In The News

Jeff Schween for The Press Democrat – Dearth Vader Is In The House

Dearth Vader Is In The House

The latest epic movie in the Star Wars series, Rogue One, will launch this December. Many welcome the quick follow up from the prior along with the return of Darth Vader – a character that brings the dark facets to the film series. While we sit in anticipation our real estate markets are trying to fight back their own darkness brought upon the markets from the dearth of inventory being experienced over the prior five years. The average monthly supply of homes for sale has steadily compressed over recent times to a pivotal point of functionality. Without supply to encourage commerce, markets may shift or even stagnate in the near future. Managing your quest to locate your next home or consider the liquidation of an existing one can be challenging both financially and emotionally. You must keen in on metrics of measure to embolden yourself with the confidence you need to be successful at either task. Sonoma County, the largest in the North Bay by population and transactions, witnessed its’ median price for a single-family home ramp back up over three percent from the prior month and nearly nine percent from August 2015 to close the month at $593,000. According to BAREIS MLS, Sonoma County finished August with 805 single-family homes for sale on the open market. The marketplace typically sees definitive growth in inventory as each new year unfolds with peaks typically showing in spring and summer months while valleys appear in fall and winter. This August, Sonoma County buyers successfully contracted to purchase 482 homes – nearly 13 percent greater than a year ago and notably a function of the fact that sellers brought only 377 new listings to the market – a staggering 30 percent less than in August 2015. Transactions were completed on 452 homes during the period causing the absorption rate to rise slightly further to 56 percent – indicating continued pressure on prices as the market still lies well out of balance. The absorption rate is calculated by dividing the total number of homes sold in a month by the total number of homes available for sale at the end of the same month. A high absorption rate – 20 percent and above – indicates that the supply of available homes will shrink rapidly, thereby increasing the odds that an owner will sell a property in a shorter period of time. Conversely, an absorption rate below 15 percent is indicative of a buyer’s market, meaning homes are selling more slowly. Marin County is encountering very similar conditions as its neighbor to the north. The month of August brought a mere 141 new single-family homes to market – 33 percent fewer than twelve months prior – while buyers managed to contract for 163 new deals, leaving 350 units available by months end as sellers concluded sales on 171 abodes – 20 percent less than in 2105 – essentially due to the dearth of new inventory. Marin buyers remain watchful each hour for new offerings as this market has an elevated absorption rate of 49 percent along with a current median price of $1,200,000. Napa County buyers negotiated a record 160 new contracts during the month of August, while only 115 new listings made their way to market – affirming the trends throughout the North Bay. Inventory comparisons to the prior year indicate that the active supply of homes is actually up nearly seven percent from a year ago – though may shrink promptly without a heightened level of new listings making their way to the market. Napa buyers were left with only 375 homes to select from as the month concluded leaving the county with an elevated absorption rate of 29 percent along with a median price of $625,000. If you feel the force within you to move, then artfully manage your course using professional guidance to light your new pathway home – your sequel awaits you there.

By Jeff Schween, of Pacific Union International’s Santa Rosa office.