Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's a LONG Way Down, Honey!

C.A.R. reports sales decrease 30.1 percent in August

'“We experienced the greatest year-to-year sales decline last month since August 1982, when sales fell 30.4 percent,” said C.A.R. President Vince Malta. “This is another indication that we’re in the initial stages of a long-anticipated adjustment in the market."

'“Buyers today have a much greater selection of properties from which to choose, while some sellers are still clinging to price expectations that are no longer valid in today’s market,” he said."

'“Although the median price in the state and in several regions hit an all-time record in August, we expect softer prices toward the end of the year,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young."

'“The median price typically peaks somewhere between June and August before declining toward the end of the year. Some areas of the state already have experienced year-to-year declines for more than two months. This is in stark contrast to the past several years when there were constant double-digit increases. The long-term trend remains to be seen.”'

'“Homes are taking longer to sell than a year ago, with just 29 percent of homes on the market for 30 days or less, compared with 51 percent a year ago,” she said. “The share of homes on the market for 90 days or longer has nearly quadrupled from 6 percent in August 2004 to 22 percent last month."

Northern Wine Country
Median Price: $609,730
Down by: -4.8% YOY
August Sales down by: -23.6% YOY

"Home prices are projected to fall for the rest of the year, the National Association of Realtors said Monday, with sellers being forced to accept a new reality: Buyers now wield the power, with the supply of homes for sale at a 13-year high."

"The decline is no doubt jarring to sellers, who haven't seen prices fall nationally since April 1995. The price drop was also sharp, the second-steepest in 38 years. Sales of existing homes, meantime, fell for the fifth month in a row."

'"The housing bubble has burst; this is just the confirmation," says Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors."

'"The housing market is in trouble right now. I think it's finally in the process of moving toward finding a bottom," which he expects will take six months."

'"We have a serious correction taking place in the housing sector," Richard Fisher, the Federal Reserve president in Dallas, said in a speech Monday. Last week, the Fed voted again to hold interest rates steady and said weakness in housing was a key factor in its decision."

"'This may be the most overanticipated and overanalyzed downturn in history," Fisher said."

'"One prominent CEO told me the only situation that's received more intense analysis than the housing market was the birth of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's baby. "'

"Still, the pace of the downturn has surprised several economists, including Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics."

If you are surprised, you are an idiot. There has been so much data and analysis out there on the collapse of the appallingly high flying bubble, you would have to be comatose to have missed it.

'"The speed of the collapse has been astonishing," Shepherdson says."

Astonishing that he doesn't feel stupid saying this with a completely straight face.

'"This time last year, single-family home prices were up 16.4%. With inventory still rising, there is no chance of any short-term relief. Prices and volumes have a long way to fall."'

'"To bring buyers back into the market, sellers simply have to lower their prices," said David Lereah, the NAR's chief economist. Lereah has repeatedly cut his forecast for the housing market this year and says he's now unsure how deep the correction will turn out."

'"If we have prices drop for the rest of the year and sales also continue to drop, then we will have a bad situation in housing of balloons popping rather than air coming out," Lereah said."

Ya think, Asshat? What about that great book you wrote about why the bubble won't burst and how real estate will continue going up?


At 9/26/2006 05:11:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

Athena,when i see a somewhat respecable economist predicting a 6 month drop in prices,i suspect some sort of cognitive far as lereah,he has less integrity than the average junkie standing on a street corner,and everyone knows the man addicted to shame and ridicule? the coworker who told me today that there was no way prices would drop more than 5% in sonoma county has a masters degree from uc berkeley,has traveled the world,and his dad made a fortune in real estate over 40 years,riding out several cycles.

At 9/27/2006 10:46:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

And probably is going upside-down on his property or "investments". If prices drop more than 5%, he'll be wiped out which cannot possibly happen to him so PRICES WILL HOLD! THEY HAVE TO! THEY HAVE TO! THEY HAVE TO!


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