Monday, January 16, 2006

San Joaquin County Affordability Drops to 9%

The Stockton RecordNet reports on affordability, increased inventory, and a slowing market in San Joaquin County:

In San Joaquin County, only 9 percent of households had the minimum $99,950 income needed in November to buy a house at the median price of $410,900. That compares with 11 percent of households in October with the minimum $96,200 income needed to buy a house at the median price then of $403,380.

In November 2004, a total of 18 percent of households in the county had the $77,075 annual income needed to buy a house at the median price then of $332,610...

Still, a slowdown in the local market in the past few months continues to leave many sellers, agents and brokers uncertain about pricing as the number of homes for sale has risen since the middle of last year.

Gone, after six years of it, are the days of 30-percent-plus annual sales-price increases, Collins said, and some sellers that aggressively priced a few months ago are cutting prices.

"What's happening is the sellers are slowly beginning to see that we're slowly done with the big appreciation run," he said. "They see competition. But it's not panic."

Sales typically will take longer - a couple of months versus a couple of days - and buyers will have more to choose from, he said. That's considered a normal, good market, said Collins, who predicts a "soft landing" for prices this year in which owners of good houses in good neighborhoods won't see valuations drop.
A similar article in the Central Valley Business Times indicates that San Joaquin county is the least affordable county in the Central Valley. Affordability in the Central Valley region as a whole stands at 17%.

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