Housing market in Sonoma, California area?

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nootka

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is it pretty awful?

I really don't know much about the area other than it's supposed to be a very desirable place to live. I know everywhere is experiencing problems, but I have a friend that's trying to sell a brand new (very nice) home around there, and apparently it looks very grim for that to happen.

Other than your observations, does anyone have any good ideas to help him sell it?

If you're curious, here's the link to the home:

315 Mountain Ave.

Hope this is ok to post, I'm not really trying to "sell" it here, just trying to get an idea of others from the area that might have more of an idea of how impossible this is going to be, or what "might be wrong with the picture."

Thanks so much!!!

Liz
 

kaykay

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In talking to other agents I know this is a trick many are using in depressed markets. But its risky. What they are doing is pricing them really low just to create a stir and cause a bidding war. The hope is that you will get multiple offers with one coming in somewhat close to what you wanted. But like I said its risky. Heres an article I found that talks about how badly this area was hit. I will say its beautifully staged and that should help a lot.

The Sonoma County housing market remains one of the weakest in the Bay Area, with prices continuing to slide here even as they crept higher in other parts of the region in March, according to a report issued Thursday.

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While Bay Area sales have dropped almost 20 percent, prices have climbed 2.1 percent across the nine-county region in the past year, according to DataQuick Information Services, a real estate market research company.

"Prices seem to have held up surprisingly well, probably because of a relatively strong economy," DataQuick president Marshall Prentice said in a statement.

Price gains were concentrated on the southern and eastern flanks of the Bay Area. Prices and sales fell in the three North Bay counties -- Sonoma, Marin and Napa.

"When our market tanks, it tanks faster, and when the rest of the Bay Area comes out of the slump, they come out first," said Rick Laws, Santa Rosa manager for Coldwell Banker, which provides monthly real estate data to The Press Democrat.

The DataQuick report shows Sonoma County's housing market is lagging behind most other Bay Area counties.

Sonoma County had the second-biggest drop in home prices in March, down 5.5 percent from a year ago. Only Napa County fared worse, with a 9.2 percent drop in prices.

Overall, median prices in the nine-county Bay Area were higher last month than a year ago -- $639,000 last month, up from $626,000 in March 2006.

But the reverse was true in Sonoma County, where the median price of a residential unit stood at $520,000 last month, down from $550,000 a year earlier.

"We took more of a hit in terms of median price and numbers of transactions, and we have more inventory than most of the other Bay Area counties," Laws said.

His figures, which will be released next week, cover only resales of single-family homes. That segment of the market is expected to show higher home prices than DataQuick, which tracks sales of new homes and condominiums and resales of existing homes and condominiums.

Sales dropped across the Bay Area to the lowest level since 1996, DataQuick said. Much of the slowdown may be because of strong sales in 2004 and 2005, Prentice said.

"Some of today's demand probably got pulled into that period because of low mortgage interest rates and the availability of exotic mortgages," he said.

Sonoma County sales fell 19.2 percent, matching the decline across the rest of the Bay Area. Buyers purchased 606 homes and condos in Sonoma County last month, down from 750 a year ago, according to DataQuick.

While sales and home prices are lower than they were a year ago, the figures have been steadily improving since January, Laws said.

"Sales are trending up, inventory is trending up, prices are trending up, and pending sales are trending up," Laws said. "Prices are no longer in free-fall. We are reaching a balance between supply and demand."

You can reach Staff Writer Carol Benfell at 521-5259 or carol.benfell@pressdemocrat.com.
 

nootka

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There is at least some encouraging news. Thanks, Kay, for taking the time.


Liz
 

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