Real Estate News

Sacramento's housing market is 'healthier' this year than last, finance company says

Sacramento now has the third-healthiest housing market among major cities in California, according to a new study by a personal finance company.

Creating a “Healthiest Markets Index,” finance and real estate analysis website SmartAsset ranked Sacramento (77.4 on the index) behind only San Jose (88.6) and Fremont (94.8) for California on its 2018 list.

The five main categories factoring into the market index are: average years living in one home, average proportion of homes with negative equity, percentage of homes decreasing in value, average number of days on the market, and home costs as a percentage of income.

Of note, SmartAsset found that Sacramentans spend an average of 12.4 years living in a home, just shy of 6 percent of our homes are decreasing in value and our homes cost about 22.7 percent of our income. On average, a house for sale in Sacramento stays on the market 28 days.

However, Sacramento did not crack the top 10 for SmartAsset’s related “Stability Index.” That rating takes into account time spent living in each home, as well as homes with negative equity. San Jose sits atop that list.

Remarkably, homes in San Jose spend an average of less than five days on the market, SmartAsset says, with only 3 percent of homes in negative equity. Additionally, less than 1 percent of homes there are decreasing in value.

On last year’s list for healthiest markets, Sacramento ranked No. 6. The biggest changes since 2017? SmartAsset found that homes in the capital city cost about 1 percent less in terms of income, and that they spend about four fewer days on the market, down from 32.

The nationwide list for 2018 considered 70 cities, all with populations of 200,000 or more. Sacramento fared better than average nationally, No. 19 on that list.

The study used 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data and recent numbers from real estate website Zillow to measure the health of housing markets.

Oakland and Stockton trail Sacramento on this year’s California list at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, with slightly lower index scores.

The healthiest market in the U.S. is in New York, where Buffalo scored a benchmark 100.0 on SmartAsset’s latest index.