Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Falling Prices... It Can Happen to You

Broward County, Florida declares the boom is gone.

Home sales fall 36%

"South Florida's five-year housing boom is over.Prospective home buyers are finding prices falling to more affordable levels. Sellers are waiting impatiently as their houses sit on the market for weeks and months, only to receive tepid interest before reducing their asking prices."

"We're entering a new part of the cycle," said Brad Hunter, a West Palm Beach housing analyst. "We're in the process of returning to reality."

"The number of home sales fell 36 percent in Broward to 552 -- the fewest used homes sold in the county in one month since the Orlando-based state Realtors group started tracking home sales and prices in 1994. In Miami-Dade, home sales in January dropped 28 percent from a year ago to 580."

"Looking ahead, as interest rates rise to near 7 percent, many people won't be able to buy homes and recent buyers with adjustable-rate mortgages will be squeezed, said Hunter, the West Palm Beach analyst. As a result, he predicts an increase in the number of foreclosures across South Florida."

"Buyers like Sharon Raymond who just sold her condo in Davie don't have to rush to buy the first home they can afford."

"In many cities and towns across South Florida, homes are taking longer to sell, and many for-sale signs are sprouting on front lawns daily. Some used houses are staying on the market for months, forcing sellers to reduce their asking prices."

"You had to make an offer at that moment and give them exactly what they were asking for," she said, remembering the days when sellers called all the shots."But now homes aren't selling nearly as quickly as before. A couple of places have lowered their prices since I've been looking. I'm taking that as a good sign. I don't have to rush."

I don't hold my breath that Sonoma news outlets will have such stories announcing the falling prices and declining sales. So check back here for the facts. In fact, have you counted the number of real estate agent pictures and ads on our oddly mum little news outlet? The only clue that those behind the curtain have even noticed the change in the state of unreal estate, are the hints given by Sunday's agent advice, and even in that little write up it was all hinting and allusion.

What ever happened to "Speak the Truth and Shame the Devil?"

So if we want to see what it will look like here, put on your thinking caps because we will likely have to look at the anecdotal evidence from other high flying bubbles returning to earth, and do the math of what is happening right here under our noses.

Since it IS strangely quiet... do you think the bulls and fools are pulling out their calculators and adding up the growing inventory and the loan statistics and the median incomes of Sonoma?


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