Shrinking Inventory…What’s to Come?

Shrinking Inventory…What’s to Come?
Game shows have really become one of our nations pastimes as they emotionally connect with the viewing audience while also helping this audience escape the personal struggles of everyday life. When I was a kid I wanted to be a game show host. Watching the emotional and financial roller coaster of each different show weave a story though their time slot always caught my attention. These days, I do this on another level with our clients who engage in not only the buying and selling of all things real estate but the designing and building of the latest, most forward thinking custom homes in our region. It provides a similar though more meaningful experience than I could ever have imagined.
According to BAREIS MLS, the entire Santa Rosa marketplace is 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. With February behind us, we find the marketplace to have regained some upward momentum with only 206 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – a 38 percent increase from just a year earlier – though, for the third month in a row, this metric is behaving abnormally as it has been in an unusual decline when we should typically see the number of units increasing. Have the sellers exhausted their appetite for selling? Does this mean we will see higher than predicted appreciation in the ensuing months?
The entire municipality introduced only 98 new listings to the market in February – 46 percent fewer than in 2018 – while buyers promptly captured control of 96 new deals during the period – one percent more than last year. The most recent period found Sellers handing over keys on 124 completed sales – at a medina value of $590,000 - leaving Santa Rosa with its’ Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) continuing to tighten as indicated by a reading of 2.1.
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 - saw the introduction of 43 new homes in February – 27 percent less than the prior year. The supply of homes was met with generally strong absorption during the period as there were only 88 dwellings for home seekers to consider by months end. Buyers embarked on 33 newly initiated escrows while sellers received closing checks on another 29 properties at a median value of $670,000. This allowed the MSI to bounce upward to 3.0 - still representing are turn of control to sellers for at least the next several months.
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of available properties continue to shrink from three months ago with only 31 listings remaining for buyers to peruse by months end. This submarket welcomed just 12 new offerings during the month while buyers captured accepted offers on 25 more abodes. This coveted corner of the city experienced 21 formal transfers of title at a median value of $650,000 – registering a tightening MSI of 1.5 and further supporting a strengthening marketplace.
Oakmont, still bolstered by last year’s build-up of inventory, had 28 available homes as March opened with only nine new offerings delivered in the period. Buyers found their way to acceptances on 11 new purchases while sellers concluded eight transactions during the month at a median value of $570,000. The activity levels showcase that this region still favors property owners with an MSI of 3.5 for the month.
Northwest Santa Rosa sellers debuted 23 newly listed properties during the month – the fewest in the past two years - then found buyers absorbing 37 new deals into contract. Sellers completed transfers on 24 domiciles – at a median value of $550,000 - leaving this submarket with 40 available homes to open with in March and affirming the broader beliefs that values may have only temporarily given up the rampant gains seen in this post-fire marketplace with MSI now registering 1.7.
Southwest Santa Rosa debuted only 11 new properties in February, thereby bringing the total available to 19 single family homes by months end. Buyers jumped in to gain control of 18 deals while sellers closed out 14 transactions in the period at a median value of $500,000. The frequency of activity has set the table for a much tighter market for buyers to operate with MSI plummeting to 1.4 - again.
Our marketplace provides the stage, our community supplies the contestants and we orchestrate the magic – all in the name of serving people at a higher fiduciary level. I have always said if you help enough people get what they want, then you can have everything you want – we are here to make a difference in every relationship we have how about you?

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