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Napa Valley Market Update

Robert Pursell | Sotheby's International Realty | January 2018 Newsletter
Robert Pursell | Sotheby's International Realty | January 2018 Newsletter

January 2018 NEWSLETTER

In this issue:
- Market Update
- The Top 10
- Interest Rates
- Featured Listings
- Buyer Needs
- Napa Valley News


2017 Year in Review...

This past year was a solid, predictable real estate market (right up until the fire).

Like years prior, 2017 saw low inventory and high demand for country properties over 1.0 acre which translated to record pricing and/or multiple offers. The difference between years prior, as expressed in the market averages below, was a leveling out of supply and demand for traditional homes in tract home neighborhoods which translated to a relatively balanced market in this segment.

By the numbers, year-over-year, the median sold price was up 1.5% from $618,500 to $628,000 in 2017 compared with 7.0% in 2016 and 23.3% in 2015. So we are definitely seeing median sold prices leveling out after years of hyperactive growth to catch up from the great recession of 2005-2010.

Interest rates remain low relative to pre-recession levels. The 30-year fixed rate loan stands at about 4.0% give or take; a level which is actually lower than January of last year. That said, the 30-year rate dipped into the mid-3.0% range for much of 2017. Most forecast modest increases in 2018.

The lowering of the mortgage interest tax deduction threshold from $1.0 million to $750,000 should have a negligible impact on our real estate market. With a median sold price well below the new lower threshold, most working families will see no impact. And most second / retirement home buyers are cash.

And now about the fire...

First / again - my heart goes out to those friends, clients, and neighbors who lost homes. I've been working with everyone I know personally or professionally to help get them back on track as quickly as possible. And I will say I'm an expert at raw land development. So if you've lost a home and just want to get some advice, please call or send an email - more than happy to help!

If you haven't been to the Napa Valley since, driving up the valley floor, it's almost impossible to know anything happened. Most of what was consumed was wildland over the eastern and western valley ridges. Except for the Vaca Mountain Range in the southeastern corner of the valley or the northern hills around Mount Saint Helena, you can't see any visible damage from the valley floor.

Although Napa County lost a total of 611 homes, most were in remote area. There will be a few highly desirable lots coming on the market as insurance claims settle and people are ready. But given the near total absence of highly desirable building sites, I don't see these prime sites selling at a significant discount. But there will be a level of available inventory we haven't seen in years. If you are interested in purchasing a raw land parcel, please contact me directly as the pricing dynamics here are complex.

What will change dramatically is the market for construction. Costs were already +30% in 2017 compared to 2016 due to a very strong economy. Increased demand will only exacerbate the lack of contracting resources. I have tapped into out-of-area resources to provide affordable options. But I do see the market for "move-in-ready" homes rising significantly faster than "project" homes that need significant work. Expect to see higher highs and lower lows across all classes of inventory.

Enjoy your 2018!

-- Rob Pursell


Here are the top 10 sales in Napa County for ALL 2018 (BAREIS MLS):

$15,000,000 - 1799 Oakville Grade, Oakville - 54.0 acre - 10,811 sq.ft.
$11,300,000 - 4120 Dry Creek Road, Napa - 27.0 acres - 9,733 sq.ft.
$7,550,000 - 199 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena - 2.2 acres - 5,984 sq.ft.
$7,550,000 - 347 Crane Street, St. Helena - 1.0 acres - 5,770 sq.ft.
$7,200,000 - 355 Crystal Springs Road, St. Helena - 4.6 acres - 4,967 sq.ft.
$6,550,000 - 1795 Fir Hill Drive, St. Helena - 1.0 acres - 6,200 sq.ft.
$6,450,000 - 6440 Finnell Road, Yountville - 11.5 acres - 8,007 sq.ft.
$6,175,060 - 601 Fulton Lane, St. Helena - 13.6 acres - 7,920 sq.ft.
$5,558,230 - 8424 Saint Helena Highway, Rutherford - 5.0 acres - 5,710 sq.ft.
$5,539,038 - 1230 Bennett Lane, Calistoga - 20.5 acres - 3,800 sq.ft.


4.05% / 0 points - 30 years fixed
3.90% / 0 points - 10 year ARM
3.20% / 0 points - 3 year ARM

Rate based on $1.0MM purchase, primary home, 70% loan-to-value,
direct deposit & auto-debit from FRB account.
Courtesy of Bill Marseilles (707) 251-4107

Please note: The above are sample rates;
contact lender directly for a personalized quote
and complete terms and conditions.


My featured listing for January is 432 Dutch Henry Canyon in Calistoga. To view all of my listings visit

CALISTOGA CA: A one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a *cult-quality* vineyard estate (Cabernet grapes from the neighbor's vineyard went into a 100-point wine). Crop Care estimates up to 12.89 net vine acres plantable; property's watershed qualifies for a CEQA exemption for a vineyard up to 5.5 acres; circa-1933 pond available for a water source. Beyond the grapes, the site is simply magical with huge valley floor views. One of the most beautiful ever seen.

Lot Size (approx): 60.0 acres
Square Feet (approx): 2,880
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2 (2 0)

Offered for Sale at $4,500,000

Visit to view photos and learm more.


Country property is a specialty of mine. Below are just a few of the country property searches I am currently conducting for my buyers. If your property might fit any of the above criteria, please contact Rob at (707) 299-9191 or

Napa or Yountville
Any size house
Any condition
Prefer vines on property or at least vineyard views
Up to $3,000,000

Commercial or income producing properties
Any size
Any condition
Up to $2.0 million

Napa County All
Vineyard Land
Raw Land or House OK
Total parcel size at least 10 acres
Up to $7 million

Napa Valley All
Must have existing winery permit
Does not need brand or inventory
No price limitation


Bottlerock announces 2018 daily lineup
Read Napa Valley Register Article

City Planners narrowly reject Napa Oaks II homes
Read Napa Valley Register Article

Yountville: French inspiration at Hurley's
Read Napa Valley Register Article

St. Helena: Bookmark raises $40,000 for St. Helena library
Read St. Helena Star Article

Calistoga: Things to do in Calistoga
Read The Weekly Calistogan Article


The best compliment I can receive is your referral of your family and friends.


Robert Pursell, MBA
(t) 707.299.9191