The Press Democrat’s monthly housing report shows a marked increase in both home sales and the number of homes that went under contract in Sonoma County in March.
The report, prepared by Rick Laws of Coldwell Banker in Santa Rosa, shows 354 single-family homes sold in March, nearly a 17-percent increase over February.
The median price for March was $349,000, nearly unchanged from $350,000 the previous month. The county’s median price hit a record high of $619,000 in August 2005. The median price fell to a new low of $305,000 in February 2009.
In March 546 single-family homes came under contract in the county, a 46-percent jump over February.
“We haven’t seen that many properties go under contract for over two years,” said Laws.
These pending sales include short sales, where the owner seeks to dispose of the property for less than the amount of the mortgage. Many short sales contracts fall through because the lender refuses to accept the terms, including the resulting loss on investment.
Nonetheless, the increase in properties under contract shows a strong demand for homes, Laws said. The month’s inventory remained essentially unchanged at 1,419 homes. But new listings had jumped 38 percent to 745 homes.
“Give us the property and the market will soak it up,” Laws said.
Stayed tuned for the full report later Monday.
– Robert Digitale