While Shelter-in-Place restrictions are being eased, we have to be realistic that things won’t get back to how they were for a long time. But what does that mean for the housing market in Sonoma County and, in Healdsburg specifically? While the first quarter is not necessarily an indicator of what’s to come, I do think it gives us some clues.
In the first three months of this year there were 32 sales of properties in Healdsburg which was identical to 2019. While Coronavirus had minimal impact, it clearly slowed things down starting from early March. Up until that point, we had had a reasonably strong start to the year.
If we look at activity during the shutdown starting March 15th, when it wasn’t possible to even show an occupied home, 15 properties closed between then and the end of April. Last year 25 properties closed in that same time period, so Coronavirus clearly had an impact through April.
Who Are The Buyers This year?
In 2019, of the 54 homes that sold, with a total value of $58m, 20 (37%) were sold to secondary home owners. While the majority are used as second homes, some are definitely investment rental properties. This year there has been a definite increase of the number bing purchased as secondary homes, with 47% (21 out of a total of 44) being sold to second home owners.
Even with the current financial turbulence, high end deals are still happening. For example, the most expensive property sold in Healdsburg this year, 6255 Dry Creek Rd, sold for $10.1m and went into contract less than two weeks after going on the market. A fintech entrepreneur from San Francisco purchased it. Of the ten most expensive properties sold this year totaling $33m, only two properties were designated as owner occupied.
Interactive Map Of Healdsburg Sales
I have created a map that I will add to each quarter, that highlights the properties that sold so far in 2020, how much they sold for, when they sold and whether they are owner occupied or not (black is owner occupied, orange is secondary property). While there isn’t that much data on the 2020 map yet, we do see some interesting patterns.
Properties in the downtown area are more likely to be secondary home owners whereas the Rivers Bend community near Fitch Mountain and the 55+ community is much more likely to be owner occupied. If we look further out of town, the only properties purchased in Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley this year have been purchased by people in Bay Area.
Interactive Map of All Properties Sold In Healdsburg in 2019
Exploring the data for all the properties sold in 2019 shows a similar pattern. As you can see from the lone black marker, there is only one home that is owner occupied in the whole of Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley. Similarly, within the 15 minute walk radius to the Plaza, the vast majority of homes, aren’t owner occupied highlighted by the presence all the orange markers near the Plaza.
What Conclusions Can We Draw For The Healdsburg Market?
Looking at this data and my own anecdotal evidence of working with buyers and sellers, here are my takeaways:
-There were significantly more Bay Area buyers in the first four months of 2020 compared to 2019. With Coronavirus, I believe even more money will come in from the Bay Area
-Properties in Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley are almost exclusively owned by people as secondary residences
-The most expensive homes are bought by people as secondary residences
-Homes closest in to town are bought by people from the Bay Area as either investments or second homes
-It will be interesting to see if we see more people actually moving from the Bay Area permanently to Healdsburg, in which case we should see the number of designated secondary homes reduce.
- influx of money from the Bay Area was higher in the first part of the year compared to the previous year. We can only expect this to increase through 2020