Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Houses Don't Sell Themselves Any More

Knives are falling, but the prices suggest only the Greatest Fools are trying to catch them. Good luck with that.

"Backlog of unsold properties in slowing Sonoma County market has sellers trying new lures."

"Incentives to drive home sales have become more common across Sonoma County during the housing slump. Most are aimed at enticing agents to take a closer look for their clients in a market where the supply has doubled over the past year."

Sonoma County: 3002
Price Reduced: 1111

Sonoma Valley: 304
Price Reduced: 150+

'"You pull up a price range and you get more houses than you can look at. You somehow want to do something to get noticed," said Tom Kemper, Creative Property Services manager in Windsor. "Houses don't sell themselves any more."'

"In 2005, buyers were still waging bidding battles and had little leverage to negotiate over repairs or other concessions from sellers.But today, sellers are the parties beckoning for attention."

"An Oakmont homeowner offered $5,000 to any agent who brought in a buyer to purchase the $495,000 house, said the seller's agent, Mike Higgins of Century 21 Valley of the Moon realty. Higgins said he told the homeowner the offer likely wouldn't help."

"The home didn't sell and was pulled off the market."In my opinion, these incentives don't do anything to bring in an offer that wouldn't have come in anyway."

"A new Honda Civic for a $359,000 house - that was an offer posted in red letters on a large yellow banner at a busy Santa Rosa intersection."

'"With the market as it has been, I thought it might be valuable to get a hook," said David Peoples, the Coldwell Banker agent with that listing."

"More than a month later, despite more calls and interest, the lure of a new, $20,000 car still had not yielded an offer to purchase the house."

"Offering agents an all-expenses-paid trip to the Kona Coast in Hawaii - worth $5,000 - was Christopherson's latest effort in a year when Sonoma County's largest builder dropped prices 5 percent and didn't put a new foundation in the ground for seven months."

"Sonoma County home sales turned downward in November, falling 15.1% from October, off 28.8% year-over-year. Year-to-date, home sales are down 27.3%."

After four months of losses, the median price for single-family homes in Sonoma County is $565,000. This is 5.7% lower than last November, and the fifth month in a row year-over-year appreciation has been negative

Average days on the market: 106


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