By Jeff Quackenbush : northbaybusinessjournal – excerpt
Real estate experts around the North Bay are getting early inklings that housing markets in the region are cooling after several years of rapid appreciation in sale prices and rents.
Some of it is thought to be related to the destruction of more than 6,000 dwellings in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties during the wildfires of last October and this past summer, sending thousands looking in those and surrounding areas for alternate housing. But there are other local indicators a shift may be underway toward more of a market balance.
“Post-fires, there was a rush to shelter, and that rush to shelter drove prices up for rentals and resales,” said Rick Laws, senior vice president in Pacific Union International’s Santa Rosa office. “At the higher end, we were seeing some properties that were being purchased for replacements for Fountaingrove homes that are selling for 100 to 200 percent what the original prices were.”
The Fountaingrove area of northeast Santa Rosa is one of the higher-end housing areas of Sonoma County, with a number of homes over $1 million. The area was in the path of the Tubbs firestorm, which destroyed 1,420 homes there before it jumped Highway 101 and consumed almost as many dwellings in the Coffey Park neighborhood… (more)