Friday, November 10, 2006

'Concern Has Turned to Panic' in Chico

From KNVN 24:

If you own a home in the North State, you probably know that home prices are dropping. But just how much, and how far will they drop?

In part one of an Action News special report "Bursting Bubble," we talk with homeowners who say selling their home is becoming a very tough task. For nearly four months Claudia Sigona and her partner, Deanne, have tried to sell their home. It's a newer model 22 hundred square foot house with all of the amenities -- plus a pool. they've gotten a lot of looks, but no offers. Sigona says "it's a really nice house. the market just seems to be a little slow right now. we've had to reduce the price a couple of times, but we're hopeful."

Around the couple's corner is Jensen Park, brand new homes with all of the frills. Twelve houses in the development still sit -- and on this day anyway, not one person came to this open house. Greg Melton is another frustrated seller in Chico. "At this point concern has turned to panic." Melton knows the feeling. he expected a quick sale. that was five months ago. Melton says "I don't understand. it's a nice neighborhood, great location, cul de sac, park on both sides. I thought it would sell a lot faster than it did." Melton and his real estate agent had the house sold, but the deal fell through when the buyer was unable to sell his house. In the interim, Melton bought a new now he has two mortgages and the selling price of this one has gone down.

Many home sellers we spoke to say they are panicking that they'll never sell their house for what they paid for it. These people decline to be interviewed on camera, embarrassed at the financial predicament they find themselves in.

Sherry Payne is a Chico Real Estate Agent. "I think the last I heard we had about 800 houses on the market." Payne has sold real estate in chico for 28 years. She estimates prices have dropped 20 percent from last year's peak. further declines could be coming. Payne says "what has happened also is the fact that because they've come down they're getting lower offers, even lower than the prices they've leveled off to. so they've reduced the prices quite a bit."

Frank Hill
is a flipper. Over the last ten years, he's bought and sold homes for profit. But after he sells this Canyon Gates estate, his flipping days will take a recess. "I think that just everybody is in a holding pattern to see how far and how low the prices of these homes are going to go." Frank has priced his gorgeous house below others in the neighborhood. His $579,000 dollar asking price includes $25,000 worth of furniture. "We thought as an added incentive in this quote "hard market" we would include the furniture too and maybe stimulate a buyer that way." Even so, veteran Chico realtor Sherry Payne says buyers are few and far between these days.
Hat tip: The Housing Bubble blog

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