Screech! That was the sound many thought they would hear from the real estate market back in June when the Fed raised interest rates 0.75%, and then again in July when rates were increased another 0.75%.
But here in Humboldt County the actual result seems to be far more tempered. While July inventory was nearly double what it was a year ago, it’s still a fraction of pre-pandemic inventory. And while the number of homes sold year to date is down 13.6% from last year, 2021 was a record-setting year for properties sold in Humboldt County, and the previous record had been set in 2020.
Many in the industry long suspected that the pace of the real estate market the past two years was unsustainable. The rise in interest rates was designed, seemingly effectively, to slow down the market, curb demand and, hopefully, inflation. Humboldt County, however, remains attractive to home buyers, locally and across the country which has, as of yet, maintained a moderate adjustment in our inventory index. While indisputably trending up — Humboldt County had 3.5 month’s worth of inventory on hand in July, back in March we had less than 2 — when compared with July 2019 (4.9 months) and 2018 (5.3 months), one might surmise that we’re heading towards a more balanced market, traditionally defined as between 5-6 months. Far from the screeching halt some braced for.
When accounting for the population influx from students, faculty and staff at Cal Poly, the approval of Nordic Aquafarms by the planning commission earlier this month, and the increasing severity of wildfires inland; paired with the prohibitive expense of new housing developments, its unlikely our local real estate market will be coming to a halt anytime soon.
Real estate is extremely localized, so while national headlines convey averages and generalities, if you really want to know what’s happening in Humboldt County’s real estate market, talk to a local real estate expert.
Annalise von Borstel, broker associate at Better Homes & Gardens Ming Tree, is a local real estate expert. She is also president of the Business Networking International/Northcoast Networkers, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Eureka 1923 and secretary of the Compass Community Credit Union Board of Directors. You can reach her at email@example.com, 707-616-2548 or www.agentannalise.com.