Just as in the previous few months, the number of active listings was down in September, and the number of pending and closed sales was up. Contrary to last month and July, the median price of active listings was down slightly, but as expected, the median price of the properties that sold year over year was up again.
Upon closer look, in August this year, the median price of listings was at $1,449,000 and $1,495,000 a year ago in September. However, that median dropped slightly to $1,397,000 in September this year.
The median price of the sales this month was also lower than in August ($967,500 in September vs. $1,155,000), but still up substantially from September a year ago at $775,000, almost 25% higher. The median price of the sold properties in September was also up over the average median for the trailing 12 months ($931,000).
We often consider the length of time that properties remain on the market before closing when evaluating market activity. In September, that number was 45 days, a sharp contrast and reduction from September of last year, which was 65 days, a 31.4% reduction.
One more indicator we often consider is the number of ‘months of inventory’. Months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace. Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months’ supply tends to push prices up more rapidly. In the month of September this year, that number dropped 49% from 4.3 months to 2.2 months, clearly indicating that this is still a strong sellers’ market.
Not to diminish the impact of the fires that occurred in September in Napa and Sonoma counties, but it was startling to see the continued influx of buyers. Some interruption of activity occurred as buyers attempted to obtain insurance and assessed the actual danger based on the location of the properties they were considering. However, the activity continued and once the air cleared, buyers seemed as intent as ever to live in our beautiful valleys.