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Sonoma County’s housing market in June recorded its biggest sales month in nearly seven years.
Buyers purchased 533 single-family homes last month, according to The Press Democrat’s monthly housing report compiled by Pacific Union International Vice President Rick Laws.
June sales increased nearly 17 percent from a year earlier and were the highest for any month since September 2005, when 608 homes were purchased.
The median price rose in June to $348,000, up nearly 6 percent from May and up almost 9 percent from a year ago. It was the highest median since May 2011, when the price was $354,200.
For the first half of the year, the county has recorded the sale of 2,630 single-family homes. That amounts to an increase of 22 percent from 2011 and is the best start since 2,932 homes were sold in the first six months of 2005.
The inventory of available homes fell to 1,047 at the end of June and was roughly half the number of a year earlier. It amounted to slightly less than a two-month supply of homes at the current sales pace.
The small inventory has been a benefit to sellers of starter homes, who often receive multiple offers and bids above the asking price, said Ross Liscum, a broker associate with Century 21 North Bay Alliance in Santa Rosa. Bidding is strongest for properties priced below $300,000.
But some buyers, including investors, have stopped seeking properties for now after repeatedly “getting beat up and beat out” in the competition, Liscum said.
— Robert Digitale

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