The stats show the market is slowing (and we’re not surprised)

Shocking titles tend to get clicked more on Facebook. So if I wanted more clicks, I probably could have gone with a sensational title like, “The market is taking a turn downward”. Or maybe I could have said, “Big changes you MUST know about in Sacramento real estate.” After all, the stats are showing values are softening, so hyping up this point could certainly lead to more traffic. But you know what? I’m not interested in hype, and I never want more clicks at the expense of my integrity. Yes, the market is growing softer right now, and that can feel scary for some, but truth be told there really isn’t any shock here because this is exactly what we expect to see happen during the fall months. Nonetheless, the fascinating part is the fall season this year has still been different than it was last year. This year is actually much more competitive and far less dull. So let’s unpack some trends below with the goal of understanding what values are doing so we can more effectively tell the story of the market to our clients and contacts. I hope this is helpful for locals as well as out-of-town readers (what is your market doing right now?).

housing numbers - image purchased and used with permission by sacramento appraisal blog

Two ways to read THE BIG MONTHLY POST:

  1. Scan the talking points and graphs quickly.
  2. Grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes digesting what is here.

DOWNLOAD 70 graphs HERE (zip file): Please download all graphs in this post (and more) here as a zip file (or send me an email). Use them for study, for your newsletter, or some on your blog. See my sharing policy for 5 ways to share (please don’t copy verbatim). Thanks.

One Paragraph to Describe the Sacramento Market: The market has been slowing in the Sacramento area, but it’s nowhere near as slow as it was last year at the same time. Overall sales volume is up nearly 11% in the region this year, housing inventory is down 24%, and homes took 4 fewer days to sell this September compared to last September. There have actually been less price reductions so far this year too. In terms of home prices, the median price, average price per sq ft, and average sales prices are tending to be about 4-5%+ higher than they were last year, though this doesn’t mean values are necessarily 4-5% higher. This is an important distinction because median price increases don’t always translate dollar to dollar to actual value. Keep in mind the median price in the regional market has softened by almost 2.5% over the past few months, and the median price in Sacramento County has been about the same for five months in a row. There are some graphs below to help show the seasonal market, and they remind us it is customary to see the median price soften, inventory increase, and sales volume decline during the fall months. Overall there is still a higher demand than there was last year, but the market is very price sensitive. Buyers simply aren’t pulling the trigger on overpriced homes (sellers, please consider that). By the way, if you missed my post last week, I gave some perspective on “real estate bubble” conversations, and it is a very relevant post as we see price metrics begin to soften at this time of year.

Sacramento County Market Trends for September 2015:

  1. The median price has been hovering around $290,000 for 5 months (3.6% higher than last year).
  2. It took an average of 36 days to sell a house last month (up 2 days from the previous month).
  3. Last year at this time it was taking an average of 41 days to sell a house.
  4. FHA sales were 29.5% of all sales last month (nearly 28% of all sales in Sacramento County last quarter).
  5. Sales volume is 10.1% higher so far in 2015 compared to last year.
  6. Sales volume was 13% higher in Sept 2015 compared to Sept 2014.
  7. There is a 1.74 month supply of homes for sale (similar to previous month).
  8. Housing inventory is nearly 30% lower right now compared to Sept 2014.
  9. The average price per sq ft is 188 (5.6% higher than last September).
  10. The average sales price is $314,317 (1.9% higher than last September).

Median price since 2013 in sacramento county

reo and short sales sacramento county 2

seasonal market in sacramento county median price

seasonal market in sacramento county sales volume 2 FHA and cash trends in Sacramento 3

seasonal market in sacramento county inventory 2

inventory - September 2015 - by home appraiser blog CDOM in Sacramento County - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog price metrics since 2014 in sacramento county

Sacramento Regional Trends for September 2015 (Sac, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado):

  1. Sales volume was up 11.5% in Sept 2015 compared to Sept 2014.
  2. Sales volume for the year is up 11% compared with 2014.
  3. The median price at $325,000 is up 4.8% from last year, but down 2.5% from the past few months.
  4. It took an average of 41 days to sell a house last month (2 days longer than last month).
  5. FHA sales were 23% of all sales in the region last month.
  6. There is 2.06 months of housing inventory (same as previous month).
  7. The average sales price is $360,481 (4.3% higher than last year, but down slightly from three months ago at $370K).
  8. It took 4 less days to sell a house this Sept compared to Sept 2014.
  9. FHA sales volume has increased by 30% in 2015 compared with 2014.
  10. Housing inventory is nearly 24% lower right now compared to Sept 2014.

sales volume 2015 vs 2014 in sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

breakdown of sales fha and everything else in sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

breakdown of sales in sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

median price sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

months of housing inventory in region by sacramento appraisal blog

days on market in placer sac el dorado yolo county by sacramento appraisal blog

Placer County Market Trends for September 2015:

  1. Sales volume was up 7.7% in September 2015 compared to September 2014.
  2. Sales volume for the year is up 15.8% compared with 2014.
  3. The median price in Placer County is $389,000 (about 1% higher than last year at the same time).
  4. Cash sales were 18.8% of all sales last month (very normal level).
  5. It took 46 days on average to sell a house last month (same as previous month).
  6. Last year at this time it took 1 day longer to sell a house.
  7. FHA sales were 16.7% of all sales in Placer County last month.
  8. There is 2.42 months of housing inventory (17% lower than last year).
  9. The average price per sq ft is 194 (5.3% higher than last year at the same time).
  10. REOs were 2.6% of all sales and short sales were 1.5% of all sales last month.

Placer County median price since 2014 - part 2 - by home appraiser blog

months of housing inventory in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

days on market in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

interest rates inventory median price in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

Placer County sales volume - by sacramento appraisal blog

I hope this was helpful. Thank you so much for being here.

Quick Pricing Advice:

  1. It’s normal for prices to cool during the fall. This year the market is not as soft as it was last year at this time, but we are still seeing a softening.
  2. Price according to the most recent listings that are actually getting into contract rather than the highest sales from the spring.
  3. Talk about the difference between actives, pendings, and neighborhood sales on your listing appointments and in your appraisals. See How to use a CMA to gauge the temperature of the market for a fantastic way to quickly explain what the market is doing to your clients.
  4. The market is price sensitive, which means buyers are not biting on overpriced listings despite inventory and interest rates being relatively low.
  5. Remember there are many markets within a market, so price according to the neighborhood market rather than county-wide trends since your neighborhood might be more or less aggressive compared to the entire county.

DOWNLOAD 70 graphs HERE (zip file): Please download all graphs in this post (and more) here as a zip file (or send me an email). Use them for study, for your newsletter, or some on your blog. See my sharing policy for 5 ways to share (please don’t copy verbatim). Thanks.

Questions: How do you think sellers and buyers are feeling about the market right now? What are you seeing out there?

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.

5 trends to watch in Sacramento’s regional real estate market

If you want to understand real estate, it’s important to see the big picture. It’s one thing to unpack trends for a neighborhood or county, but when we take a panoramic view of the region we can often get a fuller sense of how the market is really moving. Buckle up and let’s go for a quick tour of five trends to watch in Sacramento’s regional market. Remember, I do two big market posts around the second week each month, and there are two ways to read these posts. You can scan the highlighted text quickly or take a few minutes to digest what is here.

market trends in sacramento 2 - image purchased and used with permission

graphs from sacramento appraisal blog 3

THE SACRAMENTO REGION:

1) Prices have been flat for three months in the Sacramento Region:

median price sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

The median price has been the same for three months in the Sacramento Region, which shows the market has definitely cooled off. There may be some sub-markets that are still hot and showing increases in value, but the overall trend for the region is very telling. When looking at the median price, average price per sq ft, and average sales price in multiple counties, the market as a whole has been clearly flat for the past 90 days.

sacbiz journalQuote in SacBiz: By the way, I was quoted in the Sacramento Business Journal yesterday in an article about the slow market. Check it out at Slower real estate market could just be normalizing. It’s always an honor to share my two cents. I’d love to hear your take on the market too.

2) Inventory is steadily increasing in the Sacramento Region:

inventory in sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

Housing inventory has been increasing in the Sacramento Region over the past several months, which is creating more opportunity for buyers to get into contract (and be more picky). This has also increased competition for sellers to compete for a smaller pool of buyers. Inventory is still relatively low, which means well-priced properties are generating quick and multiple offers, yet there are also ample price reductions since many properties are simply overpriced. Sellers, pay attention to this trend because you need to price your property correctly in this market or it is going to sit.

months of housing inventory in region by sacramento appraisal blog

The higher the price, the more inventory there is. This is a normal trend, but it’s always interesting to see, isn’t it? Moreover, when we know how much inventory there is at a certain price range, we can help coach buyers and sellers about what they might expect.

number of listings in Placer  Yolo El Dorado Sacramento - by home appraiser blog

3) It’s taking 40 days on average to sell a house in the Sacramento Region:

days on market in placer sac el dorado yolo county by sacramento appraisal blog Last month it took three days longer to sell a property compared with the previous month, which is one more sign the market is slowing down. Before calling in the troops and sounding the alarm, remember it’s normal for the market to cool off as summer fades away. Generally speaking, the higher the price, the longer it is taking to sell.

4) There are 6% more listings this month compared to last month:

number of listings in Placer Sacramento Yolo El Dorado county - July 2014 - by home appraiser blog

The number of listings jumped by about 6% from last month to this month, while the number of sales rose by just over 2% (pending sales did increase though). Overall since the number of listings outpaced sales and pendings, inventory saw an increase.

5) Sales volume is down by 11% from last year in the Sacramento Region:

cash sales and volume in sacramento region - by home appraiser blog

Sales volume is down about 11% from where it was last year for the Sacramento region. Why? In large part it’s a reaction to investors stepping away from the market one year ago. Less cash sales in the region created a gap in sales, and the market is simply trying to figure out how to normalize or adjust now that investors have taken their foot off the gas pedal. You can see in the graph above how there has been about the same number of non-cash sales in 2013 and 2014, but the number of cash sales is very noticeably down this year. Keep in mind investors didn’t gut the market in Placer County or El Dorado County like they did in Sacramento County, but what happens in surrounding areas still matters for market trends.

BONUS MATERIAL: PLACER COUNTY

Placer County median price and inventory - by home appraiser blog

median price in placer county and sacramento county by sacramento appraisal blog

Prices have been flat in Placer County: Just like Sacramento County, Placer County is best described as flat. The median price saw a dip to $379,000 from $380,000 this month, but overall has been hovering around $380,000 for three months in a row after a small seasonal uptick this spring. It seems the peak of summer has hit, so it is likely to see the market soften up over the Fall (which is completely normal to see). Last year the market felt really sluggish though at this time in light of the looming government shutdown. This year we don’t have the same phenomenon, so the market is a bit different.

Placer County housing inventory - by home appraiser blog

months of housing inventory in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

Inventory saw a very minor decline last month: Monthly inventory saw a very slight decrease, but really it’s still hovering at about the same level. As you can see, inventory above $750,000 is far different from the rest of the market. Generally speaking, the higher the price, the more inventory there is.

days on market in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

It’s taking one week longer to sell compared to last month: On average it is taking 45 days to sell a home in Placer County as opposed to 37 days in Sacramento County (and 40 days in the Sacramento Region). Generally speaking, the higher the price, the longer it is taking to sell (which is normal). There were only 14 sales between 100-200K, so take the days on market with a grain of salt. Overall it took about one week longer to sell a home last month compared to the previous month.

Placer County sales volume - by sacramento appraisal blog

Sales volume is approaching more normal levels: Sales volume saw an increase last month, but volume is still down by 7.5% from July 2013. Overall volume is starting to hit much more normal levels.

number of listings in PLACER county - july 2014 - by home appraiser blog

There are more listings this month than last month: Listings increased by 5% from last month to this month. At the beginning of July there were 1387 active listings on the market, and at the beginning of August there were 1457 listings. This isn’t news to write home over, but the number of listings is something important to watch because if sales don’t increase at the same rate, the market will inevitably soften. Inventory actually went down slightly though in July in light of sales slightly outpacing listings in Placer County (very slight decline).

interest rates inventory median price in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

It’s a joy to put these graphs together every month. Yes, it takes quite a bit of time, but it’s worth it. As always, I’d love to hear your take on how the market is unfolding too. Moreover, if you have ideas for how to refine or present trends, I’m always game to get some constructive feedback.

Sharing Trends with your Clients? If you want to share graphs online or in your newsletter, please see my sharing policy. Thank you for sharing.

Questions: How else would you describe the market? I’d love to hear your take.

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.