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Resurging Sacramento County housing market rang up best sales year since 2009

Look inside McKinley Village

The new urban village under construction along the Business 80 freeway in East Sacramento opened to the public in September.
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The new urban village under construction along the Business 80 freeway in East Sacramento opened to the public in September.

Sacramento County’s resurgent housing market closed out 2016 with solid December numbers and had its best 12 months of overall sales since the Great Recession year of 2009.

Among countywide sales of all dwellings – including new and resale houses and condominiums – the 2016 total of 25,300 closed escrows was the highest in seven years, according to Wednesday’s report by Irvine-based real estate market tracker CoreLogic.

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage noted that a large number of Sacramento County’s 25,377 home sales in 2009 were distressed properties, a byproduct of a statewide meltdown in residential real estate markets.

In the four-county Sacramento region – which also takes in Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties – CoreLogic said the 2016 total of 41,653 home sales was the best performance since 2005.

Real estate brokerages serving the region say limited inventory of available homes pushed sales prices upward in 2016, while consumer demand remained relatively high throughout the year. Those factors, along with the relative affordability of Sacramento-area homes compared with the pricey abodes in the Bay Area, have prompted some real estate watchers, including Realtor.com, to project the greater Sacramento area as one of the nation’s hottest markets in 2017.

LePage was not on that bandwagon, but added: “It was one of the stronger (California) metro areas in 2016 by several measures.”

Resales of single-family homes in the county totaled 1,698 in December, up slightly from 1,675 in November and down 4.4 percent from 1,777 in December 2015.

Map of Sacramento region December 2016 home price sale trends by ZIP code 

LePage said December 2015 sales were artificially high, the result of new federal mortgage rules that caused delays for many transactions that normally would have closed the prior month. December 2015 also had one more business day for recording deals than December 2016.

The median sales price among December’s resale transactions in Sacramento County was $300,000, a 2.5 percent dip from $307,750 in November but a gain of 7.1 percent from $280,000 in December 2015.

Sacramento County resale home prices, however, remain well short of the record median of $374,000 from August 2005.

There were 253 new-home sales in Sacramento County in December, up nearly 40 percent from 182 in November and nearly matching 257 in December 2015. The median sales price among Sacramento County new-home sales in December was $302,000, up 4.1 percent from $290,000 in December 2015.

Along R Street between 16th and 18th streets, a village of offices, shops and apartments called Ice Blocks is rising fast on the site of the former Crystal Ice plant, which burned to the ground in November 2015.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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