If you are looking for an REO or short sale bargain in Sonoma County, you are late to the party. The getting was good even through the beginning of 2013, but the volume of sales and new listings for distressed property just keeps shrinking. My daily newsletter of new REO properties used to contain two or three new listings every day. Now it isn’t at all unusual to go a week without a single new REO listing.
Happily, fewer distressed sales is a good indicator that the housing market has regained a healthier footing. A few REO transactions are still going on, but the volume is down at least 90% from the peak years for foreclosures. The chart tells the tale. Three years ago there were over 300 distressed homes on the market and over 150 sales per month were taking place. Today, less than 20 listings and sales take place each month.
From my perspective, the bargain hunters should be focusing on fixers at all price points. The value priced portions of the market are always eager for good quality homes that have been upgraded with care. You might get lucky with one of the occasional REO properties on the market, but if you are serious about actually buying a home, you will have to consider homes that aren’t distressed.