Bright Spots in Sacramento Real Estate Market

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A look at the February numbers for the four county  Sacramento   area  real estate market is encouraging but I have reservations about being overly optimistic. The  Sacramento  Bee article, “Home Prices Rise in County”, points out, “After five straight months of falling sales prices for  Sacramento  County homes, values edged up slightly in February, signaling a potential rebound for the regions most populated county.”

DataQuick, the research firm that follows and reports the real estate numbers, indicated all four counties,  Sacramento , Placer, El Dorado and Yolo, all saw increases in the median price for sold homes during February.

The sales volume was also up slightly from January to 1,743 homes sold in the  area . Although this number is up from January it remains 26% lower than February 2005.

Inventory of homes on the market continued to grow. At the end of January there were 9,267 homes on the market. The number available in February increased to 9,870. A year ago there were only 3,554 homes to choose from. The average number of days on the market for homes sold in February was 58 days compared to last year when it took an average of 37 days to sell.

In some of the  local  areas, where I have been working recently, the median price increases from last year were almost all positive. El Dorado Hills median price in February increased to $606,500, up 9.3% from last year but down from January. In Rocklin, zip codes 95677 and 95765 we saw price appreciation of 34.4% and 7.9% respectively from last year and both areas were up from last month in terms of price and volume. The three zip codes in Roseville. 95661, 95678, and 95747 all had increases in the median price fro last year and from January. Sales volume was down double digits from 2005 and flat compared to January numbers. Granite Bay, zip code 95748, reported 11 sales, down from last year and January. The median price paid in February for a Granite Bay home was $730,000, down 3.2% from a year ago but up $20,000 from last month. For more detail, take a look at the chart by Zip Code produced monthly by the  Sacramento  Bee.

The January numbers were “to early to tell” how the 2006 real estate market in  Sacramento  would shape up and now we have February reports which are a bit more positive than we have seen for the past few months but still don’t paint a very clear picture of what is going to happen this year. If it were just the numbers, I would say some of the  local  pundits are correct in predicting a “return to normal” after the last five years of double digit increases and bidding wars on anything with a for sale sign in the front yard.

Based on my personal business and talking with collogues the past few weeks, the steam we started to feel building in mid January and early February has been dampened by the last three weeks of winter weather. The rain and cold seems to be keeping buyers inside or at least not driving from the bay  area . Right now, I am not feeling as bold as I was last month when I made three positive predictions. Even though I was right about modest growth in the median price and increased sales volume, I was wrong in predicting a slight decrease in the inventory of homes for sale. With the prediction for more rain, I don’t think we are going to see February as the start of a new positive trend for the year. I will predict, when the rain ends and warmer weather gets here, there should be a nice surge in activity as the buyers start getting out and looking again.

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Source by Julie Jalone

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