Monday, March 27, 2006

Maybe it's Not the Rain in Redding, Sales Down 45%

The Redding Record Searchlight, which in the past has given much attention to the weather, now entertains the notion that the housing downturn may be more than a seasonal one.

Home sales in February fell 45 percent from a year ago in Shasta County...Meanwhile, the median sales price for a home in Shasta County in February was $260,000, a 16.6 percent jump from a year ago. Homes had been appreciating more than 20 percent annually in Shasta County since 2000... Association of Realtors statistics showed 1,285 pieces of property listed two weeks ago in Shasta County, nearly double the amount in March 2005 when there were 669 listings. The average number of days a home stays on the market has gone from 97 a year ago to 120 today...

While area real estate agents blame the season -- winter is traditionally a slow time for home sales -- and the wet weather, they also acknowledge that the market has turned. "I don't think slowdowns have ever had much to do with the weather, unless it's a blizzard or hurricane," said Holden Lewis, who covers real estate for "If people want to buy a home, they won't let the rain stop them. Weather affects home construction, but I'm not sure about home re-sales."

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