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Home prices still climbing, but at slower pace

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014 - 6:24 pm

Home prices are still climbing in the Sacramento area, but at a much more moderate pace than a year ago, DataQuick reported Wednesday.

The market research firm said the median sale price of all homes came to $260,000 last month in Sacramento County. That was down slightly from May, but up 13 percent from a year earlier.

Median sale prices in Placer County reached $385,000 last month, the highest in the eight-county region covered by DataQuick. That represented a 6.5 percent increase from a year ago.

DataQuick said the results are in line with the general slowdown in price appreciation elsewhere in California. “Sacramento is more or less mirroring the state in terms of price appreciation throttling back,” said analyst Andrew LePage.

The actual volume of sales was down significantly throughout the region, with activity dropping 10.3 percent in Sacramento County in June compared to a year earlier.

The latest statistics suggest the market is continuing to recover from the 2008 crash but isn’t roaring like it was in 2013, LePage said.

For example, he said the 13 percent growth in Sacramento sale prices is one-third the pace of a year ago, when prices jumped 39 percent.

One reason for the slowdown in price appreciation: Investors are retreating from the market. In June, 25 percent of all purchases were made by investors. A year ago, it was 34 percent. The 14-year average is 22 percent.

“We have fewer investors and cash buyers out in the market,” LePage said.

In addition, job and income growth remains relatively sluggish, putting a damper on pricing, he said.

As for the decline in sales volume, LePage cited a relative scarcity of available homes for sale. That shortage is a reflection of the incomplete recovery in the housing market. Many homeowners either are still “underwater” or have only a small amount of equity in their properties, which means they don’t have the ability to make a down payment on another house. If they can’t move into another house, they can’t sell their current house.

Also, new-home construction remains relatively slow, which puts another constraint on inventory, he said.

Only 121 new homes were sold last month in Sacramento County, down 21 percent from a year earlier. The average for June, dating back to 1988, is 457.


Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

Read more articles by Dale Kasler





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