the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

good news for the north coast

Posted by ecoshift on February 28, 2008

This just in from the Blown Mortgage blog:
Wells Fargo Names Most of California Severely Distressed…
and, Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino are not on the list.

“Wells Fargo has named nearly every California county a “Severely Distressed Market” which requires LTV reductions of 5% for any conforming loan over 75% LTV and also eliminates financing over 75% LTV for any non-conforming loan. The Wells Fargo Mortgage Express product (which is Wells Fargo’s stated income/stated asset program) is also not permitted in “Severely Distressed Market” areas.”

Check out the link above to see the list of counties. If you are looking for a good deal on a house you’ll at least have to go to Sonoma — though it’s only distressed, not severely distressed. For a real deal you might have to go as far as Napa. You’ll need to bring cash, but you’ve got time.

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2 Responses to “good news for the north coast”

  1. Heraldo said

    Good find, ecoshift. Do you suppose it’s the underground economy keeping things in good standing?

    While this is good news, it’s a reminder that Humboldt’s riches need to be protected.

  2. ecoshift said

    It may help keep prices sticky, though foreclosures are up and median prices are declining even in Humboldt. If prices continue to decline throughout the state I see no particular reason why people will want to pay too much even if they can afford it. While building permits spiked up in December that may have as much to do with concerns about future restrictions on building (the TPZ bruhaha) as the desire to build into this market this year. Home sales are down (see below). People are holding back on purchases in at least a wait and see pattern. Manufacturing is also down and, as property and sales tax receipts fall statewide, I expect that we will see some state and county budget cutbacks affecting local employment before we are through with the current economic uncertainties. State and local government provided 26% of local wages/salaries in 2003.

    We’ll see in the next few months if we really dodged a bullet or if it is just slow in coming.

    You may want to keep an eye on Eric Eschker’s Humboldt Economic Index for yourself:

    January 2008 Home Sales

    The Index value of the home sales sector is based on the number of new and existing homes sold in Humboldt County each month as recorded by the Humboldt Association of Realtors. House prices do not affect the Index.
    “December home sales took a considerable drop, falling down 22.7% from November. Home sales were at essentially the same level as in September, when the effect of the summer credit crunch was at its fullest. Housing sales have not been this low since 1997. This drop is most likely attributed to buyers and their reluctance to buy into a market where property values may continue to fall and as buyers still believe it to be too risky to enter the housing market. Median home price has stayed constant for 3 months running while mortgage interest rates fell further by 0.625%.”

    This was from the January issue (December median price data), you may notice on the median price chart that January prices fell. With a relatively small number of total local sales, median price figures are fairly volatile even if actual prices are relatively stable. We’ll have to wait a while to see that the implications really are.

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