Green Shoots Already Showing

Emerging from the darkest of times, we are encountering data that points to new hope. This means as individual sentiments improve that they are beginning to be reflected in forces of action within the economy ahead of what may be a populous perception.
 
According to data collected by BAREIS MLS, a current overview of Sonoma County indicates an average sold price per-square-foot (psf) of $464 for a single-family home – an all-time high that is nine percent more than a year earlier as well as just the month prior. That, coupled with a median property value hovering around $660,000, is indicative of a highly charged and active marketplace.
 
As our region gets back to work, we are seeing buyers arrive in greater numbers with heightened demands - though in some cases with an unrealistic approach to valuation that does not account for the extremely thin amounts of available inventory in our local markets and more so reflects an attempt to seize on opportunistic buying.
 
Healdsburg delivered a strong 35 percent jump as sold values rose to $831psf – keep in mind that periods of lighter volume typically exaggerate swings in this metric as this submarket has traded in a range that varies over $200psf each month and can be highly influenced by each individual sale. Southwest Santa Rosa shot up 18 percent to $379psf while the Russian River region saw prices swell 13 percent to $452psf. Remaining in the double-digit gainers flight, our Coastal markets climbed 11 percent to $560psf - though like Healdsburg - on very abbreviated volume.
 
Rising seven percent to $541psf, Petaluma’s Westside encountered noticeable activity increases similar to Cotati and Rohnert Park where a six percent ascension brought values to $371psf. Nipping at their heels this month, Windsor reported prices up five percent from the prior year to $372psf.
 
In heated competition with four percent improvements, Sebastopol, Sonoma, and Northwest Santa Rosa checked in at $589psf, $547psf and $375psf, respectively. With immense new construction afoot, Northeast Santa Rosa delivered a three percent improvement from last year to land at $419psf while Cloverdale was flat year over year at $346psf.
 
Tapping the brakes and slipping two percent was Southeast Santa Rosa coming it at $385psf while Petaluma’s Eastside sliced three percent off the prior April posting sales at an average of $400psf. Bringing up the rear this month, Oakmont returned five percent to close the period at $389psf.
 
The new work-from-home mentality – along with last few months of doing so - will likely lead to a shift in consumer behaviors, especially about where we live and what ours home are being asked to provide for us. This - coupled with what many were forecasting for millennial trends towards exiting major metropolitan areas as they come of age - is exacerbating the market shifts we are now encountering. The de-urbanization we are experiencing is a marked change within our environment and one that will add demand pressure to housing in suburbia. 

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