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.
Historically, our local real estate
market had been relatively stable compared to the metropolitan
areas of the state. From the late 1970's into 2001, local home prices
increased gradually. When prices boomed in the bay area and southern
California in the mid 1980's, they increased at a more modest
rate here. Conversely, in the early 1990's when home prices fell
15 to 20% in the metro areas, they remained level here.
Between 2001 and 2005, however, 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%.
In 2012 home sales increased by 15% over 2011. So far this
year, the number of homes sold is up another 15% over 2012. At the same time, there have been
fewer homes for sale this year than there have been in recent years. For the first time since 2005
we've seen the first uptick in sale prices.The seems to mark a significant turn in or local real
estate market, which coincides with what has been happening this year in several regional real estate
markets across the country. Interest rates, which were super low earlier this year at under 4% for
30 year mortgages, have crept up to about 4.5% at present - still below the average rate for the last
few years of generally low interest rates. No one these days is asking if I think the market has bottomed
out. It definitely has - at leat for the forseeable 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. Last year about 20% 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). Last year 13% of the homes listed for sale were
short sales. Another good sign of a recovering market
Interest rates have edgee up from earlier this year, to about 4.5% -- still lower than they have been
for most of the last few years.
Advice for Buyers:
With interest rates low, prices ticking 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 favorable buyer conditions on the
buying end.Buyers no longer fear prices may keep going down.
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."