Sonoma County Home Sales Resume Pace 2 Months after Tax Credit Expiration

Sonoma County Home Sales Resume Pace 2 Months after Tax Credit Expiration

There are no hugely exciting sales trends to proclaim this month. Trendlines we have noted in the past continue in unspectacular fashion which is good news as the market continues to stabilize. The best news is that newly pending sales (ratified home purchase contracts that have yet to close) rose up in July to nearly the same level as April.
The pending sales figures for April 2010 were very high, following several months of increase leading up to the expiration of the $8,000 federal tax credit, only available to homes “under contract” by April 30, 2010.
Throughout much of the country and in Sonoma County, newly pending sales dipped as expected, in May and June, since many people who might have bought in those months rushed to beat the deadline.
Here in Sonoma County, the July’s pending sales numbers are nearly as high as April’s however, probably due to seasonal effects a well as even lower interest rates than last spring.
Sales have not looked so good elsewhere in the US, but seem stronger here in Northern California and the greater Bay Area, a phenomenon we have been accustomed to over the last 30 years. I am concerned about the state of California’s budget woes and their long term impact on our markets, but that is a whole other topic.

Newly pending sales in Sonoma County reflect a couple of trends.

The rate of closed sales is down slightly from 2009 when sales of distressed properties peaked in the late winter.
Days on market continue to decline, reflecting a decline in inventory at the lower price points.
At the current rate of sales, the number of months supply of inventory is hovering around 3 months–a seller’s market– but only for properties priced under $450,000 or $500,000. There are plenty of sellers sitting on high priced (over priced) inventory throughout the county.
The median price is hovering in the low to mid $300,000’s.
The proportion of “bank-involved” properties is declining as an overall percentage of the sales mix. Regular folks have decided that now is as good a time as any in the foresee-able future for them to sell, so we see a greater mix of homes available to purchase.
Rates are ridiculously low, as little as 4.5% for a thirty year fixed mortgage for some credit-worthy folks! (Check out rates UNDER 4% for some 15 year loans!!!)
This means some people who want to move up to a bigger property, or a country property, are feeling more confident this year than last and willing to take that step. What they might lose on the sale of their existing home, they will gain with a good purchase price (at insanely low rates) on whatever they buy.
Here is a look at all the market reports for the last 18 months. Please email or call me if you have any questions or I can help you to figure out how they apply to your particular situation!
August 2010 Sonoma County Real Estate Home Sales Trends (August 2009 to August 2010)

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