Having relinquished nearly 6000 housing units to natural disasters over the last three years and now being challenged further by the demands of buyers to relocate to the region our markets are under immense pressure to deliver housing opportunities.
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 485 single-family homes left for sale as February concluded – 28 percent fewer than the 677 units that were available as our markets entered the initial days of the pandemic last year. Sellers delivered just 347 new listings to the market during the month – 24 percent fewer than the year prior - while buyers gained control of another 411 new deals during the period – 34 percent greater than the previous February. In support of these metrics, completed sales tipped the scales at 307 this last month – 13 percent more than this same time last year.
The continued pace of the markets can be measured by the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) and, with vastly growing demands from buyers in our region along extremely attractive interest rates driving our markets, the data shows MSI registering 1.6 as of last month – much tighter than the 2.5 reading from last year at this time. This level of liquidity and activity is among the highest in the seven Bay Area counties we track and, in some part, due to the native demands of households, unique to our region, who are still replacing homes they lost in the Tubbs, Nuns, Kincade and Glass Fire calamities.
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 73 homes reported for sale as February ended – 25 percent fewer than a year earlier. This region experienced the addition of 39 new listings during the period – 34 percent off last year - while buyers garnered accepted contracts on 33 more properties. Sellers awarded keys to another 24 new homeowners confirming last month’s market dynamics while seeing MSI tick-up to 3.0 for the month.
Healdsburg witnessed 27 new listings arrive to the market in February while buyers promptly snapped up 31 homes in new deals. Sellers closed out 15 transactions leaving this submarket with 54 homes for presentation to buyers in March. The sum of demands has left this region with an MSI now at 3.6.
Petaluma’s Westside continued its hot pace with only 20 homes remaining for sale by month’s end, inclusive of the 15 new offerings brought forth during the period. Sellers found their way into 15 new contracts – 15 percent ahead of last year - while buyers completed purchases on 15 additional dwellings - leaving this region with a MSI of 1.3.
Petaluma’s Eastside is registering a record for supply of inventory that can now be measured in weeks not months, to be precise 2.5 weeks! Upon closing the books on February, there were just nine available homes for buyers to select from - which is inclusive of the 15 additional offerings unveiled by owners during the period. Home shoppers placed 25 more dwellings into contract while sellers completed another 16 transactions – no surprise as this market continues to capture interest due to is relative affordability in comparison to surrounding markets let alone the Bay Area. With less than a single month’s supply of homes being available – MSI at 0.6 – we anticipate values to rise to find their balance with demand during this year.
With buyers leaning in to offer more for their next home, Sebastopol sellers were lured into delivering just 12 new listings in February. Buyers gained control of another 21 deals during the period while sellers closed out 24 more sales leaving only 23 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in March while showcasing an MSI of 1.0.
All this data suggests we may be in for one of those unique - once-a-decade type years - where values propel forward to the disbelief of us all…