This week there were a variety of
properties on caravan for all to see. I travelled from St. Helena to
Oakville, back to St. Helena, then to Angwin and then to Calistoga and
back to St. Helena. A few of the memorable properties were;
– Oakville-Beautifully restored old farmhouse with detached unit on one acre with vineyard views-$2,895,000
– Angwin-Good home on 40 acres with great views. 10 acres plantable,
Howell Mtn Appelation, and a 55 gpm well for $2,495,000. Will have to be
some room in that price.
– St. Helena-A clean 3 bedroom 2 bath condo, walking distance to town for $525,000.
St. Helena-Number of sales and total sales dollars were up
for May as was expected.Â Also, the
average sales price was up which is an indicator that property values are on
the rise and not just the number of sales.Â
We are on track to blow through the fourth quarter of 2012, which was a
banner period after the great recession.
Calistoga-The number of sales were up for May but the
average sales price was down some.Â That was
probably due to the mix of properties that were sold rather than a decrease in
value.Â I expect values to continue to
rise and make for a good investment.
In the last three weeks buyers have come out of the woodwork and there have been multiple offers on properties in St. Helena and Calistoga.Â Maybe it's euphoria over the stock market gaining back all it losses during the Great Recession, or a general lack of inventory in the area, or buyers finally coming out of hibernation.Â For whatever reason it will be a trend to be watched.Â February sales do not represent any major changes but given 30 to 60 days to close a transaction we may see some significant figures for March and April.Â A very good time to list a property.
A recent article, February 20, 2013, in the San Francisco Chronilce had a review of home prices in the bay area.Â The article stated that all home sales in the bay area were expected to go up in 2013 save one area.Â Calistoga was expected to go down 1.4%.Â
Last year Calistoga home sales went up 35% and the average sales price was up 57%.Â You ask how come so much.Â The answer is simple.Â Home prices and salesÂ had been suppressed in recent years and they were catching up.Â Can they continue at that pace-I think not, but will prices go down-no way.Â I expect values to increase and with the lack of inventory expect it to push prices even higher.
So what this means is if you are a buyer now is a good time before prices go higher.Â As a seller now is the time to consider putting your property on the market but don't expect to get an absorbent amount.
From a real estate perspective 2012 was a vast improvement over 2011.Â Overall the number of sales and total dollar amount of sales were up, while lender rates continue to be at an all time low.
The Up Valley which includes St. Helena, Calistoga, Angwin and Yountville showed a varied amount of improvement with a few surprises.
St. Helena statistics show the number of homes sold during 2012 to increase by 28% over the previous year- a healthy year by anyoneâ€™s standards.Â Another important factor was the inventory of homes for sale dropped to an 8.8 months supply.Â What this means is that with fewer homes available than before, there will be less to choose from, thus sales prices will move even higher in the future.
Calistoga sales rose by 28% (the same as St. Helena) but the total sales dollars increased by 95%!Â This demonstrates that in the past Calistoga property values had been depressed and during 2012 they were getting a significant increase in property values over the previous year.
Angwin had a 50% increase in the number of sales for 2012, but overall sales dollars decreased by 20%.Â This means that property values in Angwin are still very soft and with the increases in St. Helena and Calistoga it took market share away from Angwin.Â
Yountville had a 19% increase in sales and a 14% increase in sales dollars.Â Yountville has always had a limited inventory so sales and property values have remained constant.I expect to see more of the same in 2013.Â I donâ€™t expect a significant increase in the number of homes on the market but neither do I expect to see sales prices to rise significantly.Â The market is fairly balanced not favoring the buyer or seller an uncustomary position for the Up Valley.