Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sonoma Bubble Stats 04-03-06

“The next time a housing bubble gently deflates will be the first time a housing bubble gently deflates. The housing market has been held in by continued low mortgage rates, which have allowed households to use the imaginative mortgage products to purchase homes they really cannot afford. As rates rise, more people will be priced out of the markets. This is likely one of the reasons for the falloff in demand.”

— Joel Naroff, chief economist, Commerce Bancorp, March 27

Sonoma County MLS listings: 1888
(bay area internet data exchange)

Sonoma Valley MLS listings: 268
(GMAC)

Recent Home Sales:
week ending Sunday, April 2, 2006

Sonoma County Homes Sold: 67
down more than 50%
Sonoma Homes Sold: 5
way down ... just way down

week ending Sunday, April 3, 2005
Sonoma County: 153
Sonoma: 13

Sonoma- March 2006 Houses Sold: 23
Down right close to 50%
Sonoma- March 2005 Houses Sold: 45


Actual Properties Sold (Sonoma)
week ending Sunday, April 2, 2006
(sfgate weekly real estate stats)

789 Cordilleras Drive
$890,000, 4 bdrms, 1656 sq. ft., 1971

128 Fairview Lane
$540,000, 2 bdrms, 1112 sq. ft., 1950

409 Jay Court
$650,000, 4 bdrms, 1830 sq. ft., 1989

19469 Victoria Court
$850,000, 2 bdrms, 1398 sq. ft., 1972

726 West 1st Street
$560,000, 1 bdrms, 981 sq. ft.

Stay tuned for the Price Reduced listings. Seems there were several new reductions added and it will take a bit of time to do a comparison with the prior list and make accurate changes.

ps. Sonoma IT Real estate section has a new article from a real estate agent pimping condos. Apparently there are all sorts of reasons why you should consider a condo in Sonoma- and maybe get a trip out of it too. :-D hmmm.. can't wait to see the March statistics for how many condos were sold. February there were ZIP, ZILCH, ZERO condos sold in Sonoma. I bet March is looking similar.
Also- I will post some snippets from another very entertaining article calling the Sonoma housing bubble a "Goldilocks Housing Market." (big grin)

My favorite part of the article is:

"A word of caution for buyers: ... it would be a mistake for buyers to sit on the fence hoping for prices to come down."

Last time I checked a market is actually defined by the BUYER. What the BUYER is ultimately willing to do is what determines what direction the market goes. Guess what? If those buyers sit on the fence and wait... the prices WILL come down. Sellers can raise their prices all they want, but they can only SELL the house if there is a buyer willing to pay for it.

My final word of advice... look closely at who is giving you advice when they have their hand in your pocket.

Just a glimpse of how this works... just one example of what happens when the air leaks out of the bubble...

"The Pittsburg Business Times reports on a new trend for realtors. “Looking to head off a sustained dip in the real estate market, some of Pittsburgh’s largest real estate agencies are asking home sellers to do something that will mean less money for them and their agents: reduce their asking prices.”'

“Coldwell Banker even has an incentive for agents who get the most reductions in list price, entering them in a raffle for a football autographed by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.”

“(Broker) George Hackett said real estate agents should be just like stockbrokers, keeping clients constantly informed as to where the market is going. ‘If they’re priced right, people would be looking at it,’ Hackett said. ‘Maybe it was priced right six months ago, but it’s not priced right now.’”


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