Pre-fire RE market will make California wine country’s recovery hard

The local market doesn't have many temporary housing options

Oct.October 14, 2017 08:55 AM

Northern California 2007 file photo. (Andrea Booher/FEMA)

The fires tearing through Northern California have killed at least 31 people, destroyed 3,500 homes, and, due to the pre-fire Sonoma real estate market, the tragedy might get even worse as affected residents try to rebuild their lives.

Sonoma County’s high house prices and lack of supply alters the fallout of the inferno for Santa Rosa residents and others, according to Bloomberg.

“Even though the number of households affected by wildfires is substantially less than households affected by Harvey, Irma, and Maria, those who are displaced are likely to have a much more difficult time relocating,” said Trulia’s chief economist Ralph McLaughlin to Bloomberg.

Rents in Santa Rosa over the past five years increased the most out of any U.S. metro area. According to Zillow’s data analysis, rents in the area grew by 50 percent since August 2012. The median house price is $599,000 and RealPage put the apartment occupancy rate in the area at 96.5 percent before the fire.

[Bloomberg] — E.K. Hudson

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