Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Its Different Here... But Is It Different In Napa?

"Napa County's housing market seems to be slowing down, with fewer sales and a slight drop in the value of the median priced home, new statistics reveal."

"The median sale price decreased 5 percent between March and April to $609,000, while the number of units sold plunged 39 percent, according to DataQuick Information Systems."

"However, April's median price remains 6 percent above a year ago and the market managed to set a record high of $641,000 in March, making future predictions difficult, said DataQuick president Marshall Prentice."

'"These are strange times for forecasters and analysts. Are we heading into a market lull? Or are we seeing the beginning of a significant downturn? Many of the fundamentals for housing are at a crossroads: inflation, interest rates, demand, household incomes, prices and whether homes are a good investment compared to other investments. Summer is going to be interesting to say the least," said Prentice."

"Napa Valley Realtors and brokers have an informed perspective on what's happening in county real estate and the market's direction."

"Coldwell Banker Realtor Robin Rose said, "One question everyone is looking at is how much the weather has affected our market. We're about to find out if the rain prolonged our seasonal slowdown."'

"Rose anticipates good choices for clients. "There is very strong demand for property in move-in condition, a good location, and priced reasonably. There are plenty of buyers out there."'

Are there now? 39% drop in sales and there are plenty of buyers? If you say so. You are the expert. Pay no attention to the math.

"ReMax's Jensen noted the current market is "complicated." Whereas the last dip began with homes in the middle ranges, this market is softest in the lower reaches. Jensen said first-time home buyers who worked their way into the market with creative financing have been squeezed as interest rates have risen."

"Overall, though, she says the shift is healthy. Buyers and sellers are no longer in "impulse" mode when it comes to transactions, and are making more rational economic decisions."

"DataQuick reports the "typical" Bay Area buyer has an eye popping $3,048 per month mortgage payment. That tops March's $2,948 figure and the $2,659 payment reported in April 2005."

Those figures don't unnecessarily alarm Mike Bolen of Intero Real Estate Services. Bolen said Napa Valley remains a draw.

But its different in Napa. Everyone wants to live there...

"There's always going to be a demand here for housing that you won't see in other areas. It's one of those areas that has everything great for real estate: location, tight supply, pricing power and demand," Bolen said"

'"We're still at extremely low interest rates. I don't see any cause for panic."'

'"A slight increase in mortgage rates and housing prices means buyers are spending a little more money and becoming more careful about what they are buying," said Rose."

'"Buyers are being more discriminating on every level -- price, amenities, and location. They have the luxury of time and availability of more product to make their decision," said Morgan Lane's Silvas."

"Not only are homeowners taking on higher monthly payments, the days of hosting a "mortgage burning party" seem to be dwindling, said Silvas."

"Different generations have different home ownership goals, she added. "I don't think most buyers today are looking at that as a goal," said Silvas."

What IS the goal then of today's buyer? They actually aspire to spend two to three times the cost to rent the same property just to have the privilege of renting from the bank?

Better hurry up before you are priced out of the new american dream forever! Renting from the bank won't always be this cheap! Prices will rise and soon you will have to pay 4 and 5 times the rental market cost to even get in the game! Hurry I tell you! What are you waiting for??!!

Don't be foolish. No longer is ownership the goal. The real goal is to rent forever and give your realtor and mortgage broker a nice fat reliable income.

Did I not tell you this whole real estate bubble was nothing more than a big fat PYRAMID SCHEME designed to benefit the real estate and lending industries?

Silvas doesn't believe the market is in a bubble. "Baby boomers remain in their peak earning years and stand to inherit a tremendous amount of wealth from their parents over the next decade or two," said Silvas.

OMG! Total hyena!!!


At 5/30/2006 06:26:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

well,if it wasn't the rain,it was probably 9/11.a "complicated" market? "hard to call" sweet oprah winfrey!these folks must be getting their lsd direct from owsley and mixing it with everclear!!!any good real estate salesperson or loan broker can make a living without telling these kinds of stupid lies...good grief i know 5 year old kids that would be ashamed of lying this badly.

At 5/30/2006 06:28:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

did all these realtors quoted get to be special by taking the short bus to real estate school?

At 5/31/2006 01:41:00 AM , Blogger Athena said...

They really rounded them up for this story didn't they?

At 5/31/2006 03:02:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

yes they did,probably found them staggering off the wine train after doing one of those continuing education/wine and food excursions...and no i am not ride the train,booze it up and watch a video or lecture,get bussed to a few wineries(yes it is a short bus)and eat at a nice restaurant .voila! you get a certificate and a hangover,send the certificate to dre,and license renewed!costs a couple hundred bucks,very popular as a way to network,get herpes...from what i've heard.i get the fliers,i'll send you one.

At 5/31/2006 03:15:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

remind me not to sleep with any realtwhores! LOL ;-)

At 5/31/2006 05:35:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

some of these quotes are worth rereading several times,my grandmother,the late karen j fuller, who emigrated from england,and the word she used for people like these realtors was "blivet" which is defined as five pounds of shit in a one pound bag.she was a real lady,always tested the temperature of the oil before pouring it on the deserving.

At 5/31/2006 08:41:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

forgot to mention it,balloons in sebastopol! at two open houses i passed sunday,and 1 big price reduced sign...checked 95472 zip in ....whoa nelly,can you say tax lien? there are more listings for this zip than there were for the county 90 days ago...must be the weather.

At 6/01/2006 01:50:00 PM , Blogger poguemahone said...

OT: I plotted all the latest OFHEO data released today:

At 6/01/2006 01:50:00 PM , Blogger poguemahone said...

OT: I plotted all the latest OFHEO data released today:

At 6/01/2006 03:56:00 PM , Blogger moonvalley said...

Listening to another RE show on KSVY returning from lunch this afternoon, they were discussing the idea of RE agents reducing their commission. This was kicked around for a few nanoseconds followed by a lot of hemming and hawing and , "the RE'ers are all professionals and they deserve their money". Motion tabled.
They then moved on to Vineyard property and how to get people in to that. Evidently they are holding seminars, on on June 4th and another a few weeks later.
They're going to feature people who know about estate management, vineyard leases etc. They're pitching property to people who picture themselves as the next wine Kings/Queens..all of which most likely involves no money down , no knowledge of the business, and of course no work.
I'd love it if they'd ask Athena, or Tom or any of the other bears on these shows, but I don't think they could handle it.

At 6/01/2006 04:13:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

Well let's hope that no local listeners will take those fools seriously... and hope no tourists were listening. :-)

At 6/01/2006 04:45:00 PM , Blogger moonvalley said...

what a sad sight it is to see the tourists stopping and oggling at the photos in all the RE shops on the PLaza. I can always tell a tourist as they are the ones wandering around with RE magazines clutched in their fists.

At 6/01/2006 05:04:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

i have a neighbor with a boutique vineyard of about 5 acres,a very sharp and nice guy...retired,wife still pulls dow high 6 figure salary...he loses 30k a year,on average on the vineyard,and does a lot of the work himself (a lot of work) he's organic so he isn't poisoning his family/neighbors,and i would guess a net worth of 15 mill or so.he was quite he works 40 hrs a week on the place and it costs him 30k a year.he can use the writeoff,and loves it,so ok....but it takes at least 14 acres to be viable as a small vineyard,and 25-30k per acre to plant,with no return for a while...if you love it and need the writeoff ok,but anyone who thinks a farm or ranch is anything but hard work,and gambling to boot is nuts...very seriously nuts.

At 6/01/2006 08:45:00 PM , Blogger moonvalley said...

Well, these seminars they were talking about seem to be the "Greenacres" version of the Donald Trump seminars

At 6/01/2006 10:38:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

Green Acres! bahahaha! MV, we should go to the seminars! Can I play Zsa Zsa?

At 6/02/2006 07:01:00 AM , Anonymous tom stone said...

"green acres version of a trump seminar"! viciously funny mv,as i'm sure the seminars are...selling the dream of being old californ'.do they serve mint juleps? oops,getting the lies confused.and certainly you can be zsa zsa or eva...don't the shoes hurt,though?

At 6/02/2006 08:17:00 AM , Blogger marin_explorer said...

"...anyone who thinks a farm or ranch is anything but hard work"

Right. Lure them with a romantic picture of a home nestled amongst vineyards. I know people who do the same thing on a few acres in St. Helena. Apparently even their small vineyard isn't much fun for the scant harvest, picked by hand. I can think of far better ways to spend my time and money.


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