A Swell of Activity

As sellers are called into the market by more attractive values, we are still seeing buyer demands outweigh the flow of new inventory in most sub-markets throughout Sonoma County.
 
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 596 single-family homes left for sale as April concluded – 23 percent fewer than the 778 units that were available as our markets toiled in the early days of the pandemic last year. Sellers delivered just 476 new listings to the market during the month while buyers gained control of another 578 new deals during the period – 186 percent greater than the previous April. In support of these metrics, completed sales tipped the scales at 589 this last month – 137 percent more than this same time a year earlier.
 
The continued pace of the markets can be measured by the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) and, with vastly growing demands from buyers in our region along with extremely attractive interest rates driving our markets, the data shows MSI has fallen to 1.0 as of last month – much tighter than the 3.1 reading from last year at this time – and the lowest level we have ever experienced countywide. This display of liquidity and activity is among the highest in the seven Bay Area counties we track and, in some part, due to the native demands of households, unique to our region, who are still replacing homes they lost in the Tubbs, Nuns, Kincade and Glass Fire calamities.
 
MSI is the metric that indicates the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory at the current rate of sales. An MSI ranging from 4.0 to 6.0 is generally indicative of a balanced market, with lower numbers increasingly favoring sellers and vice versa.
 
Getting down to the details in the town of Sonoma, which submarket includes the hamlets of Kenwood and Glen Ellen, there were 97 homes reported for sale as April ended – four percent more than a year earlier. This region experienced the addition of 45 new listings during the period – 114 percent higher than last year - while buyers garnered accepted contracts on 63 more properties – a massive 186 percent ahead of the prior April. Sellers awarded keys to another 68 new homeowners – 172 percent surge from twelve months earlier – further confirming last month’s market dynamics while seeing MSI tighten further to 1.4 for the period.
 
Healdsburg witnessed 30 new listings arrive to the market last month while buyers promptly snapped up 25 homes in new deals – yes, that is 213 percent greater than last year! Sellers closed out 34 transactions – 209 percent more than in 2020 - leaving this submarket with 79 homes for presentation to buyers in May. The welcomed new supply has allowed the MSI to soften from its previous month’s tightness to 2.3.
 
Petaluma’s Westside continued its hot pace with only 24 homes remaining for sale by month’s end, inclusive of the 27 new offerings brought forth during the period. Sellers found their way into 32 new contracts – 220 percent ahead of last year - while buyers completed purchases on 35 additional dwellings – compressing this regions’ already very tight MSI further to 0.7 – essentially a three-week supply of available homes.
 
Petaluma’s Eastside supply of inventory is still being measured in weeks not months - to be precise two weeks! April wrapped up with 22 available homes for buyers to select from - which is inclusive of the 30 additional offerings unveiled by owners during the period. Home shoppers placed 34 more dwellings into contract while sellers completed another 43 transactions – no surprise as this market continues to capture interest due to is relative affordability in comparison to surrounding markets let alone the Bay Area. With less than a single month’s supply of homes being available – MSI at 0.5 – we remain steadfast in our beliefs that values will rise to find their balance with demand during this year.
 
Sebastopol sellers were lured into delivering 30 new listings in April as Buyers gained control of another 37 deals during the period. Sellers closed out 29 more sales – 164 percent ahead of last year at this time - leaving 34 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in May while showcasing an MSI of 1.2.
 
Suburban markets across the country are experiencing a buoyancy in values directly attributed to the deurbanization movement at hand as more affluent city dwellers who were already eyeing a move out from core urban markets continue to accelerate their plans thereby creating the ground swell of activity we find ourselves in today. 

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