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Home-sales heat cranked up in July

Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 - 9:20 am

As prices continued to soar, more homes were sold across the four-county Sacramento region in July than in any month in the past seven years, DataQuick reported Thursday.

Buyers purchased 3,932 homes in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties last month. It was the highest sales figure since March 2006, during the waning days of the housing boom, the San Diego-based real estate information service said.

DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said a long-awaited "supply response" is finally happening, with more Sacramento-area homeowners willing or able to list their homes for sale as buyer demand drives up prices.

"A supply response was guaranteed if prices continued to rise," LePage said. "There are more people whose homes are worth more than they owe and and more people content with what their homes will fetch."

The record-low supply of homes for sale in recent months has been a major factor in median home values that have risen by double digits across the region. Buyers, competing for a limited number of houses and trying to take advantage of historically low interest rates, pushed prices up.

Those gains continued in July, when Sacramento County posted a 40 percent jump in the median price of detached resale homes compared with July 2012, DataQuick reported. The three other counties in the region also experienced year-over-year increases that ranged from about 23 percent to 30 percent.

As a result, LePage said, more people are selling houses, pumping up sales volume to levels not seen since last decade's boom. The same story is also playing out in Southern California and the Bay Area, he said.

"However modest it might be in historical terms," he said, "it's enough to create the highest sales figures statewide of any month since August 2006 and any July since July 2005."

El Dorado County saw a roughly 42 percent increase in the number of all homes sold last month compared with July 2012. Placer County had about a 28 percent increase, and Yolo County experienced more than a 21 percent gain.

In contrast, sales of homes in Sacramento County rose by only 12 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. That was because there were so many foreclosed homes selling at the same time last year in the county compared with suburban areas, LePage said.

"It's tougher to post a big increase in more affordable counties where you had lots of distressed properties selling last year," he said.

Call The Bee's Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

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