Even as sellers bring their properties to market, they are being greeted by more and more buyers each day. The demands from buyers since the early days of the pandemic have not subsided and those numbers are growing as people continue to look to improve their surroundings and what they get for the dollars they spend.
According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County had exactly 669 single-family homes left for sale as May concluded – 29 percent fewer than the 948 units that were available as our markets toiled in the early days of the pandemic last year. Sellers delivered just 520 new listings to the market during the month while buyers gained control of another 641 new deals during the period – 42 percent greater than the previous May. In support of these metrics, completed sales tipped the scales at 558 this last month – 171 percent more than this same time a year earlier.
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 extremely attractive interest rates driving our markets, the data shows MSI hovering at 1.2 as of last month – much tighter than the 4.6 reading from last year at this time. This display 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 and Glass 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 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 110 homes reported for sale as May ended – on par with a year earlier. This region experienced the addition of 54 new listings during the period – 20 percent higher than last year - while buyers garnered accepted contracts on 66 more properties – 27 percent ahead of the prior May. Sellers awarded keys to another 52 new homeowners – 126 percent surge from twelve months earlier – delivering an MSI reading of 2.1 and looking to tighten up further next month.
Healdsburg witnessed 30 new listings arrive to the market last month while buyers promptly snapped up 41 homes in new deals – 86 percent greater than last year. Sellers closed out 27 transactions – 145 percent more than in 2020 - leaving this submarket with 75 homes for presentation to buyers in June. The welcomed new supply has allowed the MSI to soften from its previous month’s tightness to 2.8.
Petaluma’s Westside remained under extreme pressure of buyers demands with only 20 homes remaining for sale by month’s end, inclusive of the 16 new offerings brought forth during the period. Sellers found their way into 39 new contracts – 44 percent ahead of last year - while buyers completed purchases on 39 additional dwellings – a 290 percent boost from 2020 - compressing this regions’ already very tight MSI further to 0.5 – essentially a two-week supply of available homes.
Similarly, Petaluma’s Eastside supply of inventory is still being measured in weeks not months - to be precise two weeks! May wrapped up with 20 available homes for buyers to select from - which is inclusive of the 27 additional offerings unveiled by owners during the period. Home shoppers placed 39 more dwellings into contract while sellers completed another 35 transactions – no surprise as this market continues to capture interest due to is relative affordability in comparison to surrounding markets let alone the Bay Area. With less than a single month’s supply of homes being available – MSI at 0.5 – the metrics dictate that values will rise to find their balance with demand during this year.
Sebastopol’s star continues to ascend as sellers were lured into delivering 31 new listings in May though still falling short of demands as buyers etched another 43 deals during the period. Sellers closed out 34 more sales – 183 percent ahead of last year at this time - leaving 31 single-family homes available for buyers to peruse in June while showcasing an MSI of 0.9 with expectations of further tightening this month.
We believe the rise in median values here and throughout the country are attributed to many urban dwellers repositioning where they live and hence forcing the values within suburban markets to rise in mass while urban markets settle a little with the resulting numbers creating the upward charge in the overall median values of homes. If you are considering attending this market to find your pathway then you need an astute advisor leading you there!