Renters find limited options in Valley

The rental on Second Street West, near West MacArthur, is a nice-looking three-bedroom with 1,740 square feet, modern conveniences and a good-sized yard. For just $2,800 a month, according to the Craigslist ad, the “beautiful townhouse in downtown Sonoma” can be yours.

Slightly more humble is the two-bedroom condo unit located two blocks from the Plaza on First Street East. That one is less fancy – 1,400 square feet in size and listed at $1,700 a month, according to Craigslist. No pets.

“I rented the condo in less than 24 hours,” said Jennifer Powell, a rental agent for Sonoma Properties, which listed both units. “I never was even able to order a sign.”

As for the Second Street West property, “I have applications on it,” Powell said. “So it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for the owner. But everything’s moving. Nothing is staying put.”

Anecdotes abound of dozens of would-be renters showing up whenever a property becomes available. The rental market is so hot right now in Sonoma and Sonoma Valley, according to many market-watchers, that it’s hard to put a number on average rental prices or inventory.

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