March, 2018 Current Market Conditions

The purpose of this page is to give you a current view of the Humboldt County real estate market. I update this page every few months to give you important information, which can be valuable in guiding your buying or selling decisions.


Between 2001 and 2005, Humboldt Count - like other parts of the state, experienced a boom in real estate prices, with home prices more than doubling. By early 2006 the median sale price in Humboldt County had reached about $330,000. During 2006 sale prices began a gradual decline which continued until a bottom was reached around 2012 . At this point, sale prices were 25 - 30% below what they were six years earlier. In 2013 sale prices began increasing - a trend that continued through 2017. By the end of 2017 the median sale price had reached about $315,000.

Current Conditions

The first three months of the year are normally a stable time for prices with inventory and sales volume at a lower level than normal. Sale prices tend to soften and the time it takes to sell a home - days on the market - gets longer. As of this date that pattern is holding true and the median sale price is currently a little under $300,000 on lower sales volume.

The biggest concern at present is what will happen with interest rates this year? They have ticked up recently to over 4.25%, which is lower than the historical average, but higher than they've been during most of the rise in sale prices over the past five years. This probably factors into the softening in the recent median sale price and the lengthening of the median days on the market. Due to the time of year it's a little hard to tell. Market conditions two months from now will give us a better idea if sale prices hold firm or begin to decline somewhat..

Advice for Buyers

If you haven't been pre-qualified for a mortgage loan recently it is a good idea to do so. I would be happy to provide a list of some local lenders that have done a good job for my clients. Assuming you will need a loan to finance your home purchase, having a pre qualification letter from a lender is essential in negotiating with a seller when you find the house that's right for you. To stretch your buying dollar further, you should consider homes that have somewhat dated interiors, if the design, construction quality and location is desirable to you.

I can work with you to lower your out-of-pocket purchase costs when writing your offer to purchase. I know how to help buyers negotiate the best terms and see beyond the surface appearance of homes and the effect of location on market value and appeal.

Advice for Sellers

Sale prices are much higher than they were a few years ago when your home may have been worth less than when you bought it, unless you've owned your home for over 14 years and haven't pulled cash out of your home through refinancing. To get the maximum sale price for your home, you will likely need to do some things to get it ready for sale. To know which things are more important, or which things are more cost effective to make your home sell at the highest price in the shortest period of time, can be very valuable to you. I've been selling homes for over 30 years, and as the commercial goes, "I know a lot because I've seen a lot."

Finally, you need to price your home competitively. It's critical to look at recent SALE prices of comparable homes, NOT asking prices. A knowledgeable broker can render an accurate opinion of value. Clean, sharp looking homes sell quicker -- and at a higher price, than homes with deferred maintenance. Ask for my free report, "Marketing Tips To Prepare Your Home for Sale.""