before his ARM adjusted?

15. 1343 E NAPA ST, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/17/06 -- $1,368,000 to $1,295,000
Price Reduced: 02/13/06 -- $1,295,000 to $1,268,000
Days on Market: 94
Total Reduction: 100k That's nuthin' I bet Bill Gates has this between his couch cushions

16. 18015 HARVARD CT, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/04/06 -- $775,000 to $750,000
Days on Market: 95
Total Reduction: 25k priced to sell, I tell you. Better hurry up or be priced out forever.


17. ? 970 GLENWOOD DR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/10/06 -- $679,000 to $665,000
Days on Market: 89
Total Reduction: a great big fat 14k

18. 535 MITCHELL WAY, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/16/06 -- $799,000 to $775,000
Price Reduced: 01/26/06 -- $775,000 to $750,000
Days on Market: 96
Total Reduction: 49k come on... would the full 50k kill you?

19. 919 1ST ST W, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/01/06 -- $415,000 to $405,000
Days on Market: 100
Total Reduction: 10k Oh Puuhhleeaassee!

20. 910 ARGUELLO CT, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/06/06 -- $649,500 to $629,500
Days on Market: 103
Total Reduction: 20k This 3% thing is popular...

21. 920 5TH ST #M, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/16/05 -- $425,000 to $389,000
Price Reduced: 01/16/06 -- $389,000 to $373,000
Days on Market: 111
Total Reduction: 52k round about 12%

22. 1365 DAWN HILL RD, Glen Ellen, CA
Price Reduced: 12/11/05 -- $1,400,000 to $1,198,000
Days on Market: 104
Total Reduction: 202k round about 14.5%

23. 215 DEPOT RD, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/10/06 -- $565,000 to $525,000
Days on Market: 112
Total Reduction: 40k right around 7%

24. 16880 ESTRELLA DR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/02/06 -- $997,000 to $950,000
Days on Market: 117
Total Reduction: 47k round about 4.7%...really is the 5% too much to give back?

25. 17930 SPRING ST, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 12/08/05 -- $499,000 to $484,000
Days on Market: 124
Total Reduction: 15k that was hardly worth the time it took to re-enter it in MLS

This bargain on Spring st. is the YOU WILL BE SURPRISED house featured on the "Buy the House, Get the Iron Maiden Free" thread. I wonder if the seller is surprised that the cracker jack box of a house hasn't sold?

26. 16737 SONOMA, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/29/05 -- $635,000 to $599,000
Days on Market: 124
Total Reduction: 36k somewhere near that 5.8% again

27. 832 2ND ST W, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/15/05 -- $545,000 to $525,000
Price Reduced: 01/13/06 -- $525,000 to $510,000
Days on Market: 124
Total Reduction: 35k in the ballpark of 6.5%


28. 600 OMAN SPRINGS CIR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/08/05 -- $669,000 to $654,000
Price Reduced: 11/16/05 -- $654,000 to $639,000
Price Reduced: 01/09/06 -- $639,000 to $619,000
Days on Market: 126
Total Reduction: 50k in the neighborhood of 7.5%


29. 846 848 3RD ST, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/18/05 -- $897,000 to $875,000
Price Reduced: 01/17/06 -- $875,000 to $850,000
Days on Market: 126
Total Reduction: 47k round about: 5.3%

30. 19177 ARNOLD DR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 12/05/05 -- $625,000 to $599,999
Days on Market: 128
Total Reduction: 26k round about: who gives a rat's ass?

31. 17313 PARK AVE, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/31/06 -- $599,999 to $589,999
Days on Market: 131
Total Reduction: 10k round about: give you 3 guesses why this baby ain't movin'!

32. 162 W AGUA CALIENTE RD, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/09/06 -- $368,000 to $364,900
Days on Market: 136
Total Reduction: round about 3k... baahahahahahahaha!

33. 842 W 2ND ST, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 12/06/05 -- $549,000 to $539,000
Days on Market: 139
Total Reduction: 10k let me get my bullhorn... "Dear Seller, 2% isn't very compelling!"


34. 49 S TEMELEC CIR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/19/06 -- $589,000 to $569,000
Price Reduced: 02/08/06 -- $569,000 to $549,000
Days on Market: 145
Total Reduction: 40k round about: not much

35. 399 DAHLIA DR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/31/06 -- $545,000 to $539,000
Days on Market: 146
Total Reduction: 6k round about: YAWN

36. 17178 SONOMA HWY, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 12/02/05 -- $385,000 to $375,000
Price Reduced: 01/06/06 -- $375,000 to $329,000
Days on Market: 154
Total Reduction: 56k round about: 14.5%

37. 4611 WARM SPRINGS RD, Glen Ellen, CA
Price Reduced: 01/04/06 -- $699,000 to $629,000
Days on Market: 151
Total Reduction: 70k round about 10%

38. 980 RACHAEL RD, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/22/05 -- $2,495,000 to $2,375,000
Price Reduced: 01/16/06 -- $2,375,000 to $2,345,000
Days on Market: 159
Total Reduction: 150k round about- almost 1k per day since its been listed

39. 140 ENCINAS LN, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/30/05 -- $510,000 to $500,000
Price Reduced: 01/30/06 -- $500,000 to $495,000
Days on Market: 160
Total Reduction: 15k round about: squat

40. 511 BAINES AVE, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/11/05 -- $535,000 to $510,000
Price Reduced: 11/30/05 -- $510,000 to $495,000
Price Reduced: 01/12/06 -- $495,000 to $479,500
Days on Market: 163
Total Reduction: 55.5k round about 10.4%

41. 17023 SUMMER MEADOW LN, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/14/05 -- $1,249,000 to $1,149,000
Days on Market: 165
Total Reduction: 100k right close to 8%

42. 12 WOODWORTH LN, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/10/06 -- $399,000 to $379,000
Days on Market: 166
Total Reduction: 20k round about: 5%

43. 17333 MALEK LN, Sonoma, CA 95476
Price Reduced: 02/20/06 -- $549,000 to $544,000
Days on Market: 173
Total Reduction: 5k round about: You have GOT to be kidding me! LOL


44. 107 PINE AVE, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/06/06 -- $479,000 to $469,000
Days on Market: 188
Total Reduction: 10k round about: who cares?

45. ? 715 BOYES BLVD, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/14/05 -- $879,000 to $849,000
Price Reduced: 02/08/06 -- $849,000 to $799,000
Days on Market: 181
Total Reduction: 80k round about 9.1%

46. ? 18395 BARRETT AVE, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/30/06 -- $579,000 to $569,900
Days on Market: 190
Total Reduction: 10k round about 1.74% (who came up with that lame number?)

47. 13400 SADDLE RD, Glen Ellen, CA
Price Reduced: 12/19/05 -- $1,149,000 to $1,049,000
Days on Market: 208
Total Reduction: 100k seems to be the magic number on million plus property

48. 17135 SONOMA HWY, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/05/06 -- $629,000 to $600,000
Days on Market: 208
Total Reduction: 29k round about: negligible

49. 13432 ARNOLD DR, Glen Ellen, CA
Price Reduced: 01/13/06 -- $849,000 to $799,000
Days on Market: 209
Total Reduction: 50k round about 5.9%

50. 290 SERRES DR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 01/03/06 -- $1,650,000 to $1,595,000
Days on Market: 264
Total Reduction: 55k round about a blip

51. 1901 FREMONT DR, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 02/02/06 -- $2,950,000 to $2,650,000
Days on Market: 271
Total Reduction: 300k close to 10.1%

52. 16743 SONOMA HWY, Sonoma, CA 95476**
Price Reduced: 11/29/05 -- $635,000 to $599,000
Days on Market 489
Total Reduction: 36k round about barely noticed

** New Price Reductions 2/23/06

53. 39 TEMELEC CIR, Sonoma, CA 95476
Price Reduced: 02/22/06 -- $505,000 to $499,900

Days on Market: 12

Total Reduction: 5,100k - we will give you points for being only on the market 12 days before giving up barely 1%

54. 222 BOYES BLVD, Sonoma, CA 95476

Price Reduced: 02/21/06 -- $499,900 to $485,000

Days on Market: 45

Total Reduction: 14,900k round about barely 3% This house is on the main drag of Boyes Hot Springs and apparently the seller thinks it is only overpriced by 3% (bahahahaha!)

D.R. Horton out in Sacramento is giving lessons on how to reduce prices.

(see ad in link above or check out Sacramento Landing)



Houses Sold in Sonoma Week By Week
Jan.- Feb. 27th, 2005 COMPARED with Jan.-Feb. 26th, 2006

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Houses Sold: 12

Median Price: $559,000

Average Price: $668,875

Total Sales: $8,026,500

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Houses Sold: 12

Median Price: $579,000

Average Price: $672,625

Total Sales: $8,071,500

-----------------------------


Sunday, January 9, 2005

Houses Sold: 7

Median Price: $675,000

Average Price: $595,571

Total Sales: $4,168,997

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Houses Sold: 6

Median Price: $605,000

Average Price: $908,000

Total Sales: $5,448,000
------------------------------


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Houses Sold: 9

Median Price: $660,000

Average Price: $764,388

Total Sales: $6,879,492


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Houses Sold: 9

Median Price: $699,000

Average Price: $795,666

Total Sales: $7,160,994

-------------------------------


Sunday, January 23, 2005

Houses Sold: 14

Median Price: $700,000

Average Price: $734,071

Total Sales: $10,276,994

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Houses sold: 7

Median Price: $735,000

Average Price: $881,428

Total Sales: $6,169,996

------------------------------


Sunday January 30, 2005

Houses Sold: 4

Median Price: $728,000

Average Price: $1,114,875

Total Sales: $4,459,500

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Houses Sold: 11

Median Price: $750,000

Average Price: $834,636

Total Sales: $9,180,996

------------------------------



Sunday, February 6, 2005

Houses Sold: 11

Median Price: $440,000

Average Price: $550,772

Total Sales: $6,058,492

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Houses Sold: 3

Median Price: $940,000

Average Price: $1,121,666

Total Sales: $3,364,998

-------------------------------

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Houses Sold: 10

Median Price: $450,000

Average Price: $469,200

Total Sales: $4,692,000

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Houses Sold: 8

Median Price: $878,000

Average Price: $868,312

Total Sales: $6,946,496

-------------------------------



Sunday, February 20, 2005

Houses Sold: 11

Median Price: $580,000

Average Price: $581,818

Total Sales: $6,399,998

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Houses Sold: 8

Median Price: $870,500

Average Price: $861,125

Total Sales: $6,889,000

----------------------------------------


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Houses Sold: 11

Median Price: $950,000

Average Price: $986,454

Total Sales: $10,851,000.00

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Houses Sold: 6

Median Price: $854,500

Average Price: $948,083

Total Sales: $5,688,500

-------------------------------------------
2005 Total Units Sold 1/01-2/27: 89

2006 Total Units Sold 1/01-2/26: 70

2006 Unit volume: Down 21.3%

--------------------------------------------------

2005 Total Sales 1/01-2/27: $61,813,000.00

2006 Total Sales 1/01-2/26: $58,920,500.00

2006 Total Sales Volume: Down 4.68%


23 Comments:

At 2/21/2006 12:02:00 AM , Blogger moonvalley said...

wow..love those reductions..let me get my shopping cart..not.
When are these guys gonna get a clue? However if about 2 or 3 % gets knocked off every momnth or so, we ought to be down by 25 or 30% by this time next year, or perhaps a lot more depending on the foreclosure rate of the crazy loans.

 
At 2/21/2006 07:15:00 AM , Blogger Athena said...

That's my next data project... collecting the number of crazy loans, and the numbers of cash out refi's for Sonoma... also comparing that against the last 4 year data for addresses sold... we should then have a % of houses that were flipped, and the number of leveraged refi's and the % of folks who were the last round of purchasers buying beyond their means... ought to be interesting data.

If you have any stats please add them...

 
At 2/21/2006 10:02:00 AM , Blogger Marinite said...

That's my next data project... collecting the number of crazy loans, and the numbers of cash out refi's for Sonoma

If you figure out where/how to get that data will you share it with me? I really want to do that for Marin.

Marinite
Marin Real Estate Bubble

 
At 2/21/2006 10:09:00 AM , Blogger Athena said...

absolutely...

 
At 2/21/2006 02:15:00 PM , Blogger marin_explorer said...

Wow! it's great to see all this research. A while back, some bulls insisted the downside wouldn't drop more than 10%, but you've already documented reductions past that--while still sitting on the market!

Unless it's already begun, it's only a short time before the general public realizes the inevitable slide has come. Does anyone else predict a dramatic inventory increase this spring (over last year)?

 
At 2/21/2006 03:05:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

I think we are going to start seeing record inventory this spring... and I bet by this summer it will be undeniable that the downward slide has begun.

Of course they will all react like it is fresh news and feel like they are immune to anything drastic happening, and begin telling each other that it is a good time to "Think about selling" LOL... and of course they will be ignoring all the other for sale signs believing that their property is different.

I don't think the talk of the town will admit anything has changed until summer though... and that is if we have record inventory.

what was sold last year in the first 8 weeks 78 houses? roughly 39 houses a month?

This year it was 64 = 32 per month average.

BUT we have much more inventory. if we believe gmac mls- there are 183 listings roughly 4x the average.

I think sonoma is going to be sticky, because people who bought believing they are different, the area is different will think that applies to each and every one of them.

we shall see... get a ringside seat, this oughta be good. :-D

 
At 2/21/2006 03:33:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

I think we will hear more stories like this one...

Liberated from Sacramento Landing
http://sacramentolanding.blogspot.com/2006/02/sellers-feel-pain-as-market-turns-dark.html

A seller in Tracy writes about the travails of selling a home in a rapidly changing market.
[T]hen came my greatest challenge: selling my house. Last August, when I first listed my house for sale, things were optimistic. By mid-September, everything had turned dark and gray. The 180-degree turnaround in the housing market was not totally unexpected, just very bad timing for me. I knew that the basic economics of supply and demand would eventually catch up with the over-zealous housing market. I was just hoping I could sell my house before the tides turned away from shore.

Although the process took six months, the good news is that I have finally closed escrow on the sale...Little did I know last summer that this ordeal would take so long to complete.
The problem is not the price, according to one seller who has reduced her asking price by almost 10% since August.

 
At 2/21/2006 04:02:00 PM , Blogger marin_explorer said...

"I think sonoma is going to be sticky, because people who bought believing they are different, the area is different will think that applies to each and every one of them"

That's the prevailing perception here in Marin as well, but we'll see how much attitude lives up to reality in 2006-07

 
At 2/21/2006 05:03:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

I was reading over at F'd borrowers place and couldn't help but laugh at the piece about what would Joe Kennedy do...?

there was a story that has been attributed to rockefeller, kennedy and all of the robber barrons at one time or another... about getting his shoe shined and receiving a stock tip from the shoe shine boy... THAT was the day to get out of the stock market.

When the inmates are running the asylum it can be entertaining, but surely not a wise place to put your money.

At this point when every Dick and Jane is touting real estate as a sure thing, and you have to get in on the house ATM party... and real estate only goes up... we KNOW what is going to happen.

we are simply writing their obituaries for them ahead of time... :-D

see... I wonder about Marin and I kind of think it will be stickier than sonoma... I think the incomes are higher, the length of time property has been owned is longer, and the access to SF and places where 6 figure incomes can be had give it a bit of an edge.

Sonoma... it is a flipper's paradise and we got all your people who were priced out of marin, so they over-extended themselves in my backyard...

 
At 2/21/2006 08:31:00 PM , Blogger Marinite said...

t this point when every Dick and Jane is touting real estate as a sure thing, and you have to get in on the house ATM party... and real estate only goes up... we KNOW what is going to happen.

Ya know, I read this and just shake my head. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry was 'touting RE as a sure thing' like two years ago and yet here we are and it is still going on. Sometimes I feel like giving up. Today is one of them (no posts today you might have noticed, even though Lereah's new book is just begging to be flamed...). I started out all full of blogging vigour and now...blogging is tough work. Good job Athena; I wish I still had your energy. Wanna take over the Marin blog???

Then I just listen to some Crosby, Stills, & Nash and feel better.

Marinite
Marin Real Estate Bubble

 
At 2/21/2006 10:30:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

I hear you... they all have been saying it for a few years, and they were right... it WAS going up. But I really believe there are some fundamental flaws with the economy of this bubble.

I mean, if we were to forget for a bit that we are talking about houses, domiciles, residences etc... we are talking about multiple mushrooming segments of the country that has been living on credit for about 10 years.

not INVESTING with their credit mind you. This is not a bubble with people snapping up easy cheap cash and reinvesting it in stocks or commodities or savings.

They have bought houses only to use the house like an increase in the credit limit of a credit card.

One of the fundamental reasons real estate has reached the heights it has is because people counted on getting their credit limits raised, and then refied out the cash and spent it and went back to the house ATM/credit card to do it again and again, and each year they have counted on having their limit raised.

I am not so sure that we have done such things at any other time in history. I am not so sure the teeming masses had so many credit options before... we are financing this housing bubble on greed and consumerism.

At least my boomer parents bought homes and lived in them. and any money they made was likely not much if you factored in all the costs and inflation, but it seemed like a nice savings account and seemed like a win by the time they sold and bought the next house. They tended to live in their houses for 10 years at a time or so- enough to let a child finish out whatever school they were in before moving so they wouldn't have to leave in the middle.

People don't seem to do that now. The house is a temporary thing, buy, get $$ refi, sell to the next sucker waiting in the wings.

This last bull run for housing was due after the last bust, and the industry is cyclical... always has been. this time though, I think we have some added variables in more mass public hands and we are going to learn some lessons of the past, but I think also there will be new lessons.

We will always hear in that real estate is a good place to park your money and that if you can afford your investment you will be better off in the long run. But it isn't the only thing. And guess what? I would rather live my life and be happy and free than live it scrambling always to hold onto a tiger's tail.

Today's mentality is all about grabbing the biggest tiger by the tail that can be grabbed... Who wants to live that way?

I am not complaining that woe is me I would rather be poor than have a mortgage to show for myself. I actually work for a great company and am very comfortable with what I make, and I can likely qualify for a 30yr. fixed in my home town if it seemed like a good idea. the thing is... it ISN'T a good idea. Why throw away 3x as much money as i need to? I would rather bank that money elsewhere, or better yet, do something fun with it right here and now rather than sit and wait to borrow it from the HouseATM. Who wants that hassle?

Oh right... Tom, Dick and Harry. You know... we are writing their obits right now, and we likely will be walking through the grave of their houseATMs in the next year or so.

Hang in there Marinite.

I don't have much energy. I am a lazy carbuncle if you let me be. I am all about the data though. I think I will be ok with this as long as there is data to find and analyze. If the data turns against us... then I think I will be just disillusioned and bitter.

I was raised to be financially responsible and practical... and if in the end that is all hogwash and we are supposed to be pound foolish... good lord. I don't even know what to say if that is the case. It has never been the case though... this would be the first time that financial follies would turn out well.

 
At 2/22/2006 10:14:00 AM , Blogger Marinite said...

I fully agree with you athena. I have gotten to the point where I will no longer have any sympathy for anyone who gets hurt by the IMO inevitable crash/downturn/soft landing/whatever you want to call it. It is so obvious that this financial irresponsibility will end badly that anyone who doesn't see it and yet still plays the game deserves what they get. I've become a mean person. Bums me out.

 
At 2/22/2006 11:15:00 AM , Blogger Athena said...

You are not mean. Look at it this way. If you had a brother or a sister who suddenly discovered credit cards and was out living it up and buying everything his/her heart desired and racking up huge debt and preaching that you should do it too... would your consider yourself mean to shake your head, and to KNOW better than to do the same? Would you consider yourself spiteful to warn the sibling of where that train goes?

We know where this train is going.

This is not about whether or not real estate appreciates. It is not about whether or not people who can afford their monthly payments will be able to take a good chunk of money and do with it what they please, buy a bigger house, put their kids through college etc... in those cases I think it is money well deserved. As long as people can afford their investment, and are fine with the amount of return and way of return then that is all well and good. It is kind of like how some people do everything they can to have all their salary in their check monthly, and want to give the government no interest free loans. I on the other hand love to have a refund. I know I loaned the government money, but the refund I get is in such a chunk that I will NOT spend it... where if it was in smaller amounts spread out over the year, I likely would spend it. Is it a wise use of money? could I make more if I invested that small portion monthly? Probably... but I am not that disciplined... and I argue neither are most of the masses.

THAT is the problem we are having now. We are well beyond the portion of the market that can afford the debts they are incurring and spending. The home equity market was not designed to prop up an entire economy, let alone an economy that is more than the GNP of most other countries... this WILL collapse, and it is not mean to want it to be so.

You are not advocating that people get hurt because you didn't buy a house and run up large debts and are not driving a hoopdied out escalade. We are advocating that some fiscal responsibility go back into the economy we live within... why? because if it doesn't... more people will get hurt and it is beyond whether or not they can buy a house or not.

 
At 2/23/2006 10:04:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started out all full of blogging vigour and now...blogging is tough work. Good job Athena; I wish I still had your energy. Wanna take over the Marin blog???

Why not make it easier on yourself? Blog a little less (or briefer), or make it easy for others to contribute? I find it a bit hard to live up to that thing--my .02.

 
At 2/23/2006 10:08:00 AM , Blogger Athena said...

I would love for others to contribute. Feel free to add to the threads or email your stories, pictures and tales from your grapevine to sonomahousingbubble@yahoo.com

 
At 2/23/2006 01:05:00 PM , Blogger Marinite said...

Why not make it easier on yourself? Blog a little less (or briefer), or make it easy for others to contribute?

I have asked for contributions. So far no takers (with the exception of athena). I like this Sonoma blog because Athena is where I was in marin like 7 months ago. Outraged at what I was seeing.

Marinite
Marin Real Estate Bubble

 
At 2/23/2006 01:37:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have asked for contributions. So far no takers (with the exception of athena).

Don't take this as criticism, but there's some who have offered to help, even provided you content. Maybe a few are willing to help out, it's just we have different interests and goals at looking at the real estate problem.

 
At 2/23/2006 02:46:00 PM , Blogger Marinite said...

Don't take this as criticism, but there's some who have offered to help, even provided you content.

Really? I guess I missed it. People send me PoS pics all the time as well as links to articles but I don't think that is what you mean. Or is it?

 
At 2/23/2006 03:47:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

it's just we have different interests and goals at looking at the real estate problem.

I'm game... what are these different interests and goals? What is your take on the real estate problem? How do you see it being solved? What do you see as the problem?

 
At 2/23/2006 05:19:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm game... what are these different interests and goals? What is your take on the real estate problem? How do you see it being solved? What do you see as the problem?

First off, I want to come across as constructive, recognizing the bloggers who have contributed so much awareness to macroeconomic issues, as well as regional market dynamics: you, Marinite, and others. I've followed this subject quite a long time as well, and found that once I answered my own questions on the probable causes and future outcomes, my curiosity turned elsewhere.

Convinced we're not going to buy until things change (and they will), we're still following market indicators with some interest. Yet, stories of impending instability, mortgage stats, etc. are less interesting now. Instead, I think our attention has turned to where we'll move next (inside Marin, Sonoma, or even leave CA), house size/styling/benefits, construction quality/maintenance, community and environmental issues. (we have a 95% passive solar home, and won't give that up easily). And, if we move to Sonoma or Napa, we want to be well aware of storm hazards (ie flooding) that could affect future costs.

The bubble aside, these are criteria we really care about; our end-user issues. I suspect this is different for everyone, yet the more a blog can address regional housing issues and needs, the better tool it will be for those in the community. (Just think how blogs can out perform local newspapers in this regard).

With this goal in mind, it possibly might be easier to provide a diversity of contributors, and perhaps be more rewarding for the blog owner. Just our take on things, if that strikes a chord with others, then great!

Thanks again for all the informative articles; you bloggers kick the IJ's ass!

 
At 2/23/2006 05:31:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

Anon- I think those are great ideas. My interest in this topic also came from my interest in the bigger questions as well. It didn't come from being priced out, or wanting in, or feeling like I missed the boat. It came from watching an area change in a way that hasn't been seen before, and wondering what does it mean? where do we go from here? what happens to a community like Sonoma when the unique set of circumstances that allowed this bubble to take flight are in such opposition with the actual economy of the town. Also, what happens when prices make it look like wholly undesirable areas are desirable? What is it that can change a community? Is it simply raising the prices in homes by 3x their real value?

Can spending a half a million dollars make living in Boyes Springs along the creek (nice when it floods by the way) a chic thing? Where will the people who live there because the hovels are so run down they fetch cheap rent going to go? Who is it that is going to buy them and want to live in them? With the prices that they are asking (see the couple of babies on the iron maiden thread) who are they going to rent to when they can't afford the payments any longer? The rents these properties go for now are WAY out of line for what the properties are selling for... where is the new economic community going to come from to prop up those "investors" who bought these kinds of properties?

I think it would be great for people to not just scoff at the properties and how they look, but give insight into the idiosynchrocies that make the prices so laughable. That is why I am here...

Feel free to participate and ask any questions you would like us to think about.

 
At 2/23/2006 06:52:00 PM , Blogger Out at the peak said...

This is an excellent blog. I'm going to link it from mine. Although the 'sales volume' figure is actually up 4.45% instead of 0.4%.

It looks like there were a couple of expensive houses that skewed the number out of our favor.

YoY declines will appear soon.

 
At 2/23/2006 07:04:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

Thanks Out at the Peak... yours is great too! I will go find the % and fix it... I was using multipe docs to track my math and cutting and pasting, definitely not an oops proof method. Thanks again.

 

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