Once a month rain or shine, I like to get inside the data and tell you the story of what’s happening in real estate.

 

What you’re looking at (and I apologize for the quality*) is New Listings compared to Sold Listings for the past 15 months.  It starts in July 2016 (to the left) and marches neatly to September 2017 on the right.  Where you see the red line (representing New Listings) dipping is December 2016.  The black columns represent Sold listings.

Scott and Jen wanted to downsize last October.  Their kids went off to college and the house was so much bigger than they needed.  They were unsure of timing because they thought no one would be looking to buy with the holidays coming up, but they realized that with the current market, the demand was still strong through December – see where the red line V’s and the black column shoots up beyond it?  That’s where buyers get frustrated because the selection of new listings plummets to an all time low.  Scott and Jen aren’t that unusual in their thinking.   The truth is that the serious buyers are out in the winter.  Who else would be looking at houses when it’s raining or when cold outside?

The situation with the inventory may get worse still.  Close enough to us, fires have destroyed many homes in the Wine Country of Napa and Santa Rosa.  Will some of those displaced by fires, move here?  Maybe and maybe not. Surely, it’s too early to tell but if you ever wanted to be skeptical about the housing crisis, as of Sunday the need for homes whether temporary, rentals, or ownership just removed a sizable chunk of available inventory in Northern California.  People need places to live!

If you want to help our Northern California neighbors facing the ongoing disaster:

If you live in or near the affected region:

California Airbnb hosts can sign up here to offer free housing to evacuees and relief workers.

Consider donating to a food pantry. Here’s a list of food pantries in Napa County, food pantries in Yuba County and food pantries in Sonoma County.

If you live in or near Sonoma and are willing to volunteer, you can register to do so at the Sonoma Community Center, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those in or near Napa willing to volunteer are being asked to sign up and create a profile with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership.

You could also foster an animal. Hundreds of pets have been evacuated from animal shelters in the affected region, leading to crowded facilities in the safe areas they’ve been evacuated to. Check with your local animal rescue facility ― NBC Bay Area has a great list here ― to see how you can help.

If you’re in the region of the Tubbs Fire (including Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino counties), join the Tubbs Fire Facebook Group, where people are coordinating requests and offers for help.

If you live farther away, or would prefer to donate money:

Donate to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund. The fund is overseen by the Community Foundation of Sonoma County and pledges to “focus on the mid- to long-term tasks of recovery and rebuilding, which will include basic needs as well as longer term economic, health and social supports.”

Donations can also be made to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.

Donations for both Lake County and Mendocino County are being coordinated by the Savings Bank of Mendocino County.

Donate to the American Red Cross. You can request via a drop-down menu that your donation go only to California wildfire victims, or donate to the organization’s broader disaster relief efforts.

GoFundMe also has a page set up for fundraising efforts in the region. Donations can be made to specific families, for shelter supplies, fire relief and more.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Note:  this week’s post is short due to the fact that I’m focused on putting on an appreciation party for my clients tonight.  Looks to be a nice evening at the pumpkin patch!

**** Also, if anyone has a solution for exporting graphs from Excel to Word Press that have clarity without being too large, I’m all ears.  All Googling efforts have turned up no good solutions and the graph suffers a lot of blurry numbers.

If you’re looking to buy, sell, or just have a conversation about what’s happening in the market, reach out.  I’d be happy to sit down and chat with you over a cup of coffee.