Mirroring the state trend, Napa County home prices rose moderately in 2019, increasing by single digits.
The median sold price of a Napa County home rose 1.9% this past year, going from $679,000 in 2018 to $692,000 in 2019.
At the same time, the number of Napa County homes sold declined 2.68%, according to Bay Area Real Estate Information Services data. It took an average of 79 days to sell a home in Napa County, compared to 69 days a year ago, said BAREIS.
“It was a very positive, encouraging year for the Napa County market,” said Napa Realtor Chris Wunderlich, the 2019 president of the North Bay Association of Realtors.
Instead of double-digit price increases and an inventory shortage as in past years, the market was more balanced in 2019, Wunderlich said. Single-digit appreciation is healthier for the economy in Napa County and beyond, he said.
For example, in 2019 “we were not seeing six offers on a property going way over asking,” said Wunderlich.
“Not to say that there weren’t multiple offer situations because there were,” he said. Houses that were turnkey, ready to go and “really dialed in,” sold quickly, he said.
The number of days it took to sell a home (Days On Market or DOM) increased slightly but Wunderlich thinks that number can get a bit skewed by Napa County’s luxury home listings. Some of those properties can take months or even a year or more to sell.
Where are people looking for homes in Napa County?
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“Downtown has continued to be a sought after place to be,” Wunderlich said. However, there is “good” sales activity county-wide, he said.
In addition, there are always first-time home buyers seeking to get a toe hold in the market. Wunderlich said homes for first-time buyers can be found throughout Napa.
“There are condos in north Napa (and) we’ve seen some (single family homes) in downtown, west Napa, east Napa — even in Alta Heights there have been opportunities,” he said.
Although Napa County housing remains at near all-time highs, “We are a very desirable location for people who want to live and work in Napa,” he said.
The county also offers a thriving second home market, in addition to retirees moving to the area, added Wunderlich.
At the end of the day, “we’re blessed,” to live in Napa County, he said.
A California view
Statewide, the California Association of Realtors reported that in 2019, annual home sales fell for the second consecutive year to a preliminary 397,910 closed escrow sales in California, down from 2018’s pace of 402,640.
“Looking ahead, low rates should continue to provide support to the market as buyers have become more motivated to get back into the market, and home sales in California should see an improvement at the start of the year,” said 2020 association president Jeanne Radsick.
The statewide median home price for the year as a whole was $592,450, an increase of 4% from a revised $569,480 in 2018.
Note: this story has been updated with corrected numbers.
You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or firstname.lastname@example.org