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Wine Country Market 
Real Estate Trends February 2014

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By Garrett Snedaker

Garret Snedaker

Garret Snedaker

Sonoma County: Sonoma County inventory flattened again in February 2014 adding 325 new listings for the month compared to 517 new listings in February of last year and 444 of last month.  Perhaps the 17.6% jump in new listings in Marin County in February will carry over to Wine Country next month.  The inventory of single-family homes and condominiums for sale in Sonoma County at the end of February stood at 594 compared to 632 a year ago.  New sales (439) in February were 15% lower than last year (517) but were 8% higher than that of last month (406). There is a 1.4 months supply of inventory based on the existing sales pace – still a tight “Seller’s” market.  The median price of homes closed in February in Sonoma County ($420,000) was 16% ahead of the median price of a year ago ($362,000) but it has been generally stable since June of last year ranging from $420,000 to $450,000.

Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) currently make up 7.5% of the inventory and 12% of the new sales and closings for the month.  One year ago, the distressed property inventory represented 15% of the overall inventory and distressed sales represented 24% of all new sales and 34.5% of the closings.  There is 0.8 months supply of inventory of distressed properties based on the current sales pace.  The median price of 35 distressed properties that sold in the month of February ($320,000) was equal to the median price in February a year ago ($317,000).

Sonoma County Luxury Homes: Sales of luxury homes (sales price in excess of $900,000) in the Sonoma County have enjoyed a strong growth in activity in the last twelve months.  They nearly doubled their pace in February.  There were 50 new luxury sales in the County last month compared to 26 in February 2013 and 27 of last month.  There has been a 34% increase in the number of luxury homes closed (450) from 3/1/13 to 2/28/14 compared to 335 from 3/1/12 to 2/28/13.  There is a 3 months supply of available homes based on the current sales pace compared to 7.3 months supply last year.  The inventory of luxury homes in Sonoma County at the end of February was 152 units, which is the lowest in the past 14 years.  Days on market for closed luxury sales dropped from 170 days last year to 115 days this year.

Sonoma Valley: The number of available homes and condominiums for sale at the end of February in the Sonoma Valley (Sonoma, Glen Ellen and Kenwood) rose for the third straight month as it did at this time last year.  Inventory rose slightly to 65 units from 61 of last month.  Inventory is still 31% lower than the inventory a year ago (94).  There were 40 new sales for the month.  This is 17% below the sales in February 2013 (48) and 25% ahead of the pace last month (32).  There is just a 1.6 months supply of inventory in Sonoma based on the current pace of sales.

Healdsburg Trends: The inventory of homes and condominiums for sale (44) in Healdsburg at the end of February was down 18% from that of last year (54) and it was 7% higher than that of last month (41).  Inventory remains very low in Healdsburg.  New sales (18) were 25% below the 24 new sales in February 2013 and were slightly below the 21 sales last month.  The months of available inventory based on the current sales pace is 2.4 months.  We’ll watch to see if the “Spring Market” jumps into place in Healdsburg in the next couple of months as it did last year.

Petaluma: The inventory of homes and condominiums for sale (44) in Petaluma at the end of February was 20% lower than a year ago (55) and it was equal to the supply last month (44).  This remains a very low level of inventory in Petaluma and it’s hard to picture Petaluma with just the same amount of inventory as Healdsburg.  New sales in February (48) were 39% below the pace in February 2013 (79) and equal to the pace of last month (46).  There is just a 0.9 months supply of inventory based on the current sales pace.  The median price of the 39 homes that closed in February was $500,000.  This is 7.5% ahead of the median last February ($465,000) and prices have been flat since June of last year.

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