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Wine Country Market 
Real Estate Trends August 2013

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By Gerrett Snedaker

Garret Snedaker

Garret Snedaker

Sonoma County: Sales dropped in August after rebounding in July and the inventory of unsold homes rose for the seventh month in a row in the County of Sonoma.  Inventory was 930 units at the end of August compared to 866 units at the end of July.  Inventory is just 4% below the inventory of August 2012 (973).  New sales in August (536) were 24% below the pace of last month (708) and 18% below the pace of August last year (652).  New listing activity slackened in the month of August with 510 new listings compared to over 600 per month for each of the last five months.  There is a 1.7 months supply of inventory based on the existing sales pace.  Properties continue to sell at a quick pace with the closings last month being on the market an average of 70 days compared to 90 days on market a year ago.  The median price of homes closed in August in Sonoma County ($425,000) was 18% ahead of the median price of a year ago ($360,000).  This is a slower pace of appreciation on a year over year basis than we’ve had over the past six months.  The low median price over recent years was $292,000 in February 2011, so the market has rebounded 46% since that low.

Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) currently make up just 6% of the inventory and 13% of the new sales – this continues to trend down month over month.  One year ago, the distressed property inventory represented 12% of the overall inventory and distressed sales represented 33% of all new sales.  There is 0.9 months supply of inventory of distressed properties based on the current sales pace.  The median price of the 69 distressed properties that sold in the month of August ($340,000) was 27% higher than August a year ago ($268,000).

Sonoma Valley: There were 136 available homes in inventory at the end of August in the Sonoma Valley (Sonoma, Glen Ellen and Kenwood).  The inventory is equal to the inventory a year ago (137) and 21% higher than the inventory last month (112). There were just 37 new sales for the month, 51% lower than the pace in August 2012 (76) and 48% below the pace of last month (71).  Perhaps the end of the summer brought the slow down in sales this past month.  There is now a 3.7 months supply of inventory based on the current sales pace compared to 1.8 months last month.  It will be interesting to see if the market in the Sonoma Valley picks up in September.  There are only six distressed properties (bank-owned, short sale or foreclosure) available in Sonoma at the present time.

Coastal Sonoma: The inventory of homes and condominiums for sale in Coastal Sonoma (Bodega Bay, Jenner and Stewart’s Point) (36) at the end of August 2013 was 12% lower than that of a year ago (41) and was slightly higher than last month (34).  Sales for the month of August (6) were equal to the sales a year ago (6) and were 40% lower than last month (10).  There were 7 closings in the month of August along the coast – twice as many as last August (3) and one more than last month (6).  There is a six months supply of available inventory in the Coastal Sonoma market based on the current pace of new sales.  Days on market on the Coast remain higher (124 days) than the County in general (67 days).

Healdsburg Trends: The inventory of homes and condominiums for sale (69) in Healdsburg at the end of August has remained steady over the past four months.  It is 30% lower than last August (98).  New sales (23) were down 14% from the 27 new sales in August 2012 and were down 18% from the 28 sales last month.  The number of new sales per month has been generally in the same range (22-29) since January of this year.  The months of available inventory based on the current sales pace is 3 months.

Sebastopol Trends: The inventory of homes and condominiums for sale (59) in Sebastopol at the end of August was 30% lower than that of August 2012 (84) and it was slightly below that of last month (61).  There were 37 new sales for the month of August.  This is equal to the new sales in August 2012 (37) and 18% below the 45 sales last month.  There is a 1.6 months supply of inventory based on the current sales pace.  There are only two distressed properties (bank-owned, short sale or foreclosure) available in Sebastopol.  This market is essentially out of distressed properties at the current time.

If you would like a monthly update of this information, or information on other market areas, please drop me an e-mail at gsned@winecountrygroup.com