Entering the final stretch of 2019, the data points to a more vigorous market ahead - even with the winter slumber we expect to encounter over the next 60 days. The metrics in place showcase activity which bodes well for the opening of 2020.
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 883 single-family homes left for sale as November closed the ledger on available inventory – four percent less than a year earlier. Keep in mind the amount of new inventory coming to market has been at a much lesser rate than in the prior year with only 200 listings being delivered by sellers this month – 35 percent less than in 2018 when the period recorded the arrival of 310 new listings. Sonoma County witnessed 314 properties receive accepted offers in November – 12 percent greater than last year – further confirming buyers like the current market dynamics which has translated to sellers successfully trading 338 dwellings during the month at a median value of $649,000.
The continued pace of the markets can be measured by the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) and, with steady demands from buyers in our region, attractive mortgage terms and sellers being more in line with market sentiments - while also delivering fewer options for buyers to select from - the data shows a tightening MSI of 2.6.
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 details in the town of Sonoma, which submarket includes the hamlets of Kenwood and Glen Ellen, there were 122 homes reported for sale as November concluded. This region experienced the addition of 18 new properties during the period – 28 percent fewer than the prior year. Sonoma buyers garnered accepted contract 22 new deals – 12 percent fewer than in 2018 - while sellers awarded keys to another 24 homeowners at a median purchase value of $1,160,000 – further building upon the prior months record high value. The dynamics within this market remain in balance for now with MSI registering 5.1.
Healdsburg felt activity wane this month with buyers claiming control of only 12 new deals and sellers closing out 21 more sales at a median closing value of $729,000. By months end, inventory fell to 84 available homes for sale – which included the nine that debuted during the period - allowing the MSI to fall into balance this period with a reading of 4.0.
Buyers on Petaluma’s Westside were part of a very brisk month of activity in November with only 34 properties still being available for sale by months end. Sellers encountered continuous signs of reassurance as 23 new offers were accepted during the month - twice as much as the previous year – while another 15 units formally transferred to new owners at a median price of $700,000. That level of interest coupled with only six new listings to refill the pipeline left this submarket with a tightened MSI of 2.3.
Still the hottest locale within our county, Petaluma’s Eastside, closed out the month with 29 available homes to select from, inclusive of the 14 that debuted during the period. Home shoppers gained control of 22 more accepted contracts while sellers completed an additional 26 transactions at a median value of $703,000 - firmly holding this market under the control of existing property owners with MSI registering 1.1.
A continued shrinkage in inventory and expanding sales has Sebastopol’s market getting squeezed as only eight homes were added to the market in November while buyers gained control of 17 more deals during the period. Sellers completed 14 escrows at a median value of $845,000 leaving only 50 single-family homes available for buyers in December thereby allowing MSI to expand to 3.6 – though we anticipate this to plummet lower next month based upon the level of activity this period.
With the holiday season upon us we expect the market to tame down for a few weeks though with that said we anticipate a stronger early opening of the selling season by February.