Huge cash on the lower half of the Sacramento market

Let’s look at where the Sacramento market has been in 2013 under $200,000. Some would call this the bottom of the market, which is true since the median sales price in Sacramento County has been hovering right at $200,000 lately. The “median” is basically the number in the middle of all data, which means half the sales in the county are above $200,000 and half are below.

Let’s look at the market today – the entire bottom half.

Sacramento real estate stats - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Take the March stats with a grain of salt because March is barely half way over, but let’s focus on the numbers for all of 2013 so far. It’s amazing to see that 49.79% of all single family detached sales under $200,000 in Sacramento County have been cash purchases. Even more striking is when we include condos and halfplexes in this figure, the number jumps to 52.5%. How high will it go?

What are you seeing out in the market right now? Any insight?

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  1. ricardo says


    Fascinating figures – and not good for either owners who want to build their neighborhood or renters.

    As an aside, like you, I bike for exercise, and in this I have met couples who have had their homes foreclosed and now live in tents along the parkway. Some of us have been asking our elected officials to support a refuge where our fellow citizens without roofs can camp in a safe, stable, clean environment. Sure would be cool if some real estate professionals would also support this.
    But I’m dreaming, right?


    P.S. Congrats on your wife’s new book! Books for young readers are important because they lead to everything else. Maybe a few copies for the Mustard Seed School?

    • says

      Thanks Richardo. It’s definitely not easy for first-time buyers. I don’t think it’s positive to increase rental rates either in neighborhoods that are really starving for stability. Hopefully the new landlords in the region will really care for their properties. As an aside, I had lunch yesterday with a local multi-unit investor, and it was amazing to hear what he is doing with his rentals to help improve the community. I’ll hopefully have some posts coming soon on that.

      It’s sad to see people displaced. Are your friends on the river working? It’s not easy out there. I think the real estate community by in large tends to advocate for safe and legal housing, so I doubt you’ll see a “tent city” concept embraced.

      Does the Mustard Seed school have a library? Thanks for the congrats.

      • ricardo says

        Hey Ryan:

        I am no expert on displaced folk, but yes, the ones I know have jobs or regular routes where they collect and recycle cans and bottles. The ones who still have cars to sleep in have jobs in fast food. They have PO boxes where they can get checks from the VA, Social Security, and the like.

        I think a group called Sacramentosafeground is trying to build cabins for homeless folk to be able to transition to a better life. Opposition hasn’t come from the real estate commuity but from potential neighbors, including homeowners in low income areas — nimbyism.

        Mustard Seed School is for homeless kids, and is part of the Loaves and Fishes site at 1321 N C St.
        Roger Dickensen and another Assemblyperson recently collected and dropped off books there. A reading by a real, live author ( hint hint) would be inspirational, I think.

        all the best,


        • says

          Transitional facilities are very much needed. I’ll have to look up more on the organization you mentioned. NIMBY is always a factor. “It’s a good idea, but not here.” By the way, I lead an organization called Project 680 to support homeless students in the FCUSD. You can check it out at if it’s relevant.

          Mustard Seed is a fantastic school. Maybe my wife could go out there sometime to interact with the kids. I know she spent all day today volunteering at a school.

          Thanks again.

    • says

      James, it’s definitely propping up the prices and creating more competition among buyers to get into contract (which is causing higher offers or creative offers that remove appraisal contingencies or offer cash…). Moreover, since foreclosure inventory saw a 20% decline in 2012, there are naturally less sales at the bottom. Quite a number of the sales at the lower end will thankfully be re-listed as flips.

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