A Different Look At The Market

By: Mark Wisterman

My 2013 Photo-Web-Revised

One of the more difficult things to measure in the Lake Oroville real estate market, and quite frankly just about any market that has any type of diversity in the make up of homes, is how much  values may be increasing or decreasing as the case may be.

Your everyday, run of the mill real estate agent usually falls into the trap of using price per square foot to value properties. If the agent thinks that homes are selling for $100 per square foot and your home is 1500 square feet then your home gets valued at $150,000.  Now this may work great in area where there are plenty of cookie cutter subdivisions in which  there are only 3 or four different floor plans. But,  in the more rural areas like the Lake Oroville real estate market, this valuation approach is not reliable. Valuations in a town with such diverse property types can be quite the challenge which is why sites like Zillow and Trulia are sometimes very  inaccurate in our area when it comes to their estimates of values of homes in the Oroville real estate market.  There are just too many variables to consider if you are trying to take a simplistic approach to valuations.

Today I have a chart that takes a little different approach to looking at how prices are changing for homes in the greater Oroville area. This chart shows the behavior of home prices for active listings as a percentage of the overall market over the past year.  For example, on February 1 2013, thirty percent of the homes on the Oroville market were priced between $100,000 and $149,999.  On July 12, 2013 the number was 23%.  I have broken values down into 8 different price ranges and I am recording these number on a semi annual basis in the hopes that it will provide more insight into what is happening with asking prices of homes in the Oroville market.  There is definitely a shift going on. The big question is, will the shift result in fewer buyers being able to buy homes?

For a full screen look at the chart just click on it.

Inventory Chart

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Almost Weekly Sales Report

By: Mark Wisterman

 I know, I know, I can’t keep calling it the weekly Lake Oroville housing report if I don’t actually report WEEKLY.  So, my phrase of the day is: Better late than never.

On the whole, there is not anything too earth-shattering in the Oroville real estate numbers over the past couple of weeks.  Unit sales are remaining fairly steady and the inventory of homes for sale in the Oroville market is sustaining the low levels that we have seen for a few months now. Oroville buyers are still having a tough time dealing with these low inventories in the face of rapidly rising interest rates, while sellers continue to hold back from listing their homes for sale waiting for the market values to climb higher.

And speaking of sellers: Continue reading

A Recap of Lake Oroville Market Activity for April 2013

By: Mark Wisterman

Here is a short slide show recapping the activity in the Lake Oroville real estate market for the month of April 2013.

The number of homes that were sold in the months of March and April are the two largest back to back monthly sales of Oroville homes since I have been tracking monthly sales dating back to October 2005. However, there has been a noticeable slowdown of closed sales so far during the month of May. Lack of inventory appears to be threatening to slow the sale of Lake Oroville homes for sale. As usual I will keep an eye on the market and continue to keep you informed of any trends that develop.

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Weekly Sales Review is Back

By: Mark Wisterman

Here we are once again, meeting to review the past week’s market activity of Oroville home sales in the Lake Oroville real estate market.

There is not much out of the ordinary to report this week.  The only interesting statistic in this chart concerns the number “distressed” sales (bank owned or short sales) that have taken place 2 of the last 3 weeks. With only one of these sales last week and just 2 of them 2 weeks ago it will be interesting going forward to see if this is an early sign of a trend developing in the sale of Oroville homes or if it is just a temporary slowdown. The next few weeks will tell.

In a recent post on our office Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RealtyWorld.CA  I commented about the perception some buyers, and quite frankly their agents, have about prices in today’s Lake Oroville real estate market.  The comment being that there is no factual basis for anyone to make a blanket statement that everything is selling for more that asking price.  In fact for the 4 years that I have been tracking Oroville home sales there have been only 4 weeks where the average sales price has exceeded the average listing price. And not one, I repeat, NOT ONE of those weeks has occurred in 2013. In fact, the average sales price to listing price ratio is pretty much within historic norms. That is certainly not to say that some homes have not sold for more that asking price, because they have. My point here is that, as a buyer in the Oroville real estate market, you need to be sure you are fully informed about what the market is actually doing. It is easy to get sucked into the real estate hype. But do not feel bad if you do because many who work in the industry get sucked into it to. The reason: They do not take time to actually look at the numbers.

Lucky for you, you have this Lake Oroville real estate market blog site to help you stay on top of the numbers.


MLS Stats for Oroville Area Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending % Change
5/2/2013 5/9/2013 5/16/2013 Previous Week
# of Total Sales 10 13 10 -23.08%
# REO/Short Sales Sold (SS) 2 7 1 -85.71%
% Sales that are REO/SS 20.00% 53.85% 10.00% -81.43%
Avg. List Price $132,430 $141,500 $138,350 -2.23%
Avg. Sold Price $127,195 $130,244 $132,445 1.69%
Sold Price % of Listing Price 96.05% 92.05% 95.73% 4.01%
Avg. Days On The Market 57 96 94 -2.08%
Total Sales Volume $1,271,950 $1,693,169 $1,456,900 -13.95%
# of Single Family Listings 151 158 156 -1.27%
# Foreclosed On Market 17 21 20 -4.76%
% of Foreclosed on Market 11.26% 13.29% 12.82% -3.54%
# Short Sales on Market 9 6 8 33.33%
% Short Sales on Market 5.96% 3.80% 5.13% 35.04%
Days of Inventory Left 106 85 109


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News Flash: More Completed Transactions To Report

By: Mark Wisterman

Congratulations to our agents who worked so hard to complete these transactions in the Lake Oroville real estate market. View the video for details.


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Lake Oroville Weekly Home Sales Update

 Home sales for the Lake Oroville real estate market had somewhat of a breakout week this past week as there were significant improvements in the major valuations area of the data.

In addition to big increases in the average list price and the average sold price of the Oroville homes that sold this week, there was a doubling of the total sales volume of homes that closed escrow this week. The sale of distressed homes in the Oroville real estate market (those that are bank owned or were sold for less than was owed on them) continues to hold at levels that have not been seem since the depths of the mortgage mess.

Inventories of Lake Oroville  area homes for sale continue to be constrained which seems to be causing, for lack of a better term, a mini-frenzy among Oroville home buyers who seem to think that there will never be any other  Oroville homes on the market and have allowed themselves, often with the prodding of their agent, to get sucked into the unenviable position of having to engage in auctioneering to buy a home. In an upcoming post I will give you my take on why I have a concern that there may be a mini-bubble developing in the market right now.

MLS Stats for Oroville Area Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending % Change
2/7/2013 2/14/2013 2/21/2013 2/28/2013 Previous Week
# of Total Sales 9 8 6 9 50.00%
# REO/Short Sales Sold (SS) 5 2 2 3 50.00%
% Sales that are REO/SS 55.56% 25.00% 33.33% 33.33% 0.00%
Avg. List Price $90,756 $122,516 $117,100 $144,367 23.29%
Avg. Sold Price $86,278 $117,138 $102,525 $140,861 37.39%
Sold Price % of Listing Price 95.07% 95.61% 87.55% 97.57% 11.44%
Avg. Days On The Market 66 178 51 64 25.49%
Total Sales Volume $776,500 $937,100 $615,150 $1,267,750 106.09%
# of Single Family Listings 158 155 150 150 0.00%
# Foreclosed On Market 20 20 18 19 5.56%
% of Foreclosed on Market 12.66% 12.90% 12.00% 12.67% 5.56%
# Short Sales on Market 8 7 7 9 28.57%
% Short Sales on Market 5.06% 4.52% 4.67% 6.00% 28.57%



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A Market of Higher Lows

My intent today was to report the weekly sales of the Lake Oroville real estate market to you for last week.

But during my number crunching I realized that it  has been a while since I had updated my charts that I have been using to track the monthly and annual Lake Oroville home sales

After updating these charts I noticed an interesting long term trend in one of the charts that I thought you needed to see. From past blog posts, you all know that I do not take the  month to month numbers that are released into the media on an ongoing basis as important as what has happened over longer periods of time. I think the media is far too focused on what this month did compared to that month, which in turn has focused the consumer on the very same thing.  This narrow focus is what I believe is going to cause many buyers to miss  the great opportunities that currently abound in the marketplace as far as prices and interest rates are concerned. 

Now before you get excited, thinking this is another one of those real estate blogs posts that tells you to BUY NOW!!!!, let me tell that it is not. This market is going to provide great buying opportunities, for those of you that still have jobs in this economy, for the foreseeable future.   What I am telling you is to look at this chart and see for yourself what this Lake Oroville real estate market is whispering to you. When looking at a chart like this most people look at the peaks to see how high things have gone. What I suggest that you look at here is the lower side of this chart. The former stock broker in me says ignore what is happening in the high side and pay close attention to what is happening on the low side. In the stock broker world a stock that showed a trend of higher lows was one to pay attention to and was a good signal that the stock was poised to move to higher highs.  (Click Here or on the Chart to Enlarge)

As indicated on this chart, Continue reading

Where Have I Heard THAT Before?

As part of my efforts to stay on the leading edge of real estate news, in order that I can keep all of you in the Lake Oroville housing market informed, I subscribe to a number on-line real estate new organizations who regularly communicate with me through e-mail with the latest and greatest real estate info.

In an artice that just arrived in today’s communication from Inman News, I thought I was experiencing Deja Vu all over again. In fact, some of it sounded so familiar that I started to rack my brain as to where I had heard this kind of thing before. I looked high and low and still no hint. I looked inside and outside. I looked everywhere in the entire Lake Oroville real estate market area. But no luck remembering where I had heard it before.

So now my dear readers, I turn to you for help. Here, excerpted in part, (Click Here to see entire article) is what I read from the article written by Glen Roberts, Jr., entitled ” A slow-motion real estate recovery”. Maybe you  can help me remember:

Mark Dotzour, chief economist for the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, said government stimuli have delayed recovery.

“We’re not in a ‘double dip’ in my mind,” said Dotzour — referring to some economists’ talk of a second dive into downturn after some signs of an economic rebound — “we just never hit bottom in the first place.”

The market essentially “fell off a cliff,” and the government’s “lifeline” of programs it throttled at the recession, among them the homebuyer tax credit programs, “Cash for Clunkers” auto program, loan mod programs and Federal Reserve’s purchase of Treasury debt, did not have the intended benefits.

The market “would have started coming back up to a year ago or so if we hadn’t had the federal intervention in the first place.”

The federal homebuyer tax credit programs appear to have been largely ineffective, essentially “stealing” sales forward that would have occurred at a later time. “We believe pretty strongly that we paid back every bit of that stimulus,” he said, with the slumping sales that followed expiration of the tax credits.

Hmm…..now where in the world have a I heard these type ideas before?????  Wait……………..yes…………………..now I’m starting to remember………….Here is what I had read in the past. Continue reading

Weekly Oroville Sales Update

Hello, once again, Lake Oroville real estate market stats fans. I can’t believe it has been nearly 3 months since I have reported week sales for the Oroville real estate market to you. Boy, how time flies when you are having fun selling Oroville homes, Paradise homes, Chico homes and homes in Yuba City and Marysville.

Lately the word is, the more things change the more they stay the same. Except for overall home values, that is. In Oroville we can’t seem to sell anymore than 7-8 homes per week and average prices of the Oroville home listings that are selling continue to trail downwardly.

Here are this week’s numbers: 

MLS Stats for Oroville Area Week Ending
# of Total Sales 9
# REO/Short Sales Sold (SS) 6
% Sales that are REO/SS 66.67%
Avg. List Price $91,366
Avg. Sold Price $84,089
Sold Price % of Listing Price 92.04%
Avg. Days On The Market 87
Total Sales Volume $822,290
# of Single Family Listings 250
# Foreclosed On Market 50
% of Foreclosed on Market 20.00%
# Short Sales on Market 22
% Short Sales on Market 8.80%
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Don’t Touch That Wallet

At least until July 1st, if you can. It is on this day that the sales tax rate in the State of California is reduced by 1 percentage point. In the Oroville, Paradise, and Chico areas this means that our sales tax goes from the current rate of 8.25% down to 7.25%.

The higher rate was imposed upon California by our legislature and Governor on April 1, 2009 in the hopes of helping close the budget gap caused by the out of control spending of our “state leaders.” As usual, raising taxes only made matters worse. But enough about politics.

With the expiration of the current increased tax rate only two weeks away (unless it is somehow extended) it is wise to consider putting of any non-essential purchase until the new rate takes effect. Consider the savings you will enjoy by putting off the purchase of that new car you are about to buy. By simply waiting a mere two weeks you can save yourself $200 in sales tax for a $20,000 car and $300 in taxes for a car that costs you $30,000. Heck, that is like getting a free tank of gas 🙂 Speaking of cars, you can also save on registration fees if you put your purchase off until July 1st because vehicle registration fees are also being rolled back then.

The reduction in the sales tax is going to be good for the economy of a state struggling to get back on its economic feet by leaving consumers with more money in their pockets that will most likely be spent on other things. For example, the overall price on a gallon of gas will be reduced by the reduction in the sales tax. At today’s price of $3.77 per gallon at the corner AM/PM you will save almost 4cents per gallon with the new (or should I say old) rate.

If it is at all possible for you to put off that taxable purchase until July 1, then I say do it and keep more of YOUR money.

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