Napa County Real Estate January 2020 Report

Generally speaking, after years of high appreciation rates, annual 2019 Bay Area median home prices went down a little bit, went up a little bit or basically remained unchanged as compared to 2018.

For 2020, economist Ken Rosen at UC Berkeley has said he expects the Bay Area median price to remain basically flat, within a general range of up or down 2% – in other words, similar to what happened last year. We can’t predict the future, but that certainly doesn’t sound unreasonable, and happily avoids the sensationalism of many other media-grabbing forecasts.

In this report, some Sonoma County cities are included in the city stats for further context to the greater Wine Country market.

Median sales prices are generalities and not exact measurements of changes in fair market value. They can be affected by a number of factors and are sometimes subject to anomalous fluctuations. How they apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Napa County is challenging as regards to city median home prices: It only has 3 cities with a relatively substantial number of sales (Napa, American Canyon, St. Helena), and of those, St. Helena – with the fewest sales of the 3 – has such a huge range of sales prices that its median price often fluctuates simply due to what homes sold in a given period.

Economic Factors Affecting
Real Estate Markets

San Francisco Real Estate January 2020 Report

Generally speaking, after years of high appreciation rates, annual 2019 Bay Area median home prices went down a little bit, went up a little bit or basically remained unchanged as compared to 2018. SF hit new quarterly price highs in spring of 2019 (amid all the IPO excitement), but ended up the year at about flat for houses and a little up for condos. (Since there has been so much new luxury condo construction in recent years, year-over-year median price comparisons may not be exactly apples to apples.)

For 2020, economist Ken Rosen at UC Berkeley has said he expects the Bay Area median price to remain basically flat, within a general range of up or down 2% – in other words, similar to what happened last year. We can’t predict the future, but that certainly doesn’t sound unreasonable, and happily avoids the sensationalism of many other media-grabbing forecasts.

One of the big factors in SF house price appreciation since 2012 has been that fewer house owners are selling (dark green portion of chart below). If demand increases, but supply drops, that puts upward pressure on prices. Overall, house prices have out-appreciated condos over the past 7 years due to 2 factors: All the new condo construction and the fact that condo owners sell their homes more often than house owners. Both those factors increase supply to help meet increased demand.

San Francisco Home Prices by Neighborhood

Below are just two of the tables in our much longer analysis of home prices by property type and bedroom count for every neighborhood in the city. If you’d like the complete report, contact your Compass agent.

San Francisco Luxury Home
Markets by District

Economic Factors Affecting
Real Estate Markets

Napa County Real Estate December 2019 Report

Bay Area Median Home Prices and Bay Area County Market Size. By number of annual sales, Napa County is the smallest county market in the Bay Area.

Market Seasonality: New Listings
Coming on Market

The market is now deep into its seasonal plunge in activity, which hits its nadir in December. (This chart is updated through October. November saw its usual big drop in new listing activity.)

Bay Area Markets for Homes of $5 Million+

This chart compares the number of $5m+ listings in MLS in October 2019 to the total number of $5m+ sales reported to MLS in the 12 months through October. For a county market of its size, Napa’s numbers are high. The number of active listings is running very high.

Median Home Price Trends since 1996

This chart is an estimated calculation of median home price trends by an algorithm created for that purpose. Long-term St. Helena data is not available from this data source – though its median prices are typically the highest in Napa and Sonoma Counties. As always, these numbers should be considered very general approximations of prices in markets often containing homes of widely varying size and quality. Many Napa County markets are very small, which always makes these calculations more prone to anomalous fluctuations.

Median Dollar per Square Foot Values

Selected Market Indicators

The following 6 charts review supply and demand dynamics from a variety of angles – by county and by city. In the comparative city statistics, a number of factors are at play, including location, of course, general price range, and the size of the second-home market.

San Francisco Real Estate December 2019 Report

When the media reports on the “Bay Area median home price,” it’s worth remembering that SF is a relatively small market compared to the big 3 counties.

Appreciation in Very Expensive Markets

Based on the calculations of an algorithm created to track long-term price changes, this next chart looks at percentage appreciation since 2012 in the most expensive markets of 5 Bay Area Counties. (In Marin, Tiburon, a very expensive, but not the most expensive market in the county, is graphed due to data issues.) This chart does not delineate prices, which vary hugely, only estimated percentage home price changes over time.

According to this algorithm, prices in these most expensive markets have generally declined from recent peaks in 2018.

Bay Area Ultra-Luxury Home Markets –
Active Listings vs. 12 Months Sales

SF has the third largest market for homes of $5,000,000+ in the Bay Area.

Market Dynamics & Seasonality –
New Listings & Price Reductions

The market is now deep into its seasonal plunge in activity, which hits its nadir in December. (This chart is updated through October. November saw its usual big drop in new listing activity.)

The percentage of listings reducing price in October – typically the peak month for price reductions – ticked up a little year over year, to its highest point since the recovery began in 2012.

Home Prices & Market Statistics by SF District

Median House Prices by Realtor District

As always, these prices should be considered very general approximations of prices in complex district markets containing homes of widely varying size and quality.

Median Condo Prices by Realtor District

Market Statistics by Realtor District

As mentioned in previous reports, market dynamics in San Francisco are often – but not always – separated by price segment as much as by neighborhood/district location. More expensive segments not unusually have somewhat softer supply and demand dynamics. However, District 5 – the greater Noe, Eureka & Cole Valleys district – one of the city’s more expensive districts, has been bucking that trend in 2019.

Districts dominated by condo sales also typically have softer dynamics than those dominated by house sales.

Napa County Real Estate November 2019 Report

Long-Term Trends in Median Home Sales Prices

Using a six-month-rolling average of monthly median sales prices smooths out the often meaningless monthly fluctuations to illustrate broad, long-term appreciation trends with more clarity.

Sales Volumes and Median Prices by City

In this first chart, we have included some cities in Sonoma County to add further context to the greater Wine Country homes market.

Median sales prices are generalities that disguise a wide range of prices in the underlying sales, and how they apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis. Median prices are more prone to fluctuate – without reference to changes in fair market value – in communities with lower sales volumes and wide ranges of sales prices.

Monthly Sales Volumes

An illustration of the substantial role of seasonality in the real estate market. One month’s sales volume mostly reflects accepted-offer activity in the previous month. Market activity hits bottom in December and January, which then makes January and February the months with the lowest number of closed sales.

Homes Going into Contract Quickly,
Subsequent to Receiving Multiple Offers

The percentage of 2019 YTD home sales that went into contract within 30 days of coming on market while receiving multiple offers is down from last year. About 1 in 8 such sales have occurred in 2019, and they averaged a sales price 2.4% over asking price – i.e. buyer competition pushed sales prices up.

Sales vs. Listings for Sale by Price Segment

Demand vs. supply: If the price segment’s percentage of sales is significantly lower than the segment’s percentage of listings available to buy, it signifies softer demand as compared to other price segments: This is the situation especially for $2 million+ segment in Napa with 7.4% of the area’s sales, but 28% of listing inventory. The median list price of active listings in this segment is a whopping $4.85 million.

The reverse is true for the $500,000 to $750,000 home segment: A higher percentage of sales (41%) than its percentage of active listings (24%) on the market – signifying much stronger demand.

These are generalities: Overpriced listings in any segment will typically fail to sell without price reductions, and appealing, well-priced listings can sell very quickly.

Home Listings & Sales by Month, $1 Million+

Active Listings within Month, $1 Million+: The number of higher-price listings in Napa County has surged in 2019, altering the balance between supply and demand.

Monthly Sales Volumes, $1 Million+

Market Dynamics by Price Segment

Location is, of course, always important in real estate value – within the county, within the city, within the neighborhood – but to a large degree, market dynamics within the county are also determined by the home’s price segment. And individual cities will often have homes in several or even all of the price segments broken out in the 2 charts below, with these segments seeing differing supply and demand conditions.

Generally speaking, demand is considerably softer and supply is higher (as compared to demand) above the $1.25 million price threshold, and that difference becomes much more substantial above $2 million. In this highest price segment particularly, correct pricing is an imperative.

Sales without Price Reductions
& Withdrawn (No-Sale) Listings

The following 2 charts illustrate both year-over-year changes in market conditions and the role of seasonality within the calendar year.

Last year saw a large jump in the number of listings pulled off the market without selling in November and December – this was a particularly volatile time in financial markets and interest rates were relatively high. The situation with both of those factors has changed dramatically in 2019, but it is too early to see how that will affect the number of listings withdrawn in the last 2 months of this year. It is unknown how the terrible fire in Sonoma will affect Napa County market dynamics.

San Francisco Real Estate November 2019 Report

Using six-month-rolling figures for monthly median sales prices smooths out the often meaningless monthly fluctuations to illustrate broad, long-term appreciation trends with more clarity.

Home Sales Volume by Month

A crystal clear illustration of the role of seasonality in the SF real estate market. Starting in November activity begins to plunge towards the mid-winter nadir. Remember that November sales volumes mostly reflect October accepted-offer activity. Market activity hits bottom in December, which makes January the month with the lowest sales volume.

Home Sales & Median Prices by District
HOUSE Sales & Median Sales Prices

Note that districts often include neighborhoods of varying values and that the district median sales prices quoted reflect combined sales. Median prices are broad generalities useful for comparative values and home-price trends, but how they apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Median sales prices broken out by neighborhood, property type and bedroom count are also available upon request.

Condo, Co-op & TIC Sales by District
2-BR, 2-BA Condo Median Sales Prices

Luxury Home Sales

Sales of homes of $3 million and above in October were a little below the number in October 2018, but looking at September-October sales, there were gains over same-period sales in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Sales vs. Listings for Sale by Price Segment

Market Dynamics by Property Type & Price Segment

Location is, of course, always important in real estate value – within the the city and within the neighborhood – but to a large degree, market dynamics within San Francisco are also determined by the property type and the price segment. And individual neighborhoods and districts will usually have homes in several or even all of the price segments broken out in the 3 charts below, with these segments seeing differing supply and demand conditions.

Generally speaking, demand is stronger and supply is lower (as compared to demand) for houses over condos. For both houses and condos, market dynamics are somewhat softer in the higher price segments, especially above the $3 million price threshold for condos, and in the $5 million+ price segment for houses.

People Moving in & out of CA in 2018

According to new census estimates, approx. 501,000 people from other states moved to CA in 2018, while 691,000 Californians relocated to other states – a net loss of 190,000. In addition, an estimated 284,000 foreign nationals moved into CA from outside the country. (Foreign out-migration numbers are not available.)

The top states for out-migration are Texas, Arizona, Washington, Nevada & Oregon, states with high-tech centers of their own and/or no state income taxes, and/or significantly lower housing costs – thus attracting working residents, local businesses, and retirees. Updated Bay Area figures are not yet available, though migration trends here have generally paralleled state trends in recent years.

Sales Without Price Reductions & Withdrawn (No-Sale) Listings

The following 2 charts illustrate both year-over-year changes in market conditions and the role of seasonality within the calendar year.

Last year saw a big jump in the number of listings pulled off the market without selling in December – this was a particularly volatile time in financial markets and interest rates were relatively high. The situation with both of those factors has changed dramatically in 2019, but it is too early to see how that will affect the number of listings withdrawn in the last 2 months of this year.

Napa County Real Estate October 2019 Report

Updated Market & Census Statistics, Home Prices & Appreciation Rates, Luxury Home Sales, Price Reductions, Employment & Interest Rates.

Year-over-Year Q3 Comparisons – Q3 2016 – Q3 2019

Median House Sales Price by Quarter

Year-over-Year Quarterly Appreciation Rates

Home Sales by Price Segment & Bedroom Count

The variety of homes sold in Napa County is astounding, but by far the most common sale is of a 3-bedroom house at a price between $500,000 and $750,000.

New Census Estimates

Underlying the real estate market are the changing details and circumstances of its population. At the end of September, the U.S. Census released its 2018 American Community Survey 1-year data estimates for a broad range of economic, social and demographic statistics. Below is a selection of survey insights into our community, plus 2 or 3 statistics from other sources. (You may want to expand this slide for easier reading.)

Higher-Price Home Sales

Overall, home sales of $1 million and above were down from their peak in Q3 2018, but, as seen in the second chart below, home listings and sales of $2 million-plus hit new highs, by a tad.

Selected Market Indicators

Activity in the market usually begins to decline after the end of the summer selling season, and then plunges in mid-November. Note that the nadir of sales in Q1 mostly reflects the plunge in accepted offer activity in the last 6 weeks of Q4. Of course, sales occur in every month of the year, and indeed, slower periods can be advantageous to buyers since competition for listings drops.

The percentage of listings reducing price usually climbs through the end of summer and stays relatively high in early autumn, as sellers of unsold homes try to recapture the attention of buyers while the market is still relatively active – i.e., before the big, mid-winter holiday slowdown that begins in mid-November.

Employment Trends

Unsurprisingly, a major dynamic affecting home price appreciation or depreciation is the ups and downs in county employment numbers. Though Napa-Sonoma has had a very strong recovery in employment numbers since the market recession of 2009-2011, it has not experienced the stupendous new highs in (generally, very well paid) jobs seen in counties most affected by the high-tech boom – which have pressurized their markets more intensely.

Mortgage Interest Rates

A year ago, many experts predicted that interest rates in 2019 would average in the 5.5% range, but they plummeted instead, a major dynamic in this year’s market. Buyers generally saw substantial drops in homeownership costs as compared to late 2018. Note that historically, it has been very difficult to predict interest rate movements.

San Francisco Neighborhood Home Prices, Market Trends

Updated Market & Census Statistics, Home Prices & Appreciation Rates, Luxury Home Sales, Price Reductions, Employment & Interest Rates.

It will be another month before hard data on the autumn selling season begins to become available. In the meantime, below is a review of market trends and statistics through the third quarter. Note that September sales data mostly reflects market activity in August, a historically slow month.

Year-over-Year Q3 Comparisons – Q3 2016 – Q3 2019

Looking back over the Q3 statistics in the past 4 years, the San Francisco market has remained quite strong, though the number of sales has declined. The “IPO effect” may well be playing a role in keeping demand up, especially in the higher price segments where sales volumes have continued to increase.

Median House Sales Price – 3-Month Rolling Figures

Median house sales prices hit a new high in spring, though the year-over-year increase was relatively modest. However, many Bay Area Counties have seen small declines in median home sales prices over the last 4 quarters.

Year-over-Year, Quarterly Median House
Sales Price Percentage Change

Generally speaking, San Francisco is seeing significantly better year-over-year home price appreciation rates over the past 2 quarters than most Bay Area Counties, but the increases are well down from those seen during much of the recovery since 2012.

Median Condo Sales Price -3-Month Rolling Figures

Median condo sales prices have hit new highs, but the apples-to-apples appreciation issue is complicated by the thousands of new condos that have come on market, many of which have been at higher price points.

San Francisco Home Sales
by Price Segment & Bedroom Count

The most common sale in San Francisco is that of a 2-bedroom condo selling between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000. 2 & 3 bedroom condos now have higher median sales prices than 2 & 3 bedroom houses. This is due to 2 issues: 1) the tens of thousands of newly built, higher-price (often high-rise) condos coming on market in the last 15 years, and 2) condos are commonly found in more expensive neighborhoods than those where most house sales occur.

Updated Census Statistics

Underlying the real estate market are the changing details and circumstances of its population. At the end of September, the U.S. Census released its 2018 American Community Survey 1-year data estimates for a broad range of economic, social and demographic statistics. Below is a selection of survey insights into our community, plus 2 or 3 statistics from other sources. (You may want to expand this slide for easier reading.)

Luxury Home Sales

Sales Volumes & Price Reductions

Looking forward, October is typically both a big month for closed sales, reflecting the surge in deals after September’s big spike in new listings, as well as for price reductions, as sellers of unsold homes try to spark renewed buyer interest before the market slows in mid-November for the winter holidays.

Then in December, many sellers pull their unsold listings off the market altogether to wait for the market to wake up again in January-March. Of course, sales occur in every month of the year, and indeed, slower periods can be advantageous to buyers since competition for listings plunges.

SF Employment Trends

Behind the story of home price appreciation since 2000 are the ups and down in the number of employed residents. After a spectacular boom in job creation since 2010 – many of the jobs extremely well paid – the number has generally leveled off in the past year (according to the CA Employment Development Department).

Trends in Rents

The 2 big recent factors in rent rates have been changes in employment numbers, and the increase in the supply of apartments on the market due to the boom in rental unit construction (the first such boom in many decades). Economists believe there should be generally parallel trends in rents and ownership costs, those being the 2 housing options (besides living with one’s parents).

The dotted line delineates the approximate divergence in rents between a market rate unit and a rent-controlled apartment leased in 2010.

Mortgage Interest Rates

A year ago, many experts predicted that interest rates in 2019 would average in the 5.5% range, but they plummeted instead, a major dynamic in this year’s market. Buyers generally saw big drops in homeownership costs as compared to late 2018. If you are already a homeowner, depending on when you purchased your home, you might want to investigate the option of refinancing your mortgage with a new, long-term, fixed-rate loan. Note: Historically, it has been very difficult to predict interest rate movements.

Napa County Real Estate September 2019 Report

Home Prices by City; Short-Term & Long-Term Appreciation; Migration In & Out of the County; Price Reductions; Supply & Demand.

Home Prices & Appreciation
Trends by City

Short-Term & Long-Term Trends in County
Median Home Values

People Moving In & Out of Napa County

Using new U.S. Census estimates released 8/29/19, this chart attempts to identify U.S. counties, states and international regions with the highest number of residents migrating to and from Napa County. In the Bay Area, there is a general trend outward from more expensive to more affordable places, while in-bound migration is deeply affected not only by exchanges between Bay Area counties, but people arriving from other parts of the state, country and world. Areas often have large two-way exchanges of residents.

Selected Market Statistics

The chart below compares supply, the number of active listings on the market, with demand, as measured by the number of sales. This is a seasonally adjusted graph that smooths out normal monthly fluctuations to provide clearer historical trend lines. As context, the data below begins in 2013, after the market recovery was already well underway. If the data went back to the 2009 – 2011 period, during the post-crash market recession, the divergence between the two lines would be much, much greater than at any time illustrated here.

San Francisco Real Estate

Neighborhood House & Condo Prices; Short-Term & Long-Term Appreciation Trends; Population Migration In & Out of the City.

After the heat of the spring market, activity typically slows down markedly in July and August. In September, listings start pouring on the market again to fuel the relatively short autumn selling season – in fact, September is typically the single month with the highest number of new listings. Autumn is also a very important time for the luxury home market – luxury house sales often peak for the year in October.

What occurs in the next 2 months, before the mid-winter holiday doldrums begin, will be the next major indicator of market conditions and direction.

Migration: People Moving In & Out
of San Francisco

Using new U.S. Census estimates released 8/29/19, this chart attempts to identify U.S. counties, states and international regions with the highest number of residents migrating to and from our county. In the Bay Area, there is a general trend outward from more expensive to more affordable places, while in-bound migration is deeply affected not only by exchanges between Bay Area counties, but people arriving from other parts of the state, country and world. Areas often have large two-way exchanges of residents.

Foreign in-migration is a huge issue in SF and the Bay Area, but it will be another year before any impact of new U.S. immigration policy on foreign in-migration in 2018 shows up in census numbers. The census estimates foreign in-migration in this analysis, but not foreign out-migration.

Short-Term & Long-Term Trends
in Median Home Prices

San Francisco is out-performing the Bay Area – most of the other counties have seen 3% to 5% declines in median home prices since peaking in spring 2018, while the city saw a new monthly peak in June and a new quarterly peak in Q2. It has been suggested that the differentiating factor in SF has been the high number of large, local, high-tech IPOs occurring this year since early spring.

In the next chart, the 2019 YTD median sales prices should be considered preliminary until full year data is in. Note that it is more difficult to compare annual median condo prices on an apples-to-apples basis because of the huge number of new construction condos – many at higher prices – coming on market in the last few years. Comparing 2019 YTD to 2018, the median house sales price is about the same, even though new monthly and quarterly peaks were hit year to date.

Supply & Demand Dynamics since 2005

The chart below compares supply, the number of active listings on the market, with demand, as measured by the number of sales. This is a 12-month-rolling graph that smooths out normal monthly fluctuations to provide clearer historical trend lines.

San Francisco Home Prices & Appreciation
by Neighborhood & District

The next long series of charts and tables looks first at house prices by neighborhood, and then at condo and co-op prices. We’ll start with our neighborhood/ Realtor District map for easy reference.

San Francisco Median House Sales Prices
by District & Neighborhood

San Francisco Median Condo Sales Prices
by District & Neighborhood