Home prices in Sacramento have reached levels not seen since the recession gripped the market in the last decade and drove down home values, DataQuick reported Wednesday.
Sacramento Countys median price for single-family detached resale homes hit $250,000 in April, up $5,000 from March. Thats the highest its been since early 2008, when the recession took hold, the San Diego-based real estate information firm reported.
The quick jump in the median comes after months when it hovered between $230,000 and $245,000. A limited inventory of homes for sale and greater activity in the spring buying season helped account for the change, DataQuick said.
The Bay Area and Southern California saw similar trends.
The one thing the whole state has in common is the inventorys still pretty tight and theres significant demand out there, said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage.
Despite the rising median, year-over-year price gains have been moderating lately, LePage said. Sacramento Countys 19 percent increase in the median home price from April 2013 to April 2014 was the lowest year-to-year gain in the past 16 months, he said.
It wasnt long ago we were talking about 30 to 40 percent gains, he said.
Many investors have left the market, reducing upward pressure on prices. Interest rates have risen. And affordability is also becoming a factor limiting sale prices, he said.
April also saw a significant increase in the number of homes sold, according to DataQuick.
The figure bumped up by an unusual amount compared with March, LePage said. There were 1,919 resale houses, condos and new homes sold last month in Sacramento County up nearly 15 percent from the month before. Typically there is little change in the number of sales in the Sacramento market from March to April, he said.
Is that a big deal? LePage said. Its too soon to know. But it could be a sign that inventory has come up meaningfully, and the demand is there to push sales up.
TrendGraphix, an affiliate of Lyon Real Estate, said Wednesday that there were 4,762 homes for sale in April in the four-county Sacramento region, which includes Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties. Thats 40 percent higher than two years ago, the firm said.
But demand from would-be homeowners has nearly matched the increase. The four-county area saw its fourth straight month of rising home sales and finished April with 2,828, the highest figure for any month since May 2012, TrendGraphix said.
Because of the rapid rate of sales, the area had only about 1.7 months of inventory, meaning it would take that long to sell all the homes on the market. Anything less than three months worth of inventory is generally considered a strong sellers market.
Pat Shea, president of Lyon Real Estate, said one factor limiting the number of homes listed is the historically low mortgage rates that homeowners refinanced to in recent years. Even if they want to move, people may be hesitant to give up those ultra-low rates.
People may not love their homes, but they do love their mortgages, Shea said.
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