As the World Turns, We Pause

As we work to shut down a bustling economy in order to eliminate or suppress the further spreading of a virus we have all come to realize just how social and interactive our lives are, not to mention how intertwined we are with those around the globe. Taking a time out to address this public health situation is really needed and our trajectory coming out of it will depend on how good we collectively perform in this current phase.
 
The Santa Rosa metro region has been shifting to accommodate the new market dynamics that were thrust upon it as the traditional “bell curve” of activity may be in process of being reshaped while the markets work to sort out the loss of 5,334 homes along with the reemergence of these homes and the lives that once occupied them. According to BAREIS MLS, with February behind us, we find the marketplace building on its current momentum with only 258 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – 25 percent greater than this same time a year ago – coupled with an expanding level of activity as 131 single-family homes found their way into pending contracts during the past month – 15 percent more than last February.
 
The entire municipality introduced 110 new listings to the market during the month – 23 percent fewer than in 2019 - while the most recent period also found Sellers handing over keys on 109 completed sales at a median value of $599,000. These metrics showcase Santa Rosa with its’ Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) at 2.4.
 
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 underlying specifics, Northeast Santa Rosa saw the introduction of 34 single-family homes in February. The supply of homes was met with solid absorption during the period as there were only 110 dwellings for home seekers to consider by months end. Buyers embarked on 44 newly initiated escrows – up 33 percent from the prior year - while sellers received closing checks on another 33 properties at a median value of $800,000 - affirming a steadied MSI of 3.7 with indications for this to compress significantly in the coming months.
 
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of available properties stabilize at 38 by months end. This submarket debuted just 21 new offerings in February while buyers garnered accepted deals on 20 more abodes. This coveted corner of the city experienced another 20 formal transfers of title at a median value of $635,000 as MSI compressed further to 1.9 – telling buyers to get in the game as new inventory is not coming on at the same elevated rate that it is selling.
 
Oakmont saw only 12 willing sellers deliver new offerings in February boosting total available inventory to 36 by the end of the month. With clarity and resolution of the golf club ownership in the past, buyers found their way to acceptances on 17 new purchases while sellers concluded 11 transactions during the period at a median value of $585,000. The activity level indicates a market that has shifted from the chaos of the unknown and is now returning to norms previously expected in the region with MSI registering 3.3.
 
With inventory steady year over year, Northwest Santa Rosa witnessed 28 new offerings this past month with buyers quickly absorbing 35 more deals into contract. Sellers completed the sale of 30 domiciles at a median value of $573,000 - leaving this submarket with 40 available homes to roll into March and further affirming the broader marketplace demands with MSI sinking to 1.3.
 
Similarly, Southwest Santa Rosa had merely 15 new properties make their way to market in February and, with buyers promptly gaining control of 15 houses in new agreements, this submarket was left with only 21 in play for March. Sellers closed out 15 escrows during the period at a median value of $510,000 allowing this region to wrap up the month with an MSI of 1.4.
 
With so many absorbed or side-tracked by the constant infusion of headlines there are those still out their rebuilding and serving our community. We see social distancing being respected while also still seeing modest activity throughout the marketplace as many work to sort out where and how they want to live as we come out of this health crisis. 

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