I am sure that most of you hope we never see a year like 2020 again. We have lived through tumultuous and ugly times though, as always - if you look for it and are open to it - you will find the many blessings in your lives and the world around us. The year looks to be setting records in so many directions: home sales, housing prices, stock markets, interest rates…The one we all have had enough of though is being locked down in singular type space all year.
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 684 single-family homes left for sale as we closed the books on November – 23 percent fewer than the 833 units that were available last year at this time. Sellers delivered just 284 new listings to the market during the month – three percent above last year - while buyers gained control of another 436 new deals during the period – 48 percent greater than the prior November. In support of these metrics, completed sales tipped the scales at 413 this last month – 12 percent greater than in 2019.
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 all-time low interest rates driving our markets, the data shows MSI registering 1.7 as of last month – much tighter the 2.4 reading from last year at this timer. This level 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 now 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 98 homes reported for sale as November concluded – 20 percent fewer than a year earlier. This region experienced the addition of 27 new properties during the period while buyers garnered accepted contracts on 30 properties – a 50 percent jump over last year. Sellers awarded keys to another 46 homeowners confirming last month’s market dynamics while seeing MSI stabilize at 2.1.
Healdsburg witnessed just eight new listings making their way to market in November while buyers promptly snapped up 21 homes in new deals – 91 percent more than last year. Sellers closed out 16 transactions leaving this submarket with 76 homes for presentation to buyers in December. The sum of demands has left this region with an MSI rising to 4.8 – which may be indicate buyers having more room to negotiate provided this metric continues to rise.
Petaluma’s Westside continued its hot pace with only 20 homes remaining for sale by month’s end – 41 percent less than the prior November - and that included the 10 new offerings brought forth during the period. Sellers found their way to 30 new contracts – 81 percent ahead of last year - while buyers completed purchases on 19 additional dwellings - leaving this region with an MSI of 1.7.
Even hotter, Petaluma’s Eastside had just 18 available homes to select from by months end - which is inclusive of the 24 additional offerings unveiled by owners during the period. Home shoppers placed 34 more dwellings into contract while sellers completed 23 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 0.8 – expect multiple offers to continue here.
With buyers leaning in to offer more for their next home, Sebastopol sellers were lured into delivering just 15 new listings in November. Buyers gained control of 34 deals during the period while sellers closed out 35 more sales leaving only 25 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in December – 50 percent fewer than a year earlier - showcasing an MSI of 0.7.
I bet we look back on it and gather some new colloquialisms from the year we lived through that become a part of our culture moving forward. The term 2020 will certainly be used in new ways more than ever before.