Real Estate News

Sacramento housing market continues to cool off

Sacramento’s housing market continued to cool off in August, with fewer properties changing hands and prices holding steady from the month before.

The number of homes sold in Sacramento County last month dropped almost 18 percent from the year before, according to figures released Thursday by real estate information service CoreLogic DataQuick. The median sale price was $260,000, the same as in July but nearly 10 percent higher than a year ago.

Those figures cover resale, detached homes, which represent the biggest chunk of the overall market.

“Like a lot of the state, the price appreciation has ratcheted down,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage.

The numbers suggest the housing market is continuing to recover from the crash, but not nearly as swiftly as before. In 2013, home prices were shooting up in excess of 30 percent a year in Sacramento County.

At $260,000, sale prices for Sacramento County are still well short of the peak of $374,000, recorded in August 2005. But they’re well above the post-crash low of $155,000, recorded several times but most recently in February 2012.

In Placer County, the second-largest market in the region, sales volume in August was essentially flat from a year ago. Median prices rose 8.3 percent in a year, to $388,750.

LePage said the slowdown follows a couple of very strong years in which “pent-up demand” and an influx of housing investors sent prices soaring. Now the investors have retreated somewhat, and housing activity reflects the moderate economic growth climate.

“We have wage growth, but it’s not stellar,” LePage said. “We have job growth, but it’s not stellar.”

Similar scenarios are playing out across the state. Statewide sales, both new and resale, fell 6 percent compared to July and dropped 12 percent from a year ago, according to DataQuick. Sale prices rose 8.9 percent from the year before, to a median of $393,000.

In the Bay Area, August home sales fell 11 percent compared to July and 12 percent from the year before. The median price of $617,000 was up 12.4 percent from a year ago but down 1.6 percent from July.

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