Single-family detached home sales in region down from August

Historically speaking, home sales volume in the Sacramento region drops off from August to September.

This year, however, the seasonal dip was particularly steep, a byproduct of fewer investor buyers, rising prices and other factors.

Resales of single-family detached homes declined from August to September in Sacramento County and seven other counties in the region, according to statistics released Thursday by San Diego-based real estate information service DataQuick.

In Sacramento County, 1,574 such homes sold last month, down from 1,831 in August and 1,611 in September a year ago.

Among all homes, including condos and new homes, there were 1,870 sales last month in Sacramento County, a 14 percent plunge from 2,176 in August. DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said that was a sharp departure from the historical August-to-September average decline of 5.2 percent, dating back to 1988.

“That was pretty much the way it played out statewide,” LePage said. “Layered on top of the normal seasonal slowdown, you had the impact of higher rates and fewer investors out there ... and steep price appreciation. There might be a pause while people adjust to significantly higher prices.”

LePage noted that distressed home sales have become a significantly smaller part of the regional real estate market.

The month-to-month dip was evident elsewhere: Placer County’s September resales of detached, single-family homes totaled 549, down from 594 in August. El Dorado County sales totaled 247 last month, down from 313 in August. In Yolo County, September sales of 146 were down from 186 in August.

Median sales prices in September continued to run way ahead of year-ago totals – Sacramento County’s median for detached, single-family homes, for example, was $240,000, compared with $171,000 in September 2012 – but this year’s August-to-September numbers in the region were a mixed bag.

DataQuick said Sacramento County’s September median of $240,000 was only slightly above the August median of $239,000. Placer County saw a median sales price of $365,000 last month, up from $359,000 in August.

In Yolo County, the September median price of $310,000 exactly matched the August median. And in El Dorado County, the September median of $330,000 was down from $342,000 in August.

In the Bay Area, DataQuick said home sales likewise dropped more than usual in September compared with August but climbed slightly above the year-ago level thanks to more robust sales above $500,000 this year. DataQuick said 7,141 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month, down 17.1 percent from 8,616 in August and up 3.6 percent from 6,890 in September last year.

On average, sales in the Bay Area have declined 11.4 percent between August and September since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.