Attitude – Is It Everything?

The Santa Rosa metro regions median price rose to an all-time high of $802,000 in May and, as of this last month, has a receded nine percent to $723,000 as buyers have been reluctant to purchase at the voracious pace they have been over the prior three years due to both the dissatisfaction with choices related to inventory and the financial cost of making such purchases.

According to BAREIS MLS – with October in the rearview mirror - the data points to a marketplace in the process of establishing its new cadence with only 229 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – 22 percent less than this same time a year ago. Buyers laid claim to 113 single-family homes during the past month – a rate 47 percent less than a year earlier - while the entire municipality introduced just 116 new listings to the market over the last month – 33 percent fewer than in 2021. The most recent period also found Seller’s handing over keys on another 106 completed sales – 52 percent behind last year.

This slight, though measurable expansion is affirmed by Santa Rosa recording a Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) level at 2.2 – not a buyer’s market by any sense of the data though easing off the extreme levels this has been at for the preceding 36 months. With markets approaching their seasonal slumber, expect this to remain in a narrow range and the true market temperament to reveal itself this next Spring.

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 indicative of a balanced market, with lower numbers increasingly favoring sellers and vice versa.

Within the city, Northeast Santa Rosa – the North Bay’s most active submarket - saw the introduction of merely 41 single-family homes in October – 37 percent fewer than this same period a year ago while also mirroring the all-time low realized last December. The supply of homes was met with active demand during the period as there were just 94 dwellings for home seekers to consider by months end – 30 percent lower than the depths we were experiencing at this time last year. Buyers still managed to absorb 39 homes into contracts while sellers received closing checks on another 39 properties – resulting in MSI rising up to 2.4.

Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of listed properties rest at 38 by the end of last month. This submarket debuted 27 new homes in the period while buyers garnered accepted offers on 21 additional dwellings. This coveted corner of the city experienced 20 formal transfers in October culminating in a MSI reading of 1.9.

Dramatically different than last year at this same time, Oakmont had only 18 homes available for sale at the end of the month – 57 percent below 2021 levels. Property owners launched 10 new offerings in the period – 62 percent fewer than last year - while buyers inked out another 12 deals. Sellers closed out 11 more transactions during the month – 63 percent fewer than the prior year - leaving this niche market with an MSI of 1.6 – which interestingly is the only metric similar to where this region was last year.

The only niche that has recorded higher inventory levels than last year at this time, Northwest Santa Rosa buyers swooped in to gain control of 31 more deals leaving 48 single-family homes available for sale at months end. Sellers committed 27 additional offerings to the market while another 26 homes completed the closing process. Steady, but lower activity levels lead MSI to hold at 1.8 this month.

Experiencing a radical departure in buyer activity in October, Southwest Santa Rosa sellers delivered 11 new offerings to the market while consumers placed just 10 more dwellings into contract during the period. Newly minted homeowners captured keys on 10 closings, leaving 31 homes available for buyers to peruse in November while establishing an MSI of 3.1.

Your personal state of mind, goals for where and how you want to live along with your ability to manage your finances relative to the lifestyle you have or want is the more complete answer than just attitude. Too many absorb a mass mentality – both when real estate markets climb or recede - that hinders them from being authentic about themselves and realistic about their timeframes of ownership thereby impacting the most appropriate choices. Rates rise and fall, but your home is where you live not for the week or the month or even the year, but often for a decade or more…Remember an old saying, “you date the rate, but you marry the home.”


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