Real-Estate-Sales-in-Sonoma-County Tag

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

A look at the latest real estate sales trends for Sonoma County, based on sales figures through July 2010. The market is somewhat stabilized, with a greater diversity of properties for sale from "regular" folks, and less of a reliance on distressed properties. Newly pending sales through July matched the high rate of sales from April 2010, when the federal tax credit was about to expire....

Sonoma County Real Estate Sales Update

Year over year the median Sonoma County home price dropped 5% to $359,000. However, the apparent bottom for this market (whether a V, U or W is yet to be determined) was in February when the median price was #315,000. Some of my smart buyer clients (you know who you are) are happily ensconced in homes they bought in January and February, sensing the (a?) bottom had arrived....

Median Home Price Rises in Sonoma County

A few days ago I wrote in a post: The sheer activity level, the vast number of first time buyers and investor clients looking for rental property, and the declining number of new listings have all been detailed here over the previous months. In December, new sales exceeded new listings for the first time in many months, and, beginning in February it seems to us that the bottom was reached and had passed some entry level buyers by. A few minutes ago I received the following snapshot of the Sonoma County Real Estate Market closed sales figures from March 2008 through March 2009, thanks to my broker, Rick Laws of Coldwell Banker, who compiles our market statistics and shares them generously, with not only me and my colleagues, but the Press Democrat newspaper. Obviously one of the take aways from this graph, year over year, is the 27% drop in median price for the county. But the median price rose from its low in February about $10,000 with a high rate of closed sales and a good statistical base. Prices on the low end seem to have stabilized and maybe bounced upwards a few percent. This is as welcome as the signs of spring!...

November 2008 Sonoma County Real Estate Sales still cooking

Given the short month, the holiday season and oh yes, the economic meltdown in the news, real estate sales are holding steady as viewed at the end of November, 2008 in Sonoma County California. I will have more detailed information by price points later in the month but here is a quick tidbit of post-Thanksgiving real estate stats. The number of units sold will increase with the final report since there is a several day lag on sales closed at the end of each month while the reporting catches up. This information is provided by Rick Laws, my broker at Coldwell Banker Santa Rosa, and is based upon sales reported via the MLS here by Brokermetrics.                                      Nov 07         Nov 08          #Units Change          Percent Change Under Contract          206              455                   249                     120.9 % Sold                               242             320                   78                        32.2 % New Listings                474              370                 -104                    -21.9 % First thing that jumps out is that there were 120.9 % MORE brave souls who wrote offers on properties in this wild short month of November versus last year at this time.  The number of closed sales is up at least 32 % year to year as well.   The number of new listings has declined nearly 22 % versus last November, as many people hunker down.  This makes for some interesting trend lines year over year, as well as expected seasonal declines in units sold as we head into the winter months.   Anecdotally, the buyers are split about evenly between investors and first-time home buyers.  Units sold are dominated by the low-end of our market, under $400,000.  Since the one point drop in mortgage rates just before Thanksgiving really was not much of a factor in November's sales, it will be interesting to see how that boosts (or not) our  real estate sales for Sonoma County in December.   Stay tuned....

Months Supply of Sonoma County Entry Level Real Estate Declines Sharply

One of the most interesting measures of the tension between buyers and sellers in a real estate market is the "Months Supply of Inventory" figure. What this number tells us is the number of months it would take to sell the existing number of homes for sale at the present rate of closed sales. Buyers Market or Sellers Market? Generally six months of inventory is considered to be a market balanced between buyers and sellers. Anything less, and sellers are advantaged in negotiations. Anything more, and the trend favors buyers. Two years ago in Sonoma county, there were 6.2 months of entry level inventory for sale. When the first wave of foreclosed properties began hitting our market in force in 2007, the inventory piled up to a high point that so few properties were selling, as many more were coming on the market. Consequently, MSI (Months Supply of Inventory) ballooned to a 14.8 months supply, a strongly favored buyers market. Early in 2008, banks began slashing prices and buyers have been increasingly active ever since. (See my posts under market updates beginning in March to track this trend.) The lower priced properties, driven by foreclosures, have steadily been absorbed by first time buyers and investors. They have been gobbling up REO's so quickly that now there are only 2.7 months of inventory available at the current rate of new listings and sales, a strongly favored sellers market. If you are a buyer interested in purchasing an REO home, it is important for buyers to be prepared for the market realities especially for the most solid homes in the best locations. 1. You must have a STRONG pre-approval. In many cases first time buyers will be competing with all cash investors for the same properties. 2. You may need to make multiple offers on a stream of properties before you land the right one. 3. It ALL DEPENDS. Make sure you have a committed working relationship with a realtor who is knowledgeable about the changing market, and who knows how to present and negotiate your offer(s) in the best light. Just as sellers have learned (in some cases!) to be realistic, it is important for buyers to do the same. Happy hunting! ...

October Sonoma County Real Estate Sales Snapshot

This week I received this quick sales snapshot from Rick Laws, my broker at Coldwell Banker.   It provides a 13 month overview of Sonoma County residential sales activity at all price ranges and in all locations county wide.  Sales activity and area trends vary widely by price and location but this is a quick view based upon MLS data pulled by Brokermetrics. In about a week I will have more detailed information available covering the various price points and separating out condo activity. Sonoma County Real Estate Market Dynamics October 2008                                 Oct 07        Oct 08         # Units Change       % Change Under contract       227              604                        377                      166% Sold                       227              488                         261                     115% New listings            530               551                           28                       5% The biggest takeaway here is that this is the first time in over two years that the number of newly opened escrows has exceeded the number of new listings.   Despite everything that happened in the financial markets in October, the number of newly opened escrows was up 166% and hit its highest point year over year.  In addition, the number of closed escrows reached a new high for the year.  We all know that not every opened escrow will close-but the number of newly ratified sales continues its upward trend, and bucks the national trend. The tail wagging the dog in this market continues to be the REO (bank-owned) home at the low end with an increasingly high volume of sales under $500,000 for both single family homes and condos.  Sales through October seem to be driven (this is anecdotal) equally by first time buyers or owner occupants and  real estate investors....

The Best of Healdsburg and Sonoma County–visit our Open House on the web

My wonderful client Jill is an excellent horsewoman. She and I met riding on Fred MacMurray's beautiful Twin Valleys ranch on the border of Healdsburg and Forestville. It is only fitting that her wonderful classic Healdsburg bungalow be the subject for an innovative open house this Sunday from 1-4 PM. Jill get's what were doing so she was very excited to allow Trulia and me to set up a live webcast on Trulia's blog for the first open house at her home at 414 Piper Street. Only concern she had that it would be like the Truman Show. We thought this home and its fantastic close to the Healdsburg plaza location would appeal to the type of people who would be watching the Trulia blog who may be frequent visitors to Sonoma County and appreciate the finer things that a community such as Healdsburg has to offer. While Healdsburg is about 80 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, it is a very sophisticated community with country charm. Since the early 80's when I used to visit good friends Joan and Larry Franceshchina, I fell in love with the wine country of Sonoma and eventually made a home here. Since 414 Piper Street would make a great weekend getaway or fantastic tele-commute location I thought it would be a great fit for the folks on Trulia to see and appreciate. So tune in Sunday from 1 to 4 pm or thereabouts. Maybe you will fall in love with 414 Piper Street, Healdsburg. FYI, this property has an excellent walk score of 83, meaning many amenities and services are available with a block or three or four. Just park your car and enjoy....

Where Have I been Lately?–Twittering and Trulia, Healdsburg to Petaluma

You may ask where I've been as I have not posted regularly in the last couple of weeks. I have been on the run as many of my clients decided that once 4th of July had passed it was time to get going on new listings or to pick up their efforts for purchasing new homes. A very typically busy couple of weeks in an untypical real estate year. Despite the depressing news in the media, people still have legitimate reasons and motivations to buy and sell, and fully half of the market in Sonoma County has nothing to do with distressed properties. That half of the transactions last month DID have to do with distressed properties (bank-owned properties or short sales) is an amazing statistic, however, one we have discussed previously. Two other factors (let's call them the T factors) which have taken away from Blog post time however, have been Trulia and Twitter, hence the new links on my sidebar to the left. Trulia is a wonderful ("truly delightful real estate search" they say) combination of the social networking aspects of Facebook or LinkedIn and the search aspects of a Google. Who networks on Trulia? Buyers and Sellers of real estate and all kinds of real estate professionals. I spent a few weeks in odd moments on Trulia fleshing out my profile and reviewing and answering multiple questions on Sonoma County communities or various real estate topics. It has been interesting to figure out the rules of the community (since I am not 20 years old and have only participated in LinkedIn and Plaxo in the past). I've also enjoyed pitching in advice and comments on various communities in Sonoma County from Petaluma to Healdsburg, and networking with other agents locally and elsewhere. I've even managed to connect with a few buyers and sellers in the process, so there is a business justification for my efforts. At the same time, everyone was talking about Twitter. I saw all these strange short posts on Kevin Boer's 3 Oceans Real Estate site and could not make any sense of them. Seemed like a feature in search of a solution. UNTIL I joined in and got a Twitter Account of my very own. Then the fun began--it takes a little bit to get Twitter, Kevin is convinced that the...

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