Junk Food Housing News
You know, headlines lately are leaving much to be desired, reminds me of the empty calories of junk food.
Recently, (published April 22, 2006) The Press Democrat published an article about the Sonoma County Condo market. Their headline read: "Condos weather the storm"
The story said:
"Normally, condominium prices are the last to rise during a market surge and the first to fall when sales drop."
"But Sonoma County's condominium market has remained stronger than many had anticipated in the face of slowing home sales and flattening prices. Some still warn the condominium market could soften this year with the addition of new units and apartments converted to condos. But the supply of condominiums continues to grow as developers anticipate more buyers will look to condos as an alternative to high-priced houses."
'"Affordability always is the key for why we're still selling them," said Alice Curtis, Santa Rosa manager for Creative Property Services."
"Increasingly, condominiums have been the most affordable housing to purchase in a county where the typical house doubled in price over five years. Long the choice of singles and couples seeking low-maintenance homes, condominiums have become the starter home for families and other first-time buyers. Condominium prices took off in the wake of house prices as demand drove down the supply of units for sale. The county's condos are concentrated in the largest cities and account for about 15 percent of total home sales."
"Curtis cautioned the market has softened and that condominiums are just as likely as houses to sell for less than they would have last summer, when prices peaked. She noted the average home sold for up to 5 percent above the asking price in recent years, but is now selling for about 3 percent below."
"That says the market is still softening because clients are still lowering their asking prices and we're still seeing them selling for lower than those asking prices," Curtis said. Loan interest rates have steadily increased over the past year and combined with high prices are pushing more buyers out of the market."
Reality of Condo Sales in Sonoma County (March)
County: 73 units sold YoY down -34.80%
Rohnert Park: 17 units sold YoY down -37%
Santa Rosa: 34 units sold YoY down -45.2%
Sonoma: 8 units sold which can hardly account for the headline of Condos weathering the storm. (up from February which had 0 sales) up 33.3%
Sonoma's median price is down -24% and average price down -20.70%
speaking of that "storm" the Sonoma Index Tribune had a bit of a blurb about local real estate:
"PRIME REAL ESTATE at Armstrong Estates on Sonoma's east side may not find a buyer quite as quickly as in past years, when homes would be snapped up within a week of hitting the market."
"Home sales have slowed down over the winter months, but as the weather heats up, so does the housing market, even if agents predict 2006 will be more mellow than past years. Neither buyers nor real estate agents were tempted to slog through the mud over a particularly wet March, but a glint of sunshine has people pounding the pavement."
(There is nobody pounding the pavement in the picture they posted. The MLS is growing daily, as is the price reduced list. When they said "as the weather heats up, so does the housing market" - do they mean the number of houses put up for sale is heating up? Because that is true. The buying isn't heating up though.)
You won't be able to read the rest of it even if you click on the links unless you want to pay for it. They really are arrogant enough to believe that users must pay to read the news on the website. This is Sonoma. Everyone wants to live here, and everyone wants to read our news and will pay for it because it is that good.