Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sonoma's RE Market Stumbles

Sonoma County's real estate market is starting to get hit hard. This is not too surprising. Outlying areas get hit first and hard as there are more investment properties on the fringe. As the bubble contracts the effects move inward. Watch out Marin! I've got my popcorn and a comfy seat in preparation for the show.

Some choice quotes:
"Sonoma County's housing market is slowing after a record run."

"Price reductions and seller concessions, listings languishing on the market and buyers negotiating better terms are signs the housing market has cooled after a sizzling three-year home buying binge."

"The extent of the sales slowdown and flattening prices show the shift in the real estate market goes beyond the seasonal swing that happens almost every autumn."

"Inventory is at a three-year high. Homes are taking five weeks on average to sell, compared with three weeks a year ago."

"It means sellers have to be more competitive. I think stubborn sellers might believe that their particular property is golden and is going to sell higher than the last one that sold down the block. If they really want to move their property, they're going to have to change their thinking."

"While home prices continue rising rapidly in California's interior, appreciation has slowed in Sonoma County, the Bay Area and other high-cost coastal regions."

"There is a key difference in that the median prices have been moving up a lot more quickly compared with the state as a whole," said Robert Kleinhenz, deputy chief economist for the California Association of Realtors. "It becomes increasingly difficult for the typical household to buy, especially to do the trade-up purchases that have been such a big part of the market."

"Only 7 percent of Sonoma County households were able to afford a median-priced home in August, down from 13 percent a year ago. Statewide, affordability dropped to 14 percent from 18 percent, according to the association."

"Rising interest rates contribute to making it more difficult for households to buy a home."

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