January 2012 Sonoma County Market Update; Inventory’s down…”under contracts” up….

A month by month, year over year look at the Sonoma County, California Real Estate market. 

Sonoma County’s available home inventory is down 24% over last January…with properties ” in contract” a whopping 42% higher than last year at the same time.  January 2012 hit a 12 month high of 602 homes under contract. However, it’s important to note that about a third of those homes are Short Sales which will take on average 166 days to close. …and, some will not close.  But all in all, it’s a great indication that the combination of low prices, low interest rates, low inventory…and increased consumer confidence, have many buyers down off the proverbial fence.

This is good news for Mike and I as we are busy, busy, busy!!

Properties currently "on the market" by month

Properties entering the market down 10% over last January with a surge in April/May 2011, then a pretty steady drop throughout the remainder of the year.

62% of under contract properties are “bank influenced sales”…Short Sales, or REO (foreclosure) Unfortunately, this program does not distinguish between Short sales which take on average, 5 mos to close and sell at or slightly below market value,  and REOs that close in 30 days or less, and are typically priced low to move quickly. All bank influenced sales will affect market value to some extent, REOs much more so than Short Sales.

Properties under contract (In Escrow) with shaded "bank influenced sales" Short Sale/Foreclosure
Full market, Under contract (in escrow)

More good news…Sold properties up 17% year over year.

Sold properties by month

Still quite a gap between homes on the market and homes sold, but look at the difference between Jan 2011 and Jan 2012.

Supply and demand by month (on the market vs sold)

As we continue to make our way through the surplus of bank owned properties, most of which are in the lower end of the market(Under $350,000) , you can see where the strong market is. The median home price is exactly the same as last January at an even $300,000.  The median price means that half of the homes sold where under that price and the other half were above.  While we are seeing a good increase in activity in the mid range ($400,000-1million), sales are still sluggish. This is why the Median price for “on the market” homes is so much higher than the median “sold” price.

Median price ; "For sale" median vs "sold" median

What this market is missing is the “move-up”market. Those home buyers who, in a normal market, would be selling their “foot in the door” home and using the equity they gained to buy up. For the past 4 years, that equity “gain” is, for the most part, nonexistent.

However, with the strong medical and technology growth in Sonoma County, we’re seeing quite a bit of relocation into Sonoma County. This may be just the boost the mid-range market needs. …Stay tuned.

If you’d like any more information about the Sonoma County Real Estate market, or about your homes value, neighborhood sales data, etc. please take a minute to call or email Allison Norman at 707-799-3617, or Mike Kelly at 707-322-8503 ~ TheKellyNormanTeam@Gmail.com

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