In the financial markets there is a common saying, “don’t fight the FED”. One could also argue that you should not fight momentum either. Real estate market trends ebb and flow based upon their underlying momentum – the rate of change in any one direction. The concept of playing counter to this loses out more times than not and appears to be what we are encountering in our region currently.
According to data collected by BAREIS MLS, a current overview of Sonoma County indicates an average sold price per-square-foot (psf) of $453 for a single-family home – nearly matching the all-time peak. Buried within the statistics you will also see a market that is reestablishing higher prices as the median property value rose to $712,000 – and that’s without the new construction inventory sales that will start accumulating this year as more high-net worth homes reemerge.
As our markets work to push through prior highs we see some hardy gains from this same time last year with Healdsburg – Americas favorite small town – along with Petaluma’s Eastside topping the charts with gains of 10 percent from last August as values rose to $738psf and $411psf, respectively. Followed closely by Sebastopol which climbed eight percent to $506psf while Northeast Santa Rosa – with some momentum building as each new sale is projected to enhance this sub-market’s desirability - registered a strong seven percent gain with values coming in at
Rising a modest two percent, the tony town of Sonoma along with Southeast Santa Rosa landed at $592psf and $415psf, respectively, while staying just this side of positive in August was Northwest Santa Rosa claiming a one percent improvement to $402psf.
Slipping one percent found Oakmont and the Cotati/Rohnert Park submarkets coming to rest at $414psf and $364psf, respectively, while Cloverdale sloughed off four percent to wrap up the period at $368psf. Losing a little more ground, our famed Sonoma Coastline and Southwest Santa Rosa coughed up five percent to end the month at $462psf and $378psf, respectively.
Firmly in the cellar this month, Windsor retrenched nine percent to $351psf while this month’s biggest loser was the Russian River region dropping 17 percent with August sales coming in at $428psf.
With the confluence of attractive interest rates, new housing options and the need for many to make decisions regarding their insurance settlements, we expect our markets to see a significant rise in demands from buyers over the ensuing months that should test some historic metrics.