Most economist agree that the major difference in this recession versus previous ones is the robust real estate market. A combination of low interest rates and built up equity has made the housing market a shining light in an otherwise unusual time period. Combining these factors with the “work-from-home” phenomenon that has been taking over the country, you have the perfect storm for a house hunting blitz.
The North Bay especially has been the lucky recipient of this latest barrage of house hunters. Home buyers are fleeing dense Bay Area neighborhoods for the Wine Country. Local real estate agents say the demand is largely driven by buyers from San Francisco, the East Bay, Silicon Valley and even the Central Coast.
In February, the month prior to the temporary upending of the real estate market, the median Sonoma County home price was $641,250. By the end of July, it was $720,000, a 36% increase over the same time last year.
The desire for home offices and room for distance learning is a huge motivator for many of these home buyers. They are seeking rural settings, sweeping views and a swimming pool. One such home on the market had 40 showings. It was listed for $1.2 million in Sebastopol and over half the potential buyers were from San Francisco! No surprise when you consider that price would barely cover your down payment for a similar home in The City.
Last month, a hilltop mansion in Sonoma sold to a San Francisco family for $14.75 million, one of the most expensive home sales in Sonoma County history. But the greatest demand is for mid-priced homes ($500,000-$700,000). This price range accounted for the highest number of sales of any price range in July.
As a local realtor pointed out in a recent article for the North Bay Business Journal, “It’s kind of like musical chairs, all of a sudden the music changed, and everyone’s looking for the next seat.”
Don’t get left without “a seat”, start your property search soon. If you cannot qualify for a conventional loan, give Sun Pacific Mortgage a call at 707-523-2099. We have helped thousands of prospective buyers just like you with our temporary (or 15 year), fast (within just a couple of weeks or less than a month when super rushed) hard money loans.