Real Estate

New home sales in Sacramento region highest since 2008

Luis Armando Garcia of Sacramento works at a construction site in Elk Grove in February. Garcia said construction work has been keeping him busier this year.
Luis Armando Garcia of Sacramento works at a construction site in Elk Grove in February. Garcia said construction work has been keeping him busier this year. hamezcua@sacbee.com

New home sales in the Sacramento region jumped in February to their highest level in seven years, offering new evidence that the real estate market locally is moving past its recession blues and prompting builders to say they expect solid spring and summer sales. Placer County home sales led the way.

In total, 330 new homes sold in February, according the North State Building Industry Association, making it the top-selling month since June 2008, when 353 homes sold at the tail end of Sacramento’s building and sales boom years from 2000 to 2008.

The February figure tops January’s total of 256, and beats the top-selling month in 2014, March, when 275 homes sold.

Building industry officials say the numbers suggest 2015 may be the strongest new home construction and sales year since the recession hit. BIA data also show that more people in the region visited new home models in February than had done so in that month since 2008.

“Historically, the winter months tend to signal a slowdown in the housing market, but we’re certainly bucking that trend in the first couple months of this year,” Barry Grant, division president with Meritage Homes and current local BIA chair, said in a press statement. “We’re still very much in a recovery state of mind, but the sales numbers we’re recording are significant, and so far they don’t show any signs of letting up.”

Placer County registered the most sales, with 145. South Sacramento and Elk Grove followed with 60 sales total.

Nearly half of the new homes sold in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, the BIA reported.

The Sacramento and Central Valley housing markets have been slower than coastal California in recovering from the real estate crash.

Builders are pleased but want to see what the coming months will show, said Grant. “Before we can definitively say we’re on to a larger positive trend, we need to see several more months of sustained growth.”

Call The Bee’s Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059.

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