Homes for Sale Increasing Across Bay Area

Napa County vineyard

Spring is a busy season in Napa County for grape growers, and also now for home sellers and buyers.

Sellers are returning to Napa County’s real estate market in numbers we haven’t seen in a long time, amid signs that the supply of homes for sale is rising in other regions of the Bay Area as well.

“We’re seeing a big increase in the number of listings coming on the market,” said Linda Carroll, branch executive in Pacific Union’s Napa County region. “We had 107 new listings in Napa County in February and 172 in March, and April will be even higher.”

Sellers seem to be getting the word that home prices have been rising steadily for nearly a year.

“Sellers are beginning to understand that it’s a seller’s market, and they can get the prices they’re asking,” Carroll said.

“It also helps that everything’s blooming, everything’s green. Sellers know that their properties show better this time of year, so they’re putting them on the market again.”

Other regions are also seeing an uptick in inventory levels.

“We’ve had more new listings in the last four weeks than we’ve had in months,” said Jill Silvas, branch executive in the Sonoma Valley region.

In recent months, a typical week used to see five or six new homes listed in the Sonoma Valley. “Now we’re seeing 15, 17, even 19 news listings in a week’s time,” Silvas said. “Of course, the market is still tight, and many homes are selling just as fast as they hit the market.”

Across all of Sonoma County, new-home listings have essentially doubled since the first of the year — from 67 in the first week of January to 136 last week.

The increase in listings varies by region. San Francisco, for example, has not had an appreciable increase in available homes so far this spring, and bidding wars remain as fierce as ever. In Contra Costa County and the East Bay region, meanwhile, inventory continues to climb higher.

The inventory is also up solidly in Marin County, above the bump typically seen in the spring, “but we still have lots more buyers than sellers,” said Brent Thomson, senior vice president in Pacific Union’s Marin County region. “We’re still seeing multiple offers.”

The Tahoe/Truckee region is now seeing an average 20 new listings a week, up from as few as five or six in recent months.

“Spring has a lot to do with the increase,” said Sally Gardner, Tahoe/Truckee branch executive. “Springtime is a big selling season for us here, and we won’t be disappointed.”

(Photo courtesy of Rachael Towne, via Flickr.)

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