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On September 11, 2020

Sonoma County Real Estate September 2020 Report

In the context of the terrible fires we’ve seen in recent weeks, a real estate report may seem trivial, but we have clients still trying to make buying and selling decisions, and we feel it remains our job to deliver straightforward data on the market.

This first chart looks at the impact of the fires on the number of listings going into contract each WEEK, comparing the second week of August (before) to the fourth week (deep in the crisis). Actually, the fall in activity was surprisingly modest – a drop of about 22%. And, according to preliminary data, activity is already beginning to pick back up in the first week of September.

This second chart looks at activity by MONTH, which gives more historical context to the size of the market rebound since the pandemic first hit.

Year-to-date house sales volumes and median house sales prices by city:

Bay Area median house sales prices, summer 2020: There are a number of reasons why the Sonoma County market is seeing such high demand, but one of them is simple affordability. One gets much more for one’s money here than in most counties further south.

Long-term median house sales price trends:

A review of year-over-year changes in the number of luxury home sales around the Bay Area this past summer. Most counties have seen substantial increases, but Sonoma County saw a stupendous 176% jump in high-price sales.

A breakdown of sales in Sonoma and Napa Counties by era of construction:

The number of listings on the market remains very low by historical standards.

The number of active listings broken out by price segment: These numbers change daily as new listings arrive and existing listings go into contract.

A breakdown of listings priced $2 million and above, by city, in Sonoma and Napa Counties. These numbers constantly change with market activity. There are a lot of very expensive listings in the 2 counties.

A breakdown of sales by lot size: Larger lot sizes and acreage play a much bigger role in Sonoma home sales and values than in most Bay Area Counties. Still the great majority of sales are on lots of .25 acre or less. (The median lot size in San Francisco is less than .06 acre.)

Market indicator: The percentage of listings accepting offers within month – an excellent illustration of what’s occurring in the Sonoma market.

Market indicator: Price reductions – in higher demand markets, the number of price reductions declines.

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