The Movement Gains Traction

As people look to take up residency outside of major metropolitan areas, we continue to see data points stack up with transaction being initiated by those moving away from San Francisco. With employers accepting the mindset that productivity is sustainable while working from home, many are getting the green-light to move further away from their work places in order to find more space, privacy and autonomy from the vertical living styles rampant through major cities in our country.
 
The Santa Rosa metro region, like most places on earth, has been maneuvering to find its way to the other side of living with a virus and what that means to our habits and routines. According to BAREIS MLS, with May in the rearview mirror, we find the marketplace absorbing homes at a brisker pace than most perceived with 364 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – 19 percent greater than this same time a year ago – coupled with an expanding level of activity as 174 single-family homes found their way into pending contracts during the past month – affirming a more “V” shaped recovery scenario as this is on par with the prior year.
 
The entire municipality introduced 183 new listings to the market during the period – 19 percent fewer than in 2019 - while the most recent period also found Sellers handing over keys on 69 completed sales – an expected decrease of 60 percent fewer closings than a year earlier due to SIP. These metrics showcase Santa Rosa with its’ Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) at 5.3 – which technically is a balanced reading though these are not normal times. The forward looking MSI appears to be 2.1 which is clearly a market will be favoring sellers.
 
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 saw the introduction of just 74 single-family homes in May – a 21 percent decrease from this same period a year ago. The supply of homes was met with solid absorption during the period as there were only 173 dwellings for home seekers to consider by months end. Buyers embarked on 56 newly initiated escrows while sellers received closing checks on another 30 properties – showcasing an MSI of 5.1 – though expected to drop significantly in June.
 
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of available properties steady at 49 by months end. This submarket debuted just 27 new homes in May – 21 percent fewer than last year - while buyers garnered accepted deals on 38 more abodes – an encouraging 15 percent more than the prior May. This coveted corner of the city experienced another 19 formal transfers – allowing it to maintain an MSI of 2.6 though sinking rapidly due to new demands from buyers.
 
With inventory accumulating, Oakmont witnessed 21 sellers debuting new offerings in the period - effectively allowing inventory to expand to 59 available homes by months end. Buyers found their way to acceptances on 14 new purchases while sellers concluded just five transactions during the period – 60 percent lighter than in 2019 due to the COVID 19 restrictions being in place. The activity level indicates an MSI of 11.8 – though we expect this to sling shot back to a reading well under 4.7 in June with the immense activity afoot.
 
More recognition of aberrations in data points were spotlighted in Northwest Santa Rosa’s marketplace this May as well. Sellers delivered 47 new offerings – nine percent fewer than last year – while buyers rebounded by putting contracts together on 48 more homes. Sellers, momentarily, experienced a month of sanguine sales as only eight deals were completed - leaving this region with 60 available homes to roll into June while establishing an MSI of 7.5 with expectations of this falling dramatically to less than 1.3 in the coming month.
 
Southwest Santa Rosa had 14 new properties make their way to market during the period with buyers promptly gaining control of 18 houses in new agreements - leaving this submarket with only 23 homes in play for June. Sellers still managed to close seven deals, leading to an MSI of 3.3 – though also with the expectation of this metric being nearer to 1.1 this next month.
 
We expect this deurbanization to be more of a fundamental shift in lifestyle due to the broad impacts of viral situations now and possibly more so in the future. Be prepared to see new faces in town - albeit behind a mask!

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