About a month ago, as part of my campaign for Shasta County Assessor Recorder, I met for my Editorial Interview with the Record Searchlight paper. As part of my prepared notes for the interview, I made it very clear that we are still in a downturn, and that County offices are going to find that the property tax revenue to the County was going to continue to go down in the next few years. Those of us in the real estate business are well aware of the fact that bank owned properties are increasing, causing home values to fall...which translates to lower comp appraisals...and lower home values.
This week, my prediction, which was treated very "unlikely" then, is coming true. The following is the essence of what was on the front page of the Record Searchlight this week:
Year-over-year home values in the greater Redding area fell for the 13th straight quarter, according to federal figures released Tuesday.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency all-transaction house price index showed that values in the region that includes Redding, Anderson and Shasta Lake dropped 12.82 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same three-month period a year ago.
Values in Redding in the first quarter fell 4.1 percent compared with the previous quarter, and have plunged 16.17 percent over the last five years.
Nationally, home values fell 6.8 percent in the first quarter over the same quarter in 2009, and 1.6 percent compared with the previous quarter, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said.
The index gives estimates for 301 housing markets, tracking data from mortgages used for both home purchases and refinances. Because the source data is different, it provides a similar but distinct picture compared to that offered in the figures from MDA DataQuick.
The Kennewick-Pasco-Richland area of eastern Washington, where home values went up 2.08 percent, topped the nation in appreciation in the first quarter of 2010.
Bend, Ore., held the dubious honor as the fastest-depreciating community as values in central Oregon plummeted 23.03 percent in the first quarter. It was the second consecutive quarter Bend topped the federal index in depreciation.
Year-over-year values in Redding started falling in the first quarter of 2007, when they slipped 1.58 percent, and have declined every quarter since, according to the federal index.
The median sales price for a home in Shasta County in April was $165,000, the sixth straight monthly decline, according to MDA DataQuick.
Redding experienced its greatest annual depreciation in the federal index during the fourth quarter of 2008, when values dropped 14.62 percent.
Foreclosures will continue to put downward pressure on real estate values, Redding realtor Curt Largent said during his weekly radio program last Saturday.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency's quarterly index cast the national spotlight on Redding seven years ago as the fastest-appreciating housing market in the nation. Prices in Redding during the first quarter of 2003 jumped 16.3 percent.
Year-over-year appreciation in Redding peaked during the third quarter of 2004 when the federal index reported prices jumped 26 percent.
But in a sign of how crazy the U.S. market was in 2004, Redding couldn't even crack the top 10 with that 26-percent leap. Redding was the 15th fastest-appreciating market that quarter.
Las Vegas (42 percent) ranked first in appreciation in the fall of 2004.
By contrast, values in Las Vegas dived 18.99 percent in the latest index, ranking the gambling capital as the fourth fastest depreciating market in the nation.
So, this said, we are in for a number of years of this market, exactly as I predicted. OVER ASSESSED IS OVER TAXED. Call it what you want, and this is why I am running for office.