When we think of our economy, we must be keenly attuned to the fact that the greater the volume or flow of trading that happens the better our consumer-based economy can flourish. So, it is a healthy and welcomed sign to see a greater amount of inventory options existing in our real estate markets which allude to more varied and diverse selections for buyers to choose from while also retarding the rampant inflationary winds experienced over the last decade.
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 622 single-family homes left for sale as January closed the ledger on available inventory – 51 percent more than a year earlier and a welcomed sign for buyers. Sellers delivered 213 new offerings to market during the period – 41 percent fewer than last year when the month recorded the arrival of 359 new listings. Sonoma County witnessed 266 properties garnering accepted offers in January – on par with a year earlier - while Sellers successfully traded 228 dwellings during the month at a median value of $650,000. The continued pace of the markets can be measured by the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) and, with renewed vigor from buyers in our region to compliment the reprieve in interest rates along with sellers being more in line with market sentiments, the data points to an MSI of 2.7 – showcasing the initial moments of a market pushing back from balance to technically remain a seller’s market.
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 64 homes reported for sale as January concluded. This region experienced the addition of 17 new properties during the period – 37 percent fewer than the prior year. Sonoma buyers moved forward on contracting with sellers on 19 new agreements while another 16 homeowners were given keys to their new dwellings. As demand from buyers awake ahead of sellers, MSI has been pushed back to a threshold reading of 4.0 – which may also be telegraphing values to rise a few points from where they rest currently.
As January’s data filled in the charts, Healdsburg buyers placed only six dwellings into contract while leaving 50 properties to greet home seekers in February – newly listed units on the market accounted for 10 of these. This submarket formally transferred new deeds on 14 single-family homes leaving the region with an MSI of 3.6 – narrowly confirming that sellers may have the upper hand, at least for the moment, in our county’s priciest enclave.
Residents of Petaluma’s Westside saw availability climb from a year earlier as the population of homes for sale stood at 24 by months end. Savvy sellers introduced just 12 new offerings to the market during the period – 56 percent less than last January - while buyers managed to place contracts on 10 new properties. Sellers orchestrated the sale of just five abodes in the period thereby pulling this submarket into a balanced reading of 4.8 compared to last year’s MSI reading of 1.3.
A more opposing story exists for the Eastside of Petaluma as January wrapped up with 17 available homes to select from – inclusive of the 11 homes that debuted during the period. Home shoppers gained control of 24 more accepted contracts while sellers completed an additional 18 transactions further pressing this market to a tighter MSI reading of 0.9 – Sonoma County’s most competitive market for buyers.
Within the coalesced regions of Rohnert Park and Cotati we see all legs of the stool being propped up as 38 single-family homes remained for sale by months end including the 25 new properties that sellers introduced during the same period. Buyers managed to absorb 22 units in new contracts while sales were completed on an additional 17 dwellings, leaving this submarket with an MSI of 2.2.
Windsor checked in with an availability of 39 single family homes by months end which included the 13 that were freshly delivered during the period. Sellers ratified 12 purchase agreements while buyers closed 15 additional escrows allowing the MSI to steady at 2.6 – indicative of a market that may climb more in value in the first half of 2019.
As the flow of commerce picks up pace the accretive volume delivered to our markets should curb the runaway price inclinations that occurred over the last several years providing more stable trading conditions with intermittent spikes or lulls along the way.