North Coast California home prices rise in August, but interest rate hike takes a hit


North Bay home prices rose last month in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties, but Mendocino, Lake and Marin counties followed the San Francisco Bay Area’s downward price trend at from July, according to the latest data.

This is the market’s anticipated reaction to rapidly rising mortgage interest rates in the context of central bankers’ fight against inflation.

After peaking at $2.1 million in April, the median price in Marin continued to decline, to $1.25 million in August, the California Association of Realtors reported. Median prices are a measure that as many homes sell for more than the median as they sell for less.

The median price of existing single-family homes sold across the country in August was $440,000, while the median in California was $839,500, according to state and national trade groups. For North Bay, the median was $738,000, according to Gerrett Snedaker, broker for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wine Country Group, which has 12 offices in North Bay and about 200 agents.

The availability of homes for sale in North Bay is down, as are completed deals, according to Snedaker.

“Inventory remains low on a historical basis,” he said. wrote on his Thursday blog on market conditions.

At times, the number of homes for sale topped 10,000 in Bay Area Real Estate Information Service listings for Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties, Snedaker noted.

Multiple Listings Service data for August shows North Bay’s inventory was 2,747 homes for sale, 14% lower than the previous year’s 3,180 listings and 13% lower than inventory in July (3,163). Snedaker noted that this was the second straight month in which stocks fell month over month.

Sales in the region last month (1,176) were 21% higher than July sales (1,144) but 18% lower than the previous August’s 1,680 sales.

Following a national trend as cost or mortgages rise, North Bay homes are being marketed at lower prices than a year ago, according to data analyzed by Snedaker.

Across the country, about 40% of homes currently put on multiple listings services experience price reductions before they finally sell, a metric called the price reduction ratio, he noted.

“Across much of our region, the ratios are lower,” Snedaker wrote.

Last month, the ratio of homes listed in North Bay with price cuts was 37%, compared to about 40% nationally. But the ratios for Sonoma and Napa counties were even lower, at 27% and 34%, respectively, while Mendocino County’s was higher at 49%.

Homes selling above list price accounted for 42% of Sonoma County sales in August, 34% in Napa County but just 5% in Mendocino County.

Statewide, sales of existing single-family homes benefited from a brief drop in interest rates.

“The California housing market stabilized briefly as a temporary reprieve on mortgage rates in July and early August drew buyers into the market,” said California Association of Realtors President Otto Catrina, a Bay Area realtor, in a statement. “Active listings have passed their annual peak, and while homes are taking a bit longer to sell, the share of homes seeing their prices fall has also stabilized at near pre-pandemic levels. . In fact, price growth in August actually accelerated on a monthly and annual basis, and current sales suggest a rebound for homes priced at or above $2 million.

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