Sonoma County Real Estate August 2019 Report

Sales & Values by City, Price Segment & Lot Size; Luxury Home Sales; Market Seasonality; Market Indicators by City & Price Segment; Foreign Homebuyers in America.

Home Sales by Price Segment

Sales & Median Sales Prices by Lot Size

In San Francisco, houses selling for $8 million and houses selling for $800,000 can both be found on lots under 1/8 of an acre. In Sonoma County, lot size is a major factor in home size and price.

Higher-Price Home Sales

Market Indicators by City

A number of factors impact demand as measured by the standard statistics illustrated in the next 2 charts: price, ease of the commute south, whether the city is primarily a first or second-home market, as well as all the different characteristics that make up a particular community. It is not unusual for more expensive markets and big second-home markets to have softer dynamics.

Supply, Demand & Market Seasonality

The ebb and flow of inventory and demand is very dramatic in real estate markets around the Bay Area. However, unlike county markets further south where activity typically slows down considerably in summer to pick up again in fall, in Sonoma, with its substantial second-home market, activity – as measured by homes going into contract – usually remains strong through late summer/early autumn, and then begins to decline until hitting its low point in mid-winter.

Inventory has been higher on a year-over-year basis in the last 12 months, but in 2019, it has not been particularly high by historical measures.

Market Dynamics by Price Range

Market dynamics within the county are significantly influenced by home price segment, as illustrated in the 3 charts below. By some criteria, the dynamics don’t change much until prices hit the $2 million mark. By others, the statistics indicate increasingly softer demand as prices increase. In the highest price segment, homes on average sell for much further below list price, take far longer to sell, and a much greater percentage of listings expire without selling at all.

Needless to say, there are fewer buyers for the most expensive homes, but overpricing is also a more common issue with such properties. Still, there are very high-price properties that sell very quickly.

Foreign National Home Buying Tumbles

According to a new report by the National Association of Realtors – based on a survey of its member agents – the purchase of U.S. homes by foreign nationals plunged in the 12 months through March 2019. California, and the Bay Area in particular, have been top destinations for international homebuyers.

Stock Markets Hit New Highs

The last 12 months have been an extremely dramatic time for financial markets as illustrated below. The alternating confidence and fear generated by its swings have been considerable factors in real estate markets. A parallel dynamic has occurred with the swings in interest rates.

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