Will Sellers Be Persuaded to the Market?

That is this year’s big question. Our region has endured turbulent times recently with fires, floods, power shut offs and even the pandemic. It has tested the mettle of everyone living here. Some have chosen to exit for supposedly greener, less expensive pastures while others have slammed the door on that idea staking their claim to living in this wonderous land. This last year has shown us much and our markets are forecasting these sentiments in what we see everyday as demand for living in our part of the world is outpacing the desire to flee.
 
The Santa Rosa metro region is working to accommodate the demands of the greater Bay Area along with its’ own, and according to BAREIS MLS, having just wrapped up January of this new year the data points to a marketplace still absorbing homes at higher than typical seasonal level with only 212 single-family homes remaining for sale in the city and its environs – 21 percent less than this same time a year ago and fewer than last month’s all-time low. Exacerbated buyer activity has claimed another 120 single-family homes during the past month – 10 percent ahead of last year.
 
The entire municipality introduced 102 new listings to the market over the last month – a stunning 40 percent fewer than a year ago - while the most recent period also found Sellers handing over keys on 77 completed sales – we expect these metrics to continue to compress and, as long as there is a lack of credible new inventory, the statistics will be artificially hampered due to a significant portion of unsatiated demand going unmet each month as more homes continue to be absorbed while fewer sellers enter the “open” market. This compression is affirmed by Santa Rosa recording its’ Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) standing at 1.8 – attributed in good part due to the fundamental shift in population migration from the greater Bay Area along with the cost of money in our current economy coupled with the sellers remaining on the sidelines.
 
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 34 single-family homes in January – 51 percent less than this same period a year ago – with a significant number of these homes being offered for sale that are in the waning months of construction, thus making them hard to transact on due to their unfinished status. The supply of homes was met with steady demand in January as there were only 97 dwellings – an all-time low - for home seekers to consider by months end. Buyers embarked on 25 newly initiated escrows while sellers received closing checks on another 44 properties culminating in an MSI of 2.2.
 
Southeast Santa Rosa saw the supply of available properties steady at 31 by the end of last month – 18 percent less than a year earlier. This submarket debuted just 21 new homes in January while buyers garnered accepted offers on 12 additional dwellings. This coveted corner of the city experienced 22 formal transfers in the period placing additional pressure on an already tight market with MSI dipping further to 1.4.
 
Oakmont is the one market, that due to its’ composition of buyers and sellers all being over the age of 55, moves independently at times in relation to the greater Santa Rosa marketplace. The active adult retirement community witnessed 15 new sellers debuting their offerings in January while buyers pursued just five new purchases. Sellers concluded eight transactions during the month leaving this niche market with 44 available homes to open with in February along with an MSI rising to 5.5.
Nearly twice as hot as just the year prior, Northwest Santa Rosa saw buyers swoop in to gain control of 21 more deals this month leaving just 22 available single-family homes to carry over into February – 52 percent fewer than last year. Sellers committed 22 additional new offerings to the markets while another 33 homes completed the closing process. This intense activity has left the MSI near its all-time low at 0.7 – basically about a 3-week supply of offerings!
 
Very similarly tight like a year earlier, Southwest Santa Rosa buyers completed 13 more deals in January, leaving just 18 homes available for home seekers in February. Sellers submitted 10 new listings into the public domain during the period while buyers pledged their paychecks towards 13 accepted contracts causing this submarkets MSI to remain steady at 1.4.
 
Moving is not America’s favorite thing to do and why so many people look to plant their roots and settle into their homes and communities. Making the decision to sell means you have greater hope for the place you are going, whether within your same area or to a land far away. Our market is whispering to us, “I want to live here”.

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