Bernie Haraldson

CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS

Updated June, 2014
 

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.


Background

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 early 2006 the market had peaked and sales volume slowed and the number of homes on the market began to increase. Between 2005 and 2011 prices generally declined 25 to 30%.

By 2012 prices stopped declining and the number of homes sold started increasing. Prices bottomed and reached a plateau.

Current Conditions

In 2013 sales volume increased another 15% and prices began rising for the first time since 2005 - eight years earlier. At the end of 2013 the average sale price had increased about 6% over 2012. Interest rates for 30 year mortgages are currently about 4% No one these days is asking if I think the market has bottomed out. It definitely has - at least for the foreseeable future.

Another positive sign is that the number of bank owned/ foreclosed homes on the market is down to about 5% of the homes currently listed for sale in MLS. A few years ago about 13% of the homes for sale were bank owned. Currently about 9% 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). Two 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 picking up, it appears to be a good time for buyers who have been siting on the fence to think about buying a home. For someone planning to own a property for over three years, 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:

If you bought your home between 2004 and 2007, your home is 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. Home appearance is of greater importance now, than in the seller's market we had a few years ago. 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."