Deal or No Deal?

Game shows have really become one of our nations pastimes as they emotionally connect with the viewing audience while also helping this audience escape the personal struggles of everyday life. When I was a kid I wanted to be a game show host. Watching the emotional and financial roller coaster of each different show weave a story though their time slot always caught my attention. These days, I do this on another level with our clients who engage in not only the buying and selling of all things real estate but the designing and building of the latest, most forward thinking custom homes in our region. It provides a similar though more meaningful experience than I could ever have imagined.
 
According to BAREIS MLS, the entire Santa Rosa marketplace is shifting to accommodate the new market dynamics that are upon it. The traditional “bell curve” of activity may be in process of being reshaped while the markets work to sort out the loss of 5,130 homes and their occupants’ requirements for housing left in waiting. With January in our rear view mirror, we find the marketplace to have regained some upward momentum with only 238 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – a 103 percent increase from just a year earlier – though this metric should be met with skepticism due to what was an organic market shift in relation to the natural disaster that flanked our markets at that time. The municipality introduced only 94 new listings to the market in January – 33 percent fewer than in 2018 – while buyers promptly captured control of 112 new deals during the period – 16 percent more than last January. The most recent period found Sellers handing over keys on 106 completed sales, leaving Santa Rosa with its’ months’ supply of inventory (MSI) continuing to tighten as indicated by a reading of 2.2.
 
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 - by far the singular market most impacted by the events of October 2017 - saw the introduction of 28 new homes in January – 46 percent less than the prior year. The supply of homes was met with stronger absorption during the period as there were only 78 dwellings for home seekers to consider by months end. Buyers embarked on 34 newly initiated escrows while sellers received closing checks on another 36 properties at a median value of $800,000. This allowed the MSI to retreat to 2.2 representing a return of control to sellers for at least the next several months.
 
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of available properties improve from its recent slumps to boast 42 listings for buyers to peruse by months end. This submarket welcomed 24 new listings during the month while buyers captured accepted offers on 24 more abodes – both on par with last year. This coveted corner of the city experienced 21 formal transfers of title at a median value of $620,000 – registering an MSI of 2.0 and further supporting a strengthening marketplace.
 
Oakmont, still buoyed by last year’s build-up of inventory, had 30 available homes as February opened with only seven new offerings delivered since the turn of the new year. Buyers found their way to acceptances on 11 new purchases while sellers concluded 10 transactions during the month at a median value of $603,000. The activity levels showcase that this region steadied in its place with an MSI of 3.0 for the month.
 
Northwest Santa Rosa sellers debuted 26 newly listed properties during the month – the fewest in the past 13 months - then found buyers absorbing 28 new deals into contract. Sellers completed transfers on 27 domiciles – at a median value of $535,000 - leaving this submarket with 56 available homes to open with in February and affirming the broader beliefs that values may have only temporarily given up the rampant gains seen in this post-fire marketplace with MSI registering 2.1.
 
Southwest Santa Rosa debuted just nine new properties in January, thereby bringing the total available to 32 single family homes. Buyers jumped in to gain control of 15 new offerings while sellers closed out 12 sales in the period at a median value of $540,000. The frequency of activity has set the table for a much tighter market for buyers to operate with MSI sitting at 2.7.

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