Seeing real estate trends in Sacramento (you pick the neighborhood)

Let’s look at some specific neighborhoods today in Sacramento. How is the real estate market evolving in each of these areas? In this post I plan to include 10 graphs, but the fun part is YOU CHOOSE which ones I make.

HOW IT WORKS: Email me a request to graph a specific neighborhood or area. I’ll then make a graph like the ones below and post it here over the next few days. Keep checking back. You can use the graph as personal research, for a listing presentation or post online as you see fit. I’ll need three things:

  1. Name: Location or name of neighborhood (in Sacramento, Placer or Yolo).
  2. Time: How many years of sales do you want on the graph (1 to 5 years)?
  3. Other: Do you want to see all sales? Or would you like to refine data to see a certain square footage range, bedroom count, etc…?

Send me a quick email? Seriously.

NOTE: I have all graphs in larger sizes if you need them. Just email me.

1) Antelope: Here all all sales over the past 5 years in Antelope per request of Scott. Isn’t it interesting to see how the market has moved? Bottomed out in early 2012, massive appreciation and then leveling off.

All Antelope Sales - 530

2) Days on Market for Antelope Sales: How long have sales in Antelope spent on the market? Here are all sales. A chart of average number of days on market each month or quarter would be great, but maybe in a different post.

days on market for all sales in Antelope in MLS - 530

3) Midtown/Downtown: Per request in a comment below, here are all sales in Midtown/Downtown from 0-2 bedrooms and under 1000 sq ft. This graph only includes single family sales – NOT condos. What do you see?

Midtown Downtown Sales in Sacramento - SFR Detached Only - NOT Condos

4) Elk Grove: Per request of Bruce, here are all sales between Bruceville, Franklin, Bilby and Elk Grove Blvd. This is the 95757 zip code. Any thoughts?

Elk Grove Market Trends - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog - 530

5) Arden Manor: Per request of Cass, here are all 3-Bed / 1-Bath sales in Arden Manor (located off Watt Avenue in Sacramento in case you are not familiar).

Arden Manor Sales - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog - 530

6) Carmichael: Per request of Susan, here are all 3-4 bedroom sales in Carmichael over the past five years. I took the liberty to include only sales under $1,000,000 because there were only a handful above that level (and including them made the graph less legible). It would be interesting to see a precise square footage range in Carmichael as a follow-up to this graph.

carmichael sales 3-4 bedrooms - 530

7) Natomas: Here are all sales in the 95835 zip code for houses at 3200 sq ft or larger (hope you like this one John).

Natomas 95835 Sales - 3200 sq ft and larger - 530

8) Elk Grove: This is a graph of all sales in Elk Grove under $400,000 with 3-4 bedrooms, 1500-3000 sq ft of living area and properties built between 1997 to 2007. Hope you like it Gary.

Elk Grove Market Data - 530

9) Condos in City of Sacramento: This pie graph helps shows all condo sales in the City of Sacramento from 2010 to 2014 – and it really says something about the market, doesn’t it? Being that many condo complexes have too many rentals, pending litigation or some other issue that is a turn-off for financing, there has been a very high percentage of cash purchases. Note this is the City of Sacramento and NOT the entire county. Hope you enjoy this one Barbara.

condo sales in city of sacramento

10) Laguna West in Elk Grove: Here are all sales with a gross living area between 2400-3000 and with no pool in the Laguna West neighborhood over the past three years. Hope you like this one Doug.

Laguna West Sales - 2400-3000 GLA - no pool - 530

Examples for Blog Post:

1479 model in Mather

Mather: This graphs shows all 1479 model sales in Mather over the past five years. I appraised a model recently that was priced beyond the highest recent sale. It was out of sync with the market.

Gold River Station Sales

Gold River Station: It’s easy to confuse Gold River Station with Gold River, but they are two different areas. Gold River Station is located just north of Highway 50 and immediately south of the Gold River HOA. Gold River Station is not a part of Gold River, which is important to consider when choosing comparable sales.

Any thoughts, insight or questions?

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The myth of the one-mile radius in appraisals

It’s often believed that appraisers need to use comparable sales only within a one-mile radius. But that’s not really accurate or a good methodology for valuing a property either. Appraisers should really use competitive sales located in the neighborhood or a similar neighborhood – regardless of whether they are located within one mile or not. Besides, has there ever been a neighborhood in the shape of a one-mile radius anyway? That would be interesting.

The Danger of a One-Mile Radius: Take the following image for example in the northern portion of Oak Park in the Sacramento area. If I were to search for comparable sales within a one-mile radius of the red dot below, a return of sales from all sorts of neighborhoods would come back. Portions of Med Center, Elmhurst, Curtis Park, West Tahoe Park, Midtown and East Sacramento really don’t compare well with the location of the house (red dot) despite being within one mile. This example shows very clearly how inaccurate it can be to simply use a radius to measure a real estate market.

One Mile Radius for Comps - Sacramento Appraiser

Lender’s One-Mile Guideline: It’s true that most lenders have guidelines wanting appraisers to stay within a one-mile radius, but there is actually no official “one-mile rule” from Fannie Mae that appraisers have to follow. Of course, in a tract neighborhood with ample sales, there probably isn’t a good reason to use comps outside of one mile anyway, so that’s why lenders issue their own guidelines to say appraisers need to stay within one mile. But the appraiser can definitely travel outside of one mile if need be. Check out the video below (or here) on Fannie Mae’s guidelines for distance in appraisal reports:

Which comps should the appraiser use? Ultimately appraisers should utilize sales in competitive neighborhoods – whether those are inside or outside of a one-mile radius. Where would a typical buyer consider making a purchase instead of the subject property? That’s a critical question to ask when defining the boundaries of a neighborhood. In the case above, it would be highly important to stay as close as possible to the red dot in the photo, and not cross the freeway either because a typical buyer looking in Oak Park would not simultaneously be looking in Curtis Park, Elmhurst or other portions of Tahoe Park due to price differences. By the way, New York appraiser Jonathan Miller has an outstanding post entitled “What is a Comp?”

Why does this matter?

  1. Appraisers: Appraisers need to select the best comps in their reports.
  2. Not Bound: It’s important for everyone to know that unique properties, major fixers, historic homes, rural homes and oddballs are not bound by a one-mile radius.
  3. Resale Value: Sellers and investors need to understand the neighborhood and how appraisers are going to view the subject neighborhood too in order to gauge resale value. Be careful not to base your price on a superior tract nearby outside of your neighborhood boundaries. Check out a post on the importance of knowing your neighborhood boundaries.
  4. Giving Comps to Appraisers: When agents give “comps” to appraisers while at an inspection, it’s best to give properties that are actually located in the same neighborhood or at least deemed competitive in a similar neighborhood (as opposed to nearby sales that meet a certain price level). Moreover, the “comp” should really be similar enough that the buyer would have theoretically considered it as a replacement instead of the subject property. I had an agent give me “comps” recently and one sale was located 7 miles away from the subject property. While the subject property is a bit on the unique side in a standard subdivision, the sale 7 miles away was in a totally different and superior market – and therefore not similar at all.
  5. Zillow and Online Sites: Zillow has value for what it is, but doesn’t always understand the importance of tight neighborhood boundaries. See a previous post on Zillow and comparison to actual appraisals.

Any thoughts?

If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.