The Number of Pending Sonoma County Home Sales Reaches Two Year High
February just ended. It was a short, cold and rainy month but that did not deter home buyers and sellers from ratifying purchase contracts on 557 homes, from Santa Rosa to Petaluma, Sonoma to Healdsburg.
Every month I review the latest sales data for Sonoma County homes and country properties and make them available to you. This month there are some very striking results to report. The number of newly ratified sales contracts, which I reported as very high in January, has increased to the highest level in at least two years. Since February is seasonally a very slow, short month, this is particularly interesting.
In addition, Month’s Supply of Inventory is also at a two year low, and only 2.4 months supply of homes are available at the current rate of sales. Many of the homes available, if they haven’t sold in a few months, are purely not selling because they are priced too high for today’s market. This is particularly true for homes priced under $900,000. That means well-priced homes that are priced well and show well, are selling VERY FAST!
What does this mean for you if you are a buyer? If you want to take advantage of the $8,000 first time buyer or the $6,500 move up buyer tax credits, you must be in escrow (newly ratified sale) by April 30th, and close by June. At some price points and for particularly well-marketed, aggressively priced homes, you will likely encounter multiple offers and a competitive market place. It is important to have a good relationship with a strong realtor who is on top of the market so that you can take full advantage of home buying opportunities as they come up.
What does this mean for you if you are a seller? If you have been holding off putting your home on the market, following conventional strategy to put your home on the market in the spring, it is not too early to (A) start the preparations, and (B) think of moving up your timeframes to take advantage of the current low inventory and low interest rates and tax credits. The better you can prepare your home prior to market launch, if you will, the quicker it will sell and the more money you will earn. Please contact me for details.
(If your home is under-water, that is, if you owe more than it is worth, there is some hope the process of selling the home under those circumstances, will be improving in the coming months. That is subject for another post.)
Here are the rest of the data from this month’s reports. (Other points to note–the median price is up 15% versus last February, when it bottomed at $290,000. It is down from a whopping $619,000 a few years ago and down 20% versus February in 2008.)
Sonoma County Home Sales Trends March 1,2010 Pam Buda Prudential California Real Estate