Bernie Haraldson


Updated August, 2015

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 County -- like other parts of the state, experienced a boom in real estate prices, with home prices more than doubling. During this period most homes sold at full price or above, with multiple offers being common. By 2006 the market had peaked and sales volume slowed and prices began to decline. Between 2005 and 2011 prices generally declined 25 to 30%.

By 2012 the price decline leveled off and home sales started increasing. Prices bottomed and reached a plateau. In 2013 buyer confidence began to return and sales volume increased and prices began rising for the first time since 2005.

Current Conditions

At the end of 2013 the average sale price had increased about 6% over 2012. 2014 saw a continued increase in home prices, and as of Aug. 2015 the median sale price in Humboldt county has increased from about $225,000 in 2012 to about $260,000 now. This is an increase in the median selling price of 16% over the last three years. Interest rates for 30 year mortgages are currently about 4.25%

Another positive sign is that the number of bank owned/ foreclosed homes on the market is down to about 3% of the homes currently listed for sale in MLS. A few years ago it was about 13%. Currently about 4% of the homes on the market are "short sales." (A short sale is where the home is listed for less than the mortgage balance and closing costs, and the lender has to agree to takes a loss for the sale to occur). Three years ago 13% of the homes listed for sale were short sales. Another good sign of a recovering market.

Advice for Buyers:

With interest rates low, prices edging upward, and sales activity strong, this is a good time to buy. Having a current pre-approval by a mortgage lender is essential in negotiating with a seller. To keep purchase costs down, consider having the seller credit you most of your closing costs. Contact me for further information.

Advice for Sellers:

Sale prices are higher now than they have been since 2009. If you bought your home between 2004 and 2007, your home is still likely worth less than you paid for it -- unless you've made substantial upgrades. However, if you will be buying another home when yours sells, you can take advantage of better prices on the buying end than they were several years ago.Buyers have more confidence now that prices stopped going down and are actually going up.

It is critical to price your home competitively. It's important to look at recent sale prices of comparable homes, NOT asking prices. A knowledgeable broker can render an accurate opinion of value and should be relied upon when pricing a home for sale. 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."