New Inventory Arrives, Level of Available Homes Shrinks
With property owners abstaining from becoming sellers, the pool of buyers continues to expand within the region. According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 376 single-family homes left for sale at the close of March – 49 percent fewer than this same period twelve months ago and slightly less than where the prior month ended – highly unusual. Sellers delivered 227 new listings to the market during the period – 58 percent less than in 2022 - while buyers garnered control of another 303 new deals – 38 percent off
from a year earlier due to higher interest rates, lower inventory levels and the seasonality of our wintertime marketplace. In support of these metrics, completed sales tipped the scales at 265 for the period – 35 percent fewer than the prior year.
The continued pace of the markets can be measured by the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) and, with the Federal Reserve aggressively trying to dampen demand by raising the cost of money, yet MSI has tightened further in March to 1.4 – indicative of a stronger seller’s market and one picking up steam in that direction over the course of the three previous reporting periods.
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 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 62 homes reported for sale as March concluded – 44 percent less than this same period a year ago. This region experienced the addition of 22 new listings during the month while buyers garnered accepted contracts on 31 more properties. Sellers in the valley awarded keys to 20 new homeowners – 46 percent off from a year earlier – allowing MSI to shift to a more seller friendly reading of 3.1 for March.
Healdsburg witnessed 10 new listings arrive to the market last month – 71 percent fewer than a year earlier. Buyers absorbed 14 homes in new deals while sellers closed out 18 transactions leaving this submarket with 32 homes for presentation to buyers in April – 50 percent less than last year’s historic lows revealing an MSI plummeting to 1.8.
Petaluma’s Westside attracted 12 new sellers in March which caused available inventory to stabilize for now at 23 homes for buyers to select from by months end. Home seekers grabbed 15 new deals in the period while sellers closed out 14 more purchases leading to an MSI steadying at 1.6.
Similarly, Sebastopol wrapped up the period with 25 available homes for buyers to consider inclusive of the 15 additional offerings brought forth in the period. Home shoppers placed 19 more dwellings into contract while sellers completed 13 sales allowing MSI to close March at 1.9.
Windsor property owners delivered 19 new listings in March while buyers captured 25 deals during the period. Sellers closed out 19 more transactions leaving merely 13 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in April while highlighting an MSI of 0.7 – one of the regions lowest (tightest) readings.
As Spring unfolds, we are seeing a trickle of new inventory to support the expanding requirements of buyers hunting for their next home in Sonoma County. Should this condition continue it will no doubt impact the competitiveness for any new home released into the marketplace and may even be a force that encourages prices to regain more of what they surrendered in value last year thereby suggesting that when you see that home you are pretty sure works, don’t sleep on it!
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