Wine Country Market 
Real Estate Trends September 2013


By Gerrett Snedaker

Gerrett Snedaker

Gerrett Snedaker

Sonoma County: Sales dropped in September for the second straight month and the inventory of unsold homes rose for the eighth month in a row in Sonoma County.  There were 947 homes and condominiums for sale at the end of September compared to 930 at the end of August.  Inventory is actually 1.8% higher than the inventory of September 2012 (936).  New sales in September (517) were 7.5% below the pace of last month (583) and 11% below the pace of September last year (559).  New listing activity fell to 500 units for the month, compared to 570 last month’s, and over 600 per month for each of the prior five months.  There is a 1.8 months supply of inventory based on the existing sales pace – still a tight market.  Properties continue to sell at a quick pace with the closings last month being on the market an average of 66 days compared to 89 days on market a year ago.  The median price of homes closed in September in Sonoma County ($425,000) was 26% ahead of the median price of a year ago ($337,000). The low median price over recent years was $292,000 in February 2011.  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 15% of the overall inventory and distressed sales represented 31% of all new sales.  There is 0.8 months supply of inventory of distressed properties based on the current sales pace.

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.  There has been a 47% increase in the number of luxury homes sold – 401 from 10/12 to 9/13 compared to 273 from 10/11 to 9/12.  There were 44 new luxury home sales in September 2013 compared to 31 in September 2012.

Sonoma Valley: There were 125 available homes in inventory at the end of September in the Sonoma Valley (Sonoma, Glen Ellen and Kenwood).  The inventory is slightly below the inventory a year ago (132) and also below the inventory last month (136). The new sales (58) in the Sonoma Valley rebounded for the month to be 41% ahead of the pace in September 2012 (41) and 38% ahead of the pace of last month (42).  It is more in line with the sales pace since the Spring of this year.  There is now a 2.2 months supply of inventory based on the current sales pace compared to 3.2 months last month.  The days on market slowed to 93 days in September compared to 50 days in May of this year.  There are only four distressed properties (bank-owned, short sale or foreclosure) available in Sonoma at the present time.

Healdsburg Trends: The inventory of homes and condominiums for sale (63) in Healdsburg at the end of September has remained steady over the past five months.  It is 28% lower than last September (87).  New sales (19) were down 41% from the 32 new sales in September 2012 and were down 24% from the 25 sales last month.  The number of new sales per month has been generally in the same range (19-29) since January of this year.  The months of available inventory based on the current sales pace is 3.3 months.

Coastal Sonoma: The inventory of homes and condominiums for sale in Coastal Sonoma (Bodega Bay, Jenner and Stewart’s Point) (39) at the end of September 2013 was 9% lower than that of a year ago (43) and was slightly higher than last month (36).  Sales for the month of September (4) were equal to the sales a year ago (4) and were slightly lower than last month (6).  There were 8 closings in the month of September along the coast – over twice as many as last September (3) and one more than last month (7).  Sellers and Realtors on the cost must feel good to see this activity.  There is a four 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 (95 days) than the County in general (66 days).


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