While the demand for homes and shrinking inventory continues, the demand for million dollar homes in Sonoma County is seeing an increase and are continuing to generate the biggest growth in residential sales.
In the first 3 months of this year, sales of homes priced at $1 million or more increased by over 38% from last year and have quadrupled in the last 5 years. The wildfires pushed many stranded homebuyers to seek replacement properties in the million plus market and put many more home buyers in the buyer pool. Add to that the home appreciation in prices, placing more homes in the million dollar range, and that many Bay Area buyers are looking to Sonoma County as the Bay Area becomes increasingly less affordable.
During the first quarter of 2018, million plus homes comprised one in five sales. Five years ago, that figure was one in 20. In years past, million-plus dollar homes would take many months to sell; some buyers are now seeing their homes sell within a few weeks.
The rebuilding process for those trying to rebuild homes after the wildfires has been full of challenges, especially for certain neighborhoods. The future of housing in Fountaingrove is so uncertain with the community having to replace its water system. Homeowners that were looking to rebuild now face the possibility of joining the buyer pool. Other homeowners have opted to purchase rather than rebuild.
Many fire survivors are in a position to offer strong bids when competing for homes because of insurance settlements, further driving sales and home appreciation.
The shortage of available homes and high pricing throughout the Bay Area will continue to keep the Sonoma County real estate market strong for most of 2018.