Carson-area home prices continue slide |

Carson-area home prices continue slide

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Median home prices declined about 6 percent in the fourth quarter, in keeping what area Realtors have expected for Carson City’s housing market.

City Assessor Dave Dawley also reported Tuesday that average prices continue to fall. Thirty homes sold in January, the most recent data available, on average for $338,260. The average price in 2006 was about $345,200. The assessor’s office has tracked all home sales since 1988.

This is just more of the same, the assessor said.

Carson City’s housing market peaked in 2002, with the sale of 1,181 single-family homes, the most ever recorded by the city, at an average cost of $199,000.

Housing experts say the rush to buy property was fueled by Californians with heavy pockets eyeing fat square footages in a low-tax environment. Nevadans competed with those relocating buyers and speculators, who used creative mortgages and all-time-low interest rates to purchase above their means.

The Multiple Listing Service, which tracks Realtor sales, recorded median sales of about $297,300 in the fourth quarter and $314,700 in the third quarter. Brad Bonkowski, president of the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors, said this reflects realistic pricing adjustments.

“I think sellers for such a long period were used to double-digit price increases,” he said Tuesday. “It took them a while to realize that’s not going to continue. (The market) is flattening and going back to the historic market, rather than the outrageous market we’ve had for three or four years.”

Rather than the 20 percent appreciation increases in 2003-2005, Realtors are expecting a shift to the usual 2-5 percent appreciation.

“That is kind of a bitter pill for sellers to swallow,” said Bonkowski, with Coldwell Banker Commercial Premier Brokers. “It’s a drastic change. Buyers and sellers are on the same page now.

“You’ll see the number of homes sold increase.”

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.

County comparison

Median prices for the fourth quarter:

Carson City: $297,300

Washoe: $309,500

Lyon: $245,000

Storey: $297,200

Douglas: $418,000

Source: Multiple Listing Service