November saw a steep decline in home sales and a dramatic jump in available homes…all good news for buyers. The median home price fell to $615,000 from its $700,000 peak in August of this year, representing a 9% decline. Home sales fell it its lowest level in 8 years, while the number of homes on the market increased 77% from the same time last year.
Many feel that the correction is due in part to the fact that the wildfires put a significant demand on market availability, driving prices up as buyers were desperate and willing to pay more to secure a new home. However, many of those buyers have now purchased a home and are no longer in the market and that, along with the typical market slowdown that occurs every winter, is driving a steeper-than-normal slowdown.
Real estate professionals anticipate another bump in the market when fire victims’ insurance payments run out and those who lost their homes and are unable to rebuild will enter market looking to buy a home.
Many feel that a market correction is long overdue. It has been predominantly a seller’s market for the last few years in Sonoma County, and still remains so but less than in the past. If the current trend continues, Sonoma County will return to more of a balanced market, which works well for both the buyer and seller.