County's home sales dip in February


LAKE COUNTY Lake County's February home sales were down 19 percent compared with the same period a year ago, and the median price of a home decreased 3.5 percent according to information gathered from the Lake County Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Statewide home sale activity decreased 12.6 percent, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

Closed escrow sales of homes in Lake County totaled 51 in February, according to the MLS.

The median price of a home in Lake County during February 2007 was $275,000, a 3.5 percent decrease from the $285,000 median for February 2006, the MLS reported.

The February 2007 median price increased 10 percent compared with January's $250,000 median price.

“The unsold inventory of existing homes jumped to 21 months in January,” said Phil Smoley, owner, broker of CPS Country Air Properties. “There was a slight increase in statewide listings last month, which is characteristic of the start of the year. However, listings remained near the long-run average. As such, the increase in the unsold inventory index the ratio of listings to sales was driven primarily by the sales decline.

“Homes that are priced competitively are the ones that are selling,” continued Smoley. “In this current market sellers do have to realize that prices are no longer climbing. If anything, they have flattened or are lower than they have been in the past year.”

CAR provided the following state real estate market statistics:

– State's median home price in January: $559,640.

– State's highest median home price by C.A.R. region in January: Santa Barbara South Coast $1,150,000.

– State's lowest median home price by C.A.R. region in January: High Desert, $317,380.

– California First-time Buyer Affordability Index, Fourth Quarter 2006: 25 percent.

Freddie Mac reports the following mortgate rates information:

– Mortgage rates for the week ending March 15: 30-year fixed, 6.14 percent; Fees/points, 0.4 percent; 15-year fixed, 5.88 percent; Fees/points, 0.4 percent.

– 1-year adjustable: 5.42 percent; Fees/points, 0.7 percent.

Realtor Ray Perry is a member of the CPS/Country Air Kelseyville office. Visit his Web site at for more information about local real estate.