Sonoma-County-Real-Estate-Market Tag

Sonoma County Median Home Price up $50,000 from Last Winter's Low

The median price of a Sonoma County home was $340,000 at the end of November, down slightly from $345,000 the previous month but up for the low hit last February of $290,000. This reflects several trends: shrinking inventory due to increased sales, initially led by the surge of entry-level home sales begun last spring, and followed by a late full increase in the sale of upper-end and mid-range homes. Most agents I talk to are upbeat about the coming market this winter and spring. We also wonder what the impact of the so called shadow market of foreclosures will bring to the Sonoma County housing market. If you were considering selling your home but reluctant due to the tough market conditions of the last couple of years, you might think about putting your home on the market this winter. Even with the holidays, there are a lot of buyers still active in the market. Please contact me if you would like to explore your options! ...

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....

2008 Sonoma County Real Estate: Three Quick Sales Trends

These three graphs tell the quick story of pricing, supply and demand trends for housing in Sonoma County from December 2007 through 2008.  But the real story for your home depends on the price range for your house and the part of the county in which you live, or seek to live.  You cannot automatically say that every home in the country dropped 30%.  The price dropped most steeply in those communities with high rates of distressed housing:  West Santa Rosa, East Petaluma, Windsor and Rohnert Park/Cotati. But, on average, and in summary: The median price dropped 30% year over year. The number of newly ratified sales contracts grew steadily all year and lead to a 184% increase year over year. Months supply of inventory dropped dramatically (73%) and steadily all year, exceeding the drop in prices.  From a very strong buyers market in December '07, with over 14 months supply of homes at last December's sales rate, this December saw only 3.7 months supply.  Six months is considered a balanced market.  Anything under is a seller's market--in this case the banks who own nearly half the properties sold. ...

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....

Open May 18 1-4PM: A Panoramic Country View Property in Sebastopol

As a 10 year resident of Sonoma County, one of the only things I really missed when I moved up here from the San Francisco Bay Area in early 1999 was my fantastic 3 Bridge SF Bay view with spectacular sunsets every night from every room in the house. It was a great way to transition from a busy day by enjoying the sunset in the evening. My current home is not situated to take the western views in, although when I feed the horses, that is my sunset viewing time. That is why I love the listing at 2210 Pleasant Hill Road in Sebastopol, and offered to Pamela Bernier, the listing agent, that I would hold it open this Sunday May 18 1-4 PM in the hopes that I might introduce the property to some folks looking for a lovely 2.6 acre parcel, home and small horse setup set way back near the end of a peaceful country lane. The entire home faces the rolling western hills of Sebastopol with panoramas of vineyards, orchards and distant redwoods. The acreage is very usable and would accommodate horses or livestock, an avid gardener or grape grower or just some folks who want to kick back on the decks at sunset and unwind in a their very own Shangri-la. Come visit tomorrow and learn about this or other properties on the market, as well as current Sebastopol and Sonoma County real estate market trends. This last week I toured 11 new property listings on the market in Sebastopol, as well as others around the county, so I can fill you in! ...

Inventory, Inventory: Who's got the Country property inventory?

Help! There is not enough country property for sale in Sonoma County. I have buyers and very little to show them at the moment. Sebastopol, Healdsburg and the Valley of the Moon in particular are very low on new country real estate for sale. A really lovely piece of land with two legal units in an estate setting between Graton and Forestville just went into escrow with multiple offers. A charming farmhouse with two studio buildings and a small horse setup privately situated just 5 minutes outside of Sebastopol is in contract with multiple offers. An all cash buyer, rumor has it, plopped down nearly 2 million in cash (pending inspections) for a GORGEOUS 20 acre piece with a classic coastal home and large studio building within a week of entering the market. I think sellers are hunkering down due to the negativity in the press and uncertainty and fear in the economy. But well-priced, well marketed and properly prepared homes in Sonoma County, particularly country property, will sell quickly. There are a lot of buyers out there who have gotten off the (classic 3 rail wood board) fence who are looking for new homes or weekend getaways. If you have a country property in Sonoma County that you want to sell, please contact me for a free market analysis!...

Sonoma County going to the Dogs?

I was surprised to note how many of the people who visited my open house last month at a cute farmstead in Sebastopol were looking for property for their dogs! This property was in a great location at the end of a private lane well away from main roads and neighbors who might be disturbed by the occasional bark. Well I shouldn't be surprised since one of the main reasons I moved to Sonoma County was to have more room for my two dogs (Vizslas) and the horses as well as the humans of course, yet still be within an hour of the Golden Gate Bridge. Finding a safe property off the main thoroughfares was a key priority to me, and is to many of the buyers of Sonoma County real estate I meet. Friend Sandy Lurins, was so on top of the trend that she founded the very successful Fetch (thepaper) in her copious free time (not!) while not working at her day job at Autodesk. Sonoma Pets is a print publication and on-line pet directory for Sonoma County published by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. There are many excellent small animal and equine veterinarians in the county, so much that many pet owners from the Bay Area will travel here for specialty care. ...

Finding great real estate deals requires a laser beam approach

I enjoy looking at market statistics for the Sonoma County real estate market. As a realtor and full time professional in the market, I look to statistics to confirm or enlighten me vis a vis my own perceptions. I also know the damage that can result from a broad brush focus on statistics. Witness the overall drop in Santa Rosa real estate values year over year of over 15%. (according to Zillow) Not only Zillow but lenders use this sort of data to tar any Santa Rosa home, when the truth is the hardest hit have been the large tracts of entry level inventory that Sonoma County communities such as Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park/Cotati and Windsor have. These communities have the highest preponderance of entry level single-family tract homes which were hardest hit by the sub-prime crisis. All of these communities have some wonderful country properties, vineyard properties and horse farms which will be negatively impacted from a lender's eye in terms of valuation, relative to equivalent properties in Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Sonoma. They could be equally or more scenic, have oodles of wine country juice but are harder hit from a statistical eye. That is why the laser beam approach is best when you are actively in the market for real estate, or are planning to sell a property for that matter. As my colleague in coastal San Mateo county, Marian Bennett said recently, "Coastside real estate is very “location specific”. Trends can be information but they are not the whole picture if you are ACTIVELY in the market. In our office alone, 2 homes sold within hours of being listed last week. Part of that may be heading into the spring buying time and/or the seller had the golden triangle (my phrase) of Location, Price, and Presentation. "...

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