A Season of Emphasis

Since life is never static – until it is over – we find balance is hard to achieve along the way. Most people tend toward some in-balance in their lives and work to place a “season of emphasis” in the troubled areas along the way. Which means you function as best you can each day with what you got, while addressing the most pressing needs in an elevated effort to improve that facet of your life: financial, emotional awareness, business, physical health or even spiritual state thereby working to tune up the most suffering aspect within your world. This may allow you to continue to grow and achieve at higher levels overall by working to fix the “lumpy” parts of your “wheel” as you go, which in turn may help you gain momentum towards your goals while you grow and learn each step of the way.
 
Our region itself has certainly had to place a “season of emphasis” on restoring new housing while working to create additional dwellings due to the lack of effort over the prior decade in order to restore a balance in this facet of our collective community – which has lead to a higher cost for even the most basic of shelters.
 
The region typically sees definitive growth in inventory as each new year unfolds with peaks typically showing in spring and summer months while valleys appear in fall and winter. According to BAREIS MLS, November data points indicate that Sonoma County buyers successfully contracted to purchase 314 single-family homes – 12 percent greater than a year earlier. Property owners provided merely 200 new listings to the market during the period – 35 percent less than the prior year when 310 came available - while transactions were completed on 338 dwellings over the last 30 days leaving 883 available properties to carry over into December. The cumulative data tells us that our housing market is tightening with regards to new inventory which typically foreshadows expanding value for well marketed, properly priced new listings as noted with a steady and heightened absorption rate of 38 percent.
 
The absorption rate is calculated by dividing the total number of homes sold in a month by the total number of homes available for sale at the end of the same month. A high absorption rate – 20 percent and above – indicates that the supply of available homes will shrink rapidly, thereby increasing the odds that an owner will sell a property in a shorter period. Conversely, an absorption rate below 15 percent is indicative of a buyer’s market, meaning homes are selling more slowly.
 
Marin County’s marketplace is confirming a similar path though with even stronger metrics. November showcased merely 51 new offerings – an eye-popping 43 percent fewer than last year – with buyers quickly latching onto 145 newly consummated deals. Sellers closed out 155 transactions during the period leaving the entire county with 258 homes as offerings for buyers to select from over the coming holiday period and further encouraging home seekers – now with an even higher absorption rate of 60 percent - to gain control of their new home ahead of further price moves.
 
Napa County’s markets - which have technically shown signs of entering a balanced market in five out of the last twelve months - has slipped into a balance reading, though holding near the threshold with the absorption rate resting at 22 percent. November brought only 48 new listings to market – 32 percent less than the prior year - with buyers promptly absorbing 79 properties into new deals during the month. Napa sellers managed to complete the sale of 77 single family homes, leaving 354 left for the markets to ponder this month.
 
No matter what season you are personally working on at the moment, our region must place concentrated efforts now on the housing market by pushing aside ideals, red-tape, politics and requirements for “studies” of the impacts of where and what type of housing is needed – its time to get things built so we can take control of our future once again.

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