The Wine Country Group Reports Luxury Home Sales Push Median Price Higher in Sonoma County
Posted by Cathy Harrington — October 22, 2013
SONOMA, CA - A jump in sales of homes priced above $900,000 pushed the median price of a home sold in Sonoma County sharply higher during the third quarter of 2013 but combined with a continued shortage of inventory to limit the number of homes sold, according to a report by the research division of Wine Country Group by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate based on an analysis of MLS data.
Countywide, the median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in the third quarter increased to $479,190, up 6 percent from $452,388 in the second quarter and 28 percent from $373,938 in the third quarter of 2012. The increase was driven by a growing appetite among both Bay Area and international homebuyers for luxury properties, as evidenced by a 47 percent year-over-year increase in sales of homes price over $900,000. That’s in sharp contrast to just two years ago, when an overabundance of bargain-priced bank-owned properties dominated the market.
A handful of luxury home sales in Glen Ellen boosted its median home price to a county high of $1,367,500, while Healdsburg experienced a 52 percent year-over-year and 21 percent quarter-over-quarter increase to $762,500 – the largest percentage increase among Sonoma County’s most active real estate markets. Along the county’s populated eastern edge, Rohnert Park recorded a 38 percent annualized median price increase, the Town of Sonoma’s median sales price rose 26 percent, and Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Petaluma all reported 22 percent year-over-year increases in the median price of a home sold.
With the inventory of available homes still well below what would be considered a balanced market, the number of homes sold remained flat. Countywide, 1,359 existing, single-family detached homes changed hands during the third quarter, down from 1,420 in the second quarter and 1,429 in last year’s third quarter.
Santa Rosa set the pace with 510 homes sold, down 15 percent for the quarter and 16 percent for the year, followed by Petaluma with 180 homes sold, up 4 percent for the quarter but down 4 percent on an annualized basis. Sebastopol reported 89 homes sold during the quarter, a 46 percent increase from 61 homes sold in last year’s third quarter.
Looking ahead, Sonoma County home sellers should continue to benefit from strong interest among luxury-home seekers from the greater Bay Area and beyond. Given the continued shortage of homes for sale and rising home prices, more and more homeowners may have enough equity to sell their current home. According to Gerrett Snedacker, Manager of the Sonoma office, “While it is too early to predict whether issues in the nation’s capital will put the real estate recovery to the test, the ongoing debate could have an impact on consumer confidence in the months to come.”
* Days on market is the number of days a property was listed on the market until it went under contract at its final listing price. This may not reflect previous listings.
**The median home price for the entire county is the mean of median home prices of cities within Sonoma County.
Other notes:The Dillon Beach community in Marin County is served by the Bodega Bay office of Wine Country Group by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. It is included for informational purposes and is not factored into the Sonoma County totals. Data are sourced from multiple listing services and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All percentages rounded to nearest whole number.
About Wine Country Group by Better Homes and Gardens
The Wine Country Group consists of 200 real estate agents in nine offices, including Bodega Bay, Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Napa, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma and St. Helena. Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. The company is the 26th largest real estate services firm in the nation (REALTrends 500). The company provides comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers, and handled more than 6,500 transactions in 2012, generating $2.8 billion in sales. The Wine Country Group by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is independently owned and operated. For more information, go to www.winecountrygroup.com.