The ongoing rise of the Sonoma County real estate market stuttered slightly in August, with the number of homes sold dropping year over year after several months of double-digit growth, and the median home price dropping more than 5 percent from July, according to a real estate information service.
Sonoma County’s median home price in August was $400,000, up 15.9 percent from $345,000 in August 2012 and down 5.3 percent from $422,500 in July, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
While the median home price in Sonoma County continued its strong year-over-year growth, the number of homes sold slowed. DataQuick reported that 652 homes sold in Sonoma County in August, down 3.4 percent from 675 a year ago but down 7.3 percent from 703 homes sold in July.
Those trends bore out across the nine-county Bay Area, where the median price continued to rise while the number of homes sold dipped. The median price paid for a home in the Bay Area last month was $540,000, down 3.9 percent from $562,000 in July and up 31.7 percent from $410,000 in August a year ago. Solano County saw the biggest jumping in median price, rising more than 46 percent from $190,000 in August 2012 to $277,500 last month.
(Note: The chart above reflects median home price for all homes – both detached single-family homes and condos/townhouses – across the nine-county Bay Area.)
DataQuick officials attributed the continued spike in median price and the dip in homes sold to a seasonal trend, saying there are still imbalances in the sales mix and purchase patterns, indicating that the market continues to normalize incrementally.
“As the market pendulum swings back toward normal, trends will be affected by more mundane market factors such as interest rates, employment, economic growth, affordability, mortgage availability, and how fast demand is generated and met," John Walsh, DataQuick president, said in a statement. "The next few months are going to be interesting, especially when it comes to pricing trends."
Investors and all-cash buyers continued to hold a major presence in the Bay Area market in August, as absentee buyers – mostly investors – purchased 21 percent of all Bay Area homes in July, up slightly from 20.5 percent in July, and down from 22.8 percent a year ago.
Buyers who appear to have paid all cash – meaning no sign of a corresponding purchase loan was found in the public record – accounted for 22.4 percent of sales in August.
For more info on the Bay Area real estate market, visit DataQuick.