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Home prices surging in Sonoma

14 Nov 2012 9:28 AM
Ventura housing market showing strength

After a strong summer, home prices have continued to rise this fall throughout wine country, especially with regard to Sonoma county real estate. According to the North Bay Business Journal, the median price for a home in the North Bay rose again in September, climbing to the highest level in more than four years.

In Sonoma County, the median price rose to $335,000 - 9.1 percent higher than it was in September 2011, the source reports. Like other regions throughout California, Sonoma's gains reflect rising buyer optimism and a more stable national market.

"It's obvious that a lot of fence-sitters are getting active," said John Walsh, president of San Diego-based real estate data tracker DataQuick.

This increased activity has Sonoma County residential real estate in a strong position, according to the Press Democrat. The first three quarters of 2012 have exceeded expectations and, cumulatively, represent the best three-quarter period since 2005, which is often considered the peak of the housing market.

Because of this, the stock of for-sale homes has dropped throughout wine country, causing some motivated buyers to compete against one another for homes. Another positive sign is that this competition has moved, at least in part, to the luxury real estate sector.

"We're seeing multiple offers in a lot of different price ranges, not just at the bottom," local real estate professional Rick Laws told the news source.

The growing confidence of buyers in the top tier of the market has helped pull up the median price in the region. These gains have helped the wine country housing market return to a level it hasn't seen for several years, and to some local experts the reasons are obvious.

"Prices are going up. It's simple economics," Randy Gularte of Heritage Sotheby's International Realty told the Napa Valley Register. "We have no supply, we have high demand and we have no new construction."