Down Year For Sacramento Real Estate

By: Julie Jalone

The past year, 2006, marked the lowest volume of annual sales since 1999 with less than 47,000 new and existing houses and condominiums sold in the four county Sacramento area according to DataQuick. As reported in a Sacramento Bee story, "'06 housing stats tell a scary tale," the inventory of available homes has dropped from August 2006 highs but still ended up with just about 11,000 homes on the market in the four county area.

The slowdown or market adjustment in the Sacramento real estate market during the year also brought lower prices and an end to the red hot market that we experienced during the three previous years. Median sales prices were down 7 percent in Sacramento County, 16.9 percent in Placer County and there was a 14.1 percent decline in Yolo County. According to the Bee article some of the price decline can be attributed to new home builders slashing prices to clear inventory.

According to Michael Lyon the president of Trendgraphix, the statistics arm of Lyon Real Estate, "2006 was a great year for buyers and, at the same time, a reality-check for sellers. Overall, prices dropped a minimum of 10% last year and days on the market for homes that have sold now averages above 70 days," As part of the latest Trendgraphix press release he went on to say, "Sellers on average have to discount 4% below the last sold to make a sale.

Trendgraphix reported sales volume was down 2 percent in December for Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties and 25 percent lower than December 2005. In addition the number of pending sales decreased 6 percent in December compared to November. December inventory is reported to be 10,317 for the three counties, up 28 percent from last year but still down from the July 2006 high of 14,547. Trendgraphix reports the average price per square foot of homes sold in the three counties was $225, a 9 percent drop from last December.

In Sacramento County December sales decreased 4 percent from November and inventory decreased by 13 percent. Pending sales decreased by 4 percent from 942 pending sales in November to 907 pending sales in December. The average price paid per square foot in Sacramento decreased by 1 percent during the month of December to $224.

Placer County decreases in December from November were 5 percent in sales and 14 percent in inventory. Pending sales also dropped 5 percent. The average price paid per square foot in Placer County decreased by 3 percent during the month to $223.

In El Dorado County sales were off 21 percent, inventory declined by 14 percent and pending sales were down 17 percent. The average price per square foot remained the same during the month of December to $231.

Overall the Sacramento real estate market in 2006 will be remembered. Some will call it the crash of '06 or the year the bubble burst and others will remember it as the year of the slowdown or market adjustment. What you call it and how you feel about it really depends on how it impacted you.

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