The Paradise CampFire changed everything. Literally, EVERYTHING. Like the housing collapse of 2007, we will forever put things into context based on pre- and post-fire. Those first few days were horrific. For those that escaped, the trauma that they endured was unimaginable. For those of us waiting for our friends and family to answer their cell phones or arrive at the bottom of the hill. . .well it was the longest day of our lives. And then shock and uncertainty set in. For days, the fire raged on and the residents of Paradise had no idea if their homes were still standing. Most of us sat glued to the news all weekend. Then Monday came and we began to check on our friends and clients. The stories of escape and the loss was truly horrifying. Our hearts broke both with and for our neighbors in Paradise.

Early in the week following the fire, the first wave hit. . rentals and hotel rooms were full and every house on the market went “Pending”. We began to realize our house guests weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Insurance companies began making payouts and the housing market was (and still is) flooded with cash buyers. So, here is where we stand today

  • 262 Homes in Chico are “Pending”
  • 285 Homes have listed since the fire.
  • 129 Homes have closed that went into contract 11/9/18 or later.
  • In the days following the fire, inventory dropped to an all-time low of ~ 50 homes.
  • Currently, there are 120 homes on the market.
  • Prices have increased 11.56 % to an average home price of $417,006.

So now what? We are being asked if this will be a bubble, if prices will drop back down to “normal”. We don’t think so. The bidding for homes has gotten more dramatic as buyers have been out-bid, and asking themselves and their Realtor, “How far over asking do I need to go to have a shot”? I suspect that by the end of the year, the closed sales will average 20% higher than pre-fire prices. We don’t think income levels could possibly support to much more price inflation, but with over 10,000 homes lost and only 500 or so new homes sold or in escrow, you have to wonder how long it will be before the Chico market could ever be “normal” again.

Our hearts are heavy for the all that is lost. For those that still have homes, we know you are grieving the loss of your community. We are heartsick to have to say good-bye to great people that are packing up and leaving the area. It has been nothing short of tragic, but the resilience of our community has been truly inspiring. For every horrible story that we heard, there has been one of kindness or heroism. Hang in there friends, it’s going to get better. Its slow going, but we are committed to helping you find housing, and we couldn’t be more hopeful for what Paradise might look like tomorrow!