The weather has been hotter than average and our real estate markets are showcasing a similar vigor. With our Santa Rosa metro region shifting to accommodate the new market dynamics that are upon it, the traditional “bell curve” of activity may be in process of being reshaped while the markets work to sort out the loss of 5,130 homes and their occupants’ requirements for housing left in waiting. According to BAREIS MLS, with July in our rearview mirror, we find the marketplace adding to its earlier momentum with only 365 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – a 13 percent dip from this same time last year – coupled with a corresponding seven percent increase in accepted offers during the month thereby giving very clear readings of a market that should be holding – if not increasing – in value compared to the prior two quarters.
The entire municipality introduced only 158 new listings to the market in July – an astonishing 37 percent fewer than the 249 presented a year ago - while the most recent period also found Sellers handing over keys on 161 completed sales at a median value of $600,000 - leaving Santa Rosa with its’ Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) steadily holding at 2.3.
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 underlying specifics, Northeast Santa Rosa - by far the singular market most impacted by the events of October 2017 and one that will take some time to reestablish itself as the regions premier locale - saw the introduction of only 73 single-family homes in July – nine percent fewer than in 2018. The supply of homes was met with solid absorption during the period as there were only 160 dwellings for home seekers to consider by months end. Buyers embarked on a staggering 72 newly initiated escrows – up 31 percent from last year - while sellers received closing checks on another 49 properties at a median value of $665,000, essentially resetting the MSI to a reading of 3.3, and further indicating a steady market for well-priced homes while putting sellers on notice to not be so cavalier with their pricing.
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of available properties steady at 60 by months end. This submarket welcomed just 29 new offerings in July – 50 percent fewer sellers than a year earlier - while buyers captured accepted offers on 35 more abodes. This coveted corner of the city experienced 30 formal transfers of title at a median value of $720,000 – further tightening the MSI to 2.0 and echoing a broader markets desire to pay more for this location than it has in the past.
Oakmont – in the process of now acquiring its name sake golf course - saw inventory fall as only 10 sellers delivered new offerings in July, allowing total available inventory to drop to 47 by months end. Buyers found their way to acceptances on 17 new purchases – iterating a return to average activity this month - while sellers concluded another 15 transactions during the period at a median value of $635,000. The activity level indicates a market that has shifted from a balance reading to one slightly more in favor of sellers with MSI coming in at 3.1.
Northwest Santa Rosa remains even hotter than our weather as sellers debuted merely 29 new properties during the month – 54 percent less than last July – with buyers also absorbing 39 new deals into contract. Sellers completed the sale of 51 domiciles – at a median value of $560,000 - leaving this submarket with 62 available homes to open with in August – 37 percent less than the period a year ago - further affirming the broader marketplace demands as MSI was pressured downwards to 1.2 – Santa Rosa’s tightest submarket.
Southwest Santa Rosa debuted 17 new properties in July, thereby bringing the total available to 36 by months end. Buyers jumped in to gain control of 14 deals while sellers closed out another 16 sales at a median value of $541,000. The data points to a tougher road for buyers with MSI at 2.3.
As The Merrymen sang in 1983…”I’m feeling hot, hot, hot”.