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Home sales cool in December. Prices? Not so much

Take a look at the planned housing project at the railyard

The first images have emerged of a six-story apartment building planned for Sacramento’s downtown railyard, likely the first major housing project to be built in the massive oasis. The project would be built close to the site of a planned 20,000-s
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The first images have emerged of a six-story apartment building planned for Sacramento’s downtown railyard, likely the first major housing project to be built in the massive oasis. The project would be built close to the site of a planned 20,000-s

Sacramento County’s real estate sales market cooled off in December, but home prices continued to push upward, according to data released Wednesday by Irvine-based real estate tracker CoreLogic.

December resales of existing homes in Sacramento County totaled 1,564, a tiny decline from 1,569 in November, but a nearly 8 percent drop from 1,698 in December 2016.

Countywide sales of all homes totaled 2,021, up a bit from 1,988 in November but down 5.6 percent from 2,141 at the close of 2016.

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said “it was the lowest total (December) sales tally in Sacramento County in three years, since 1,783 homes sold in December 2014.”

Sacramento County experienced a 32 percent increase in new home sales in November compared with the same month the year before. Historically, it’s not unusual for sales activity to slow down during the holiday season.

For all of 2017, LePage said total home sales in Sacramento County were “basically flat”: 25,235 last year, down 0.3 percent from 25,300 in 2016.

The countywide median sales price of existing homes in December was $331,000, up from $329,000 in November and a 10.5 percent spike from $299,000 the previous year.

CoreLogic said the median price among countywide sales of all dwellings – including new and resale houses and condominiums – in December was $340,000, up from $335,000 in November and a surge of 12.6 percent from $302,000 in December 2016. LePage said the year-over-year median price increase “was the highest for any month in two years, since the median rose 13.7 percent year over year in December 2015.”

December’s $340,000 countywide median tied October as the second-highest of 2017, surpassed by $343,500 in July. For perspective, the all-time high median for overall sales in Sacramento County is $387,000 set in August 2005.

LePage noted that the median sales price for all homes sold in Placer County in December, $470,000, matched the pre-recession high set in July 2006.

In the nine-county Bay Area, 6,825 new and resale houses and condominiums sold in December, down nearly 6 percent from 7,250 in November and a decline of about 4 percent from 7,104 in December 2016. The median sales price for all homes sold in the Bay Area in December was $750,000, down 4.5 percent from a record high of $785,000 in November 2017.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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