On March 22, 2017

Longer-Term Trends in Sonoma Real Estate, Market Seasonality & Home Price Appreciation by City

Before we look at longer-term market statistical and appreciation trends in the county, this chart above looks at the ebb and flow of new inventory and sales activity during the year. New listings start pouring onto the market in February to peak in mid-spring and early summer. The jump in new inventory fuels sales activity which peaks in late spring and early/mid-summer. That is, Sonoma is just getting into full swing, and we will know a lot more about the direction of the 2017 market in a couple more months. From mid-summer, activity will typically slowly drop until plunging in mid-autumn and early winter, and then the cycle begins again in the new year.

Generally speaking, the dynamic that prevailed in 2016 in the Bay Area was that the more affordable home segments, such as those found in many parts of Sonoma County, continued to appreciate quite significantly, while more expensive home segments saw prices plateau, or even tick down a little.


Annual Trends in the Sonoma Market
Five Selected Angles

The advantage of reviewing annual data is how often the market trend lines clarify into a straightforward dynamic, instead of the constant up and down fluctuations often seen in monthly or quarterly data charts. (Monthly data is constantly abused by the media, when proper context is not given.) It is similar to standing back to look at a broad view of terrain as opposed to focusing on the one small piece that is right in front of your shoe.

As illustrated in the first 2 charts below, the hotter the market (the stronger the buyer demand), the greater the percentage of listings that sell quickly, and the more overbidding that occurs for such listings. However, in Sonoma, there is a great divide between listings that buyers respond to quickly upon arriving on the market, often bidding over asking price, and listings that buyers mostly ignore, typically because they are perceived as overpriced, and which can remain on the market for very long time periods. These latter often go through 1 or more price reductions before selling, or end up simply being withdrawn from the market without a sale taking place.

The decline of distressed home sales in recent years, from the staggering levels during the recession, has been a huge factor in home price appreciation

Selected City & Region Snapshots
Annual Median Home Price Trends

As can be seen below, in virtually every part of Sonoma County, home prices continued to appreciate in 2016.

Please contact me if you have any questions, or I can be of assistance in any way.

It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific comparative market analysis, which we are happy to provide upon request. Please call or email if you have any questions or need assistance in any way.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.

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