Report: Humboldt County real estate market will remain stable

Report: Humboldt County real estate market will remain stable

Roger Pettingell Sarasota Real Estate

Despite skyrocketing mortgage rates, “the Humboldt County housing market is still alive and well” heading into the summer, states a recently released report on the local real estate market.

The Summer 2022 Real Estate Market Report released Tuesday on the At Home In Humboldt website, put together by realtors Brian and Ami Wruck, states a lot of people are moving to the area and that’s expected to continue.

“We had a robust spring market, which can be hit-or-miss, but by June, our summer market was in full swing, with a good number of properties coming on the market daily,” the report states.

The number of active listings tends to fluctuate with the seasons and the report found the volume of active listings hit a low point in January, totaling around $155 million in value. Since then, it has risen to $245 million.

There were 365 residential properties listed for sale in Humboldt County at the time of the report, of which 153 were not fixer-uppers. Of those 153, 14 were under $300,000, 66 were under $500,000 and 23 were more than $1 million.

“May and June saw more properties being listed and in June 2022, the sale to list price dropped below 100% for the first time since the January/February, which shows either a glut of properties, properties listed over value and/or the effects of extreme interest rate hikes mid-month. Possibly, all of the above,” the report states.

The onset of the pandemic brought mortgage rates to historic lows, but last month the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage saw its largest one-week increase since 1987.

That rapid increase likely caused a slowdown in sales since buying a house became more costly and listings were going up at the highest price points possible, according to the At Home In Humboldt report.

Between July 2021 and February of this year, it took on average under two months to get a house sold. It hit two months in March and 2.7 months in June, indicating it’s taking longer for properties to sell.

While that may bring prices down, it’s not a guarantee. The report notes catastrophic wildfires that occur inland push more people seeking homes to look in Humboldt County.

Mortgage rates appeared to have leveled off a bit during the past week, however, when the average 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit 4.83% and 5.7%, respectively. That was a slight decline from 4.92% and 5.81% a week prior.

“The rapid rise in mortgage rates has finally paused, largely due to the countervailing forces of high inflation and the increasing possibility of an economic recession,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “This pause in rate activity should help the housing market rebalance from the breakneck growth of a seller’s market to a more normal pace of home price appreciation.”

The fact that Humboldt County is small, isolated and rural insulates it from the huge swings in the housing market other regions may experience, the report states.

To see the full report, go to athomeinhumboldt.com/summer-2022-market-report.

Sonia Waraich can be reached at 707-441-0504.


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