Opening with a Strong Cadence
…For sellers, as buyers have resumed their quest to find their new home. Propelled by a stronger than expected economy, as well as Interest rates becoming more friendly to the pocketbook, home seekers
are back and with the strongest request still being newly constructed with a main level primary suite the order of the day.
Within the metropolis of Santa Rosa, according to BAREIS MLS, with 2023 now in the rearview mirror, the data points to a marketplace continuing with a steady yet seasonal demand level with 164 single-
family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – one percent less than this same time a year earlier as well as establishing another new all-time low for December. Buyers laid claim to 84 single-
family homes during the past month – 12 percent greater than the prior year - while the entire municipality introduced just 35 new listings to the market this December – a whopping 46 percent fewer
than in 2022. The most recent period found Seller’s handing over keys on another 100 completed sales – eight percent behind the 108 dwellings that traded hands twelve months ago.
This measurable market shift remains affirmed by Santa Rosa recording a Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) level at 1.6 – a continued confirmation that buyers are still at the mercy of sellers in most cases –
in the marketplace. 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.
Within the city, Northeast Santa Rosa – the North Bay’s most active submarket - saw the introduction of merely 10 single-family homes in December – 38 percent less than this same period a year ago. The
supply of homes was met with seasonal demand as there were 80 dwellings for the home hungry to consider by months end – actually 33 percent more than during the same period last year. Buyers
managed to absorb 35 homes into new contracts with sellers receiving closing checks on another 44 properties – resulting in MSI snapping its way back to a much tighter reading of 1.8 – keep in mind that
in this sector some of the new listings posted are offerings for homes to be built yet so that adds some unrealistic bulk to what is really available to purchase now, unlike most other sub-markets throughout
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of listed properties rest at 28 when our new year opened – seven percent less than just a year earlier. This submarket debuted only seven new listings in December –
another new historical low - while buyers garnered accepted offers on 15 additional dwellings – twice the number of homes receiving ratified offers just a year earlier. This coveted corner of the city
experienced 19 formal transfers in the period culminating in an MSI dropping to 1.5 – denoting sellers remaining in control in this submarket.
Oakmont continues to record voracious buyer demands - most coming from outside our local marketplace - from those looking to acquire their new wine country retirement home. With December
in the books, there were just nine available homes for buyers to peruse in the new year, and for the first time in history, there were zero new listings offered during the period. Buyers inked out four new deals while sellers completed six transactions during the month, allowing MSI to remain contracted at 1.5.
Northwest Santa Rosa buyers made advances to gain control of 16 more deals while leaving 23 single- family homes available for sale at the beginning of January. Sellers committed nine additional offerings
to the market – an all-time low - while 20 more homes completed the closing process, just like last year, leaving this regions MSI indicating a strong seller bias at 1.2.
Southwest Santa Rosa sellers delivered nine new offerings to the market while consumers placed 14 more dwellings into contract during the period. The latest homeowners received keys to their new doors
on the heels of 11 closings, leaving 24 dwellings available for buyers to view in January thereby allowing MSI crashing downward to 2.2 from last month’s momentary high of 4.7, further repositioning sellers
into a posture of authority.
Most real estate economists are suggesting that we will see a slightly higher number of homes trading out in 2024 than we did last year, which was a multi-decade low in sales volume. We will see if they are
correct, or if property owners have become more comfortable than ever to just keeping their homes as they value them more, while also understanding the paradox of trying to replace what they have something they want more.
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