We are breaking records all around us. Our national economy has never had this length of continuous expansion, our weather patterns are setting new records on both ends of the gauge and our housing markets are chugging along and working to establish new highs of their own.
The Santa Rosa metro region is shifting to accommodate the new market dynamics that have been thrust upon it as the traditional “bell curve” of activity may be in process of being reshaped while the markets work to sort out the loss of 5,334 homes along with the reemergence of these homes and the lives that once occupied them. According to BAREIS MLS, with August in our rearview mirror, we find the marketplace adding to its earlier momentum with only 371 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – a 17 percent dip from this same time last year – coupled with a corresponding nine 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 three quarters.
The entire municipality introduced only 153 new listings to the market in August – an astonishing 35 percent fewer than the 234 presented a year ago - while the most recent period also found Sellers handing over keys on 148 completed sales at a median value of $675,000 - leaving Santa Rosa with its’ Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) steadily holding at 2.5 though leaning towards tighter.
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 52 single-family homes in August – 34 percent fewer than in 2018. The supply of homes was met with solid absorption during the period as there were only 157 dwellings for home seekers to consider by months end. Buyers embarked on a staggering 69 newly initiated escrows – up 41 percent from last year - while sellers received closing checks on another 66 properties at a median value of $781,000, sharply cutting the MSI to 2.4, and further indicating a steady market for well-priced homes.
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of available properties shrink to 65 by months end. This submarket welcomed just 25 new offerings in July – 49 percent fewer sellers than a year earlier - while buyers captured accepted offers on 28 more abodes. This coveted corner of the city experienced 22 formal transfers of title at a median value of $633,000 – allowing MSI to rise to 2.9.
Oakmont – with fewer new listings and renewed buyer interest from solving their Golf Club ownership issues - saw only 20 willing sellers deliver new offerings in August, allowing total available inventory to steady at 49 by months end. Buyers found their way to acceptances on 20 new purchases – iterating a return to better than average activity this month - while sellers concluded another 14 transactions during the period at a median value of $668,000. 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 3.5 along with a bias towards tighter.
Northwest Santa Rosa remains even hotter than our weather as sellers debuted merely 41 new properties during the month – 33 percent less than last August – with buyers also absorbing 43 new deals into contract. Sellers completed the sale of 35 domiciles – at a median value of $599,000 - leaving this submarket with 63 available homes to open with in September – a far cry less than the period a year ago when there were 110 available - further affirming the broader marketplace demands with MSI hovering at 1.8 – Santa Rosa’s tightest submarket.
Southwest Santa Rosa debuted 15 new properties in August, thereby bringing the total available to 39 by months end. Buyers jumped in to gain control of 14 deals while sellers closed out another 11 sales at a median value of $529,000 leaving this market with an MSI of 3.5.
With interest rates down and consumer optimism up our local markets look to finish the year much stronger than they began.