Sonoma County’s median home price dipped 8 percent in August as agents reported fewer buyers bidding on the same homes, which is fairly typical for this time of year but also possibly due to higher interest rates.  This brings some much needed relief for the many anxious buyers who felt they couldn't compete with all of the strong all cash offers out there.

 

The median sales price for a single-family home declined to $440,000 from $478,375 in July, according to The Press Democrat’s monthly housing report.  The median remained 31.7 percent higher than a year earlier. DataQuick estimated that roughly three-fourths of the year-over-year increase “reflects an actual increase in home values.”

Median sales prices traditionally dip in August from July in the Bay Area, according to analysts for real estate information service Data Quick.  Most agents say it’s too early to know how much rising interest rates will affect the housing market.

Even so, with the rise in interest rates, Sonoma County sellers finally got a little bit of a reality check after 8 months of the real estate market being "on fire" in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Forestville, Sebastopol and surrounding areas.  During much of the year, home prices rose as sellers typically took in multiple offers for their properties and often selected those willing to pay all cash.
But as competition declined in recent weeks, many buyers were able to purchase homes without paying all cash.  Sellers even have started accepting offers from buyers who must sell their own house before they can complete the deal — a willingness we haven’t seen in a long time.  
 

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan is 4.57 percent, according to Freddie Mac. That compares to 3.35 percent in early May before the Federal Reserve signaled that it may pull back on its stimulus efforts.

August ended with less than 900 county homes on the market, less than a two-month’s supply at the current pace of sales.
We have a huge demand and still not very much inventory but even so in the lower-priced segments of the market there’s not the multiple offers there were before.