What are market conditions like in the Sebastopol area right now? What is the 3-5 year outlook?

Asked by PaulS, San Mateo County, CA Mon Dec 7, 2009

Just interested in anyone who has an opinion.

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Carl Legg, , San Francisco, CA
Mon Jul 2, 2012
Paul, I think Michael Friedenberg's answer from 2009 was excellent. Today, in 2012, we have a better understanding of market trend and dynamics, and it's not looking all that positive over the next 2-4 years. As of July 2012, Sebastopol real estate value has fallen roughly 40-45% from its peak, and continues to fall at just under 1% per month (with an occasional meaningless uptick).

Based on a deepening Euro-recession (>11% Euro-zone unemployment) and bailout frenzy, worsening global debt overhang (expect $20T U.S. debt by 2015), huge remaining backlog of bank-owned homes waiting to be listed (2-3 million), and an epidemic of underwater mortgages in Sonoma County that's getting worse not better (40% of all mortgages in Sonoma County are now underwater, and growing), I see little basis for sustained value growth for at least 2 to 4 years. Alas, I see just the opposite -- continued downward pressure through 2015.
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Lynn Bowen, Agent, Sebastopol, CA
Mon Dec 7, 2009
Hi Paul, market conditions in the Sebatopol market are good in most cases as long as the seller has their proprerty properly priced for it's location, amenities and condition. This area continues to be sought after and being a country property Sebastopol resident I can understand why. We didn't feel as much of the price drops as some other parts of the county but our prices are down from where they were.

Well priced properties are pulling in multiple offers and in several cases over asking price.

As far as the 3-5 year outlook only time will tell us how this local market will fare.

Lynn Bowen
Domaine Real Estate
Sebastopol CA
707-695-3814 Lynn@DomaineRE.com

Web Reference: http://www.eSonomaHomes.com
Web Reference:  http://www.eSonomaHomes.com
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Kenneth Schr…, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Mon Dec 7, 2009
Hey Paul,

The market in general is up over the last 4 months, including Sebastopol. Since there are more country properties in that area, they do tend to sit longer on the market as compared to other cities like Santa Rosa and Windsor. Currently, there are 65 properties that are available in Sebastopol and 41 that are in contract.

Since the holidays are here, sales in general tend to slow down until after the New Year.
Let me know if you need anything. My cell is always on for you.


Kenneth Schrier Real Estate Group
CPS Property Advocates
cell - 707.529.4819
email - http://www.kenschrier@aol.com
Web - http://www.kenschrier.com
lic. #01380974
Web Reference:  http://www.kenschrier.com
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Pam Buda, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Mon Dec 7, 2009
Hi Paul,
I recently completed an analysis of the real estate market over the last 2 years for most of the towns in Sohoma county, including Sebastopol. Overall, Sebastopol is as strong a market as any other town in the county--Healdsburg and Kenwood/Sonoma/Glen Ellen will have higher price point properties but Sebastopol's close proximity to the Bay Area, its schools, community and scenery are a strong foundation for the real estate market. Interestingly we never saw the high supply of home for sale that we saw elsewhere in the county. The market currently is characterized by low inventory and many multiple offers, with the market weaker at the upper price ranges. Even so, special properties over a million have sold with multiple cash offers. I don't know anyone with a crystal ball, but most do not expect appreciation to recur for some time, and some people anticipate a further decline at the national level. Overall, I would expect Sebastopol, the North Bay and the geographically confined Bay Area (.i.e. not Antioch and Brentwood) to outperform other markets in the state and nation.


This post looks at country properties, 2 acres or more, for Sonoma County as a whole. Sebastopol has so many beautiful country properties I thought I would include a link as well.

I do have more detailed data for Sebastopol if you would like me to email it to you I would be happy to do so.

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Dave Roberts, Agent, Healdsburg, CA
Mon Dec 7, 2009
Hi Paul,
I 've got a flippant answer for you. If any of us had a three to five year crystal ball, we would have been out of the real estate business in 2005. It turns out Goldman Sachs was betting against the housing market for years, even as they sold more bundles of crummy loans.
On the more serious side, my feeling is that Sebastopol kept prices solid much longer than any other area of Sonoma County last year. This year they have finally joined the rest of the county and taken some markdowns from the high prices of the bubble years. When they are again in sync with the rest of us we can plateau and grow together. In the long run, Sebastopol will be a desirable town that has always drawn buyers concerned with high quality schools and a great quality of life.
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