Here’s a tip – don’t get caught up in the microcosm of viral focus and sensational news. The drastic and short-term emotional carnage that will befall you can unnecessarily derail you from accomplishing your goals. Additionally, in real estate, this kind of news actually benefits you as it puts pressure on interest rates to get even more attractive, thereby lowering your cost of ownership.
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 639 single-family homes left for sale as we closed the books on January. Sellers delivered just 245 new listings to the market during the month – 23 percent less than a year earlier – further echoing a supply side issue as we have seen a trend towards less new options being revealed to buyers each month over the last year. Sonoma County buyers gained control of 285 new deals – 20 percent more than last January – while sellers in our region completed the sale of 217 dwellings during the period at a median price of $660,000.
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 the data shows MSI registered 2.9 as of last month.
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 73 homes reported for sale as January concluded. This region experienced the addition of 23 new properties during the period – 23 percent fewer than the prior year. Sonoma buyers garnered accepted contracts on 21 new deals – 31 percent greater than in 2019 - while sellers awarded keys to another 16 homeowners at a median purchase value of $858,000. The dynamics within this market have tipped it into a technical reading of balance with MSI slipping to 4.6, though with next month’s bias looking to tighten even further.
Healdsburg felt activity flat this January in comparison to the prior year with buyers claiming control of only 12 new deals and sellers closing out 11 more sales at a median value of $684,000. By months end, inventory fell to 51 available homes for sale – which included the nine that debuted during the period - allowing the MSI to flip back to balance with a reading of 4.6.
Petaluma’s Westside opened the year at a blistering pace with only 22 properties still being available for sale by months end. Sellers encountered continuous signs of reassurance as 11 new offers were accepted during the month while another eight units formally transferred at a median price of $985,000. That level of interest coupled with only eight new listings to refill the pipeline left this submarket with a tight MSI of 2.8.
Still the most contested submarket within Sonoma County, Petaluma’s Eastside closed out the month with 14 available homes to select from - inclusive of the 10 that debuted during the period – which is 41 percent less than the prior year. Home shoppers gained control of 18 more accepted contracts while sellers completed 16 transactions at a median price of $675,000 - firmly holding this market under the control of existing property owners with MSI registering 0.9.
A continued shrinkage in inventory and expanding sales has Sebastopol’s market getting squeezed as only nine homes were added to the market in January while buyers gained control of 16 more deals during the period. Sellers completed 11 escrows at a median value of $895,000 leaving only 35 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in February thereby allowing MSI to constrict to 3.2 with additional pressure for further tightening this next month.
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