Sacramento County foreclosure sales have fallen almost 90 percent from their peak four years ago.
Last month, about 150 foreclosed homes sold in Sacramento County, accounting for 10 percent of home sales in the area, according to the Sacramento Association of Realtors. By comparison, in March 2009, about 1,200 foreclosed homes sold, accounting for 70 percent of sales.
The lack of foreclosed homes is a key reason why local home prices are rising so quickly. Foreclosed homes depressed prices for years as they caused a housing supply glut that proved too much for tepid demand.
Some of the downward trend in foreclosure sales is due to investors buying homes at auction. But foreclosure filings have also plummeted, and just 250 homes were repossessed by banks or sold at auction last month, down more than 50 percent from March 2012, according to tracking firm ForeclosureRadar.
Short sales have held roughly steady over the last few years, hovering around 25 percent of sales in the market. But with the drop in foreclosures, almost two-thirds of homes sold on the open market last month were "traditional" sales.