Stay at Home…Now, Where Will That Be?

With two-steps forward and one back with regards to the pandemic situation in play, our region is finding greater demand from surrounding Bay Area communities to be a primary source for their preferred living environment due to the vast open spaces, large public parks system, stunning terrain and a lot of fondness for just living in the wine country.
 
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 866 single-family homes left for sale as we closed the books on June – 23 percent fewer than this same period a year ago. Sellers delivered 388 new listings to the market during the month – off 28 percent from a year earlier - while buyers gained control of another 638 new deals during the period – 48 percent greater than the prior June and further widening the chasm between supply and demand. In support of these metrics, completed sales tipped the scales at 440 this last month – seven percent greater than in 2019 – continuing to add to the story of deurbanization we are seeing in the greater marketplace with regards to major metropolitan cities.
 
The continued pace of the markets can be measured by the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) and, with vastly growing demands from buyers in our region - along with all-time low interest rates driving our markets - the data shows MSI registering 2.0 as of last month – nearly thrice the pace of the prior month and accelerating into the balance of our summer. This level of liquidity and activity is among the highest in the seven Bay Area counties we track and in some part due to the native demands of households, unique to our region, who are still replacing homes they lost in the Tubbs, Nuns & Kincade 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 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 118 homes reported for sale as June concluded. This region experienced the addition of 42 new properties during the period – 16 percent fewer new offerings from the year prior - while buyers garnered accepted contracts on 61 new deals – a 39 percent jump over last year when our markets were completely open. Sellers awarded keys to another 52 homeowners confirming last month’s market dynamics while establishing an MSI of 2.3 – with further tightening expected as buyers overwhelm the marketplace and sellers are fewer to be found.
 
Healdsburg felt a remarkably similar activity spike with only 24 new listings making their way to market in June while buyers promptly snapped up 32 homes in new deals. Sellers closed out 19 transactions leaving this submarket with 84 homes for presentation to buyers in July. The sum of activity left this region with an MSI of 4.4 and falling rapidly based upon consumer demands being witnessed already this month.
 
The pendulum swung violently in Petaluma’s Westside this month where only 33 homes remained available for sale by month’s end and that included the 11 new offerings brought forth during the period. Sellers found their way to 34 new contracts while buyers completed purchases on 29 more homes - leaving this region with an MSI of 1.1 – even tighter than indicated it would be per my last writing.
 
Petaluma’s Eastside remains uber strong with just 20 available homes to select from by months end - which is inclusive of the 23 additional offerings unveiled by owners during the period. Home shoppers placed 36 more dwellings into contract while sellers completed 25 transactions – which is not surprising when considering the new population flows into our region. With less than a single month’s supply of homes being available – MSI at 0.8 – we are typically in for price escalations.
 
Similarly, Sebastopol sellers delivered only 27 new listings in June. Buyers gained control of 44 deals during the period while sellers closed out 29 more sales leaving only 43 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in July – 43 percent fewer than a year earlier - showcasing an MSI of 1.5 with more pressure mounting.
 
As we absorb the one-two punch of the pandemic and a presidential election year, keep in mind your fellow man, maintain your dignity, help others where you can and #wewillgetthroughthistogether

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