DataQuick: Regional home sales dip, Sacramento County median sales price stays flat

Scant inventory in the Sacramento region contributed to a drop in home sales in November, according to a monthly report released Tuesday by DataQuick, the San Diego-based real estate information service.

Continuing an end-of-year pattern, home sales in the Sacramento region were flat or falling in November, and the median home price in Sacramento County was pretty much stuck in place.

According to DataQuick, foreclosure resales and short sales in Sacramento County are quite low, which in turn translates to low inventory.

“The main thing has to be inventory constraints, just not enough homes on the market to meet demand,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage. “I can’t point to anything that’s happened to the economy that explains why sales are down this much from a year ago.”

Resales of single-family detached homes declined year-over-year in Sacramento County and all seven other counties in the region.

There were 1,602 homes and condos sold last month in Sacramento County, a 15.3 percent decline from October and 19.3 percent less than the 1,986 sold in November last year.

LePage said the Sacramento County total represents a six-year low for the month of November. He also said the county’s total home sales for November were nearly 19 percent off that month’s average dating back to 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics began. LePage said that dramatic decline surpassed historical trends, including a usually subdued late-fall home-buying season.

“Sure, seasonality figures in,” he said. “People aren’t looking to buy as much in the fall and winter … And yes, I think it’s possible there could be a pause in the market as people adjust expectations, especially first-time buyers.”

LePage added: “It is just one month. Sometimes, it takes three to six months to see a trend. We should know a lot more in March and April.”

DataQuick said Sacramento County’s November median sales price among all homes was $239,250, little changed from $240,000 in October but nearly 30 percent above $185,000 reported in November 2012.

In the Bay Area, sales likewise dipped in November, which DataQuick again said was a byproduct of limited supply and market uncertainty amid mixed economic news.

A total of 6,659 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area in November. That was down 12.3 percent from 7,595 in October and down 10.9 percent from 7,474 in November last year. Last month’s sales tally was 15.1 percent below the November average of 7,840 dating back to 1988.

Prices continued to climb. The median price paid for a home in the Bay Area last month was $550,000. That was 1.9 percent higher than $539,750 in October and 25.6 percent above $438,000 in November 2012.