Flippers and move-up buyers are out in force, and foreclosures are shrinking to an increasingly minor part of Sacramento's housing market, DataQuick said Thursday.
The May housing report from the real estate tracking firm said the median price of a resale house in Sacramento County rose a stunning 42 percent over the past year.
The median is the point at which half of homes sell for more and half sell for less. In Sacramento, the median's striking gain in recent months reflects both price appreciation, driven by limited supply and strong demand, and a change in the mix of homes sold.
"There are far fewer foreclosures than a year ago and far more houses selling in the first-time move-up category," said Andrew LePage, analyst for the San Diego-based real estate information service.
Foreclosures shrank from 39 percent of the county's housing market in May 2012 to 12.5 percent last month, he said. Meanwhile, sales of homes priced over $300,000 more than doubled from May to May, he said.
It's a story playing out across the region. In El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties, foreclosures fell below 10 percent while sales above $300,000 rose sharply. The counties also experienced steep increases in median homes prices.
Another factor contributing to the rise in the median, LePage said, was the number of houses being fixed up and resold by house flippers. Those homes can often fetch higher prices than unrenovated homes, he noted.
The big gains in home values in the past year occurred because the market was "bouncing off bottom" and are unlikely to continue for another year, LePage said.
"This could be kind of a one-time wonder in terms of how fast and how far it went up," he said.
Call The Bee's Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.