Sellers and Buyers Return from Summering
In the next sixty days the data should prove out what we are seeing happen in the trenches of main street…Both buyers and sellers are back and exhibiting signs of what we would normally expect from each this time of year.
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 631 single-family homes left for sale at August’s conclusion – 42 percent fewer than this same period last year. Sellers delivered 284 new listings to the market during the month – 52 percent less than in 2021 - while buyers gained control of another 379 new deals – 32 percent off from a year earlier due to “summering buyers”, higher interest rates and over a third less options for buyers to select from. In support of these metrics, completed sales tipped the scales at 337 this last month – 47 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 MSI has risen from its depths marginally then tightened back to 1.9 as of last month. This display of liquidity and activity is still among the highest in the seven Bay Area counties we track and, in part, due to the native demands of households, unique to our region, who are still replacing the 6000 plus homes they lost in the Tubbs, Nuns, Kincade, Glass and Wallbridge 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 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 89 homes reported for sale as August ended – 33 percent less than this same period a year ago. This region experienced the addition of just 15 new listings during the period – 67 percent fewer than last year - while buyers garnered accepted contracts on 30 more properties. Sellers in the valley awarded keys to 31 new homeowners – 50 percent off from a year earlier – allowing MSI to settle back to a tighter reading of 2.9.
Healdsburg witnessed just nine new listings arrive to the market last month – 77 percent fewer than in 2021 while also equaling the lowest amount historically recorded in any month. Buyers absorbed 15 homes in new deals while sellers closed out another 21 transactions leaving this submarket with 49 homes for presentation to buyers in September, along with an MSI of 2.3.
Petaluma’s Westside attracted only 11 new sellers in August which allowed available inventory to kick-off the new month with 38 homes for buyers to select from. Home seekers grabbed 22 new deals in the period while sellers closed out 23 purchases holding the MSI at 1.7.
Sebastopol wrapped up August with 45 available homes for buyers to consider inclusive of the 18 additional offerings unveiled during the period. Home shoppers placed 33 more dwellings into contract while sellers completed 23 sales causing MSI to tighten to 2.0.
Windsor property owners delivered 19 new listings in August while buyers captured 31 deals during the period. Sellers closed out 17 more transactions leaving 34 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in September while highlighting an MSI settling back to a more seller-favorable reading of 2.0.
The regression of the MSI metric towards a stronger seller’s market is an early indicator that foretells that we should expect less new inventory each month before we see a typical expansion of inventories coming out of the Winter slumber period. Our markets will take their cadence from the flow - or lack of it – which will determine the direction of values or pressures within our regional marketplace.
To date this year, each month’s level of available inventory has set records for all-time low’s and without inventory surging higher it would be foolish to believe prices will abate and move lower.
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