Thursday, June 15, 2006

'A Ton of Overpriced Homes'

The Sacramento Bee has DataQuick and inventory numbers for May.

The standoff between thousands of Sacramento-area homeowners and buyers sharpened in May, as 1,800 new listings added to a mounting inventory of homes for sale in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties, real estate researcher TrendGraphix reported Wednesday. The newest influx of "for sale" signs contributed to a near-record pileup of 13,146 homes on the market at month's end...

Altogether, there were 4,621 more homes for sale at the end of May than there were on New Year's Day, according to figures from TrendGraphix. The record number of "for sale" signs in the region was 13,507 in April 1992. That happened amid local military base closings, a statewide recession and unemployment numbers almost double the region's most recent jobless rate of 4.6 percent in April. Then, approximately 2.5 percent of the region's residential units were for sale. Since, builders have added approximately 210,000 new single-family homes, condos and apartments to the four-county region's housing supply, according to the Construction Industry Research Board. The number of homes for sale today would have to swell to almost 19,000 to equal the impact of the 13,507 for sale in 1992...

The most-watched indicator among local real estate agents is the supply of existing homes on the market. "That's the big thing affecting our market more than anything -- inventory, (along with) interest rates," said Richard Swayne, vice president of Sacramento-based Dunnigan Realtors. Or put another way: "What we have is a lack of inventory priced right," added Michael Lyon, head of Lyon Real Estate. "We have absolutely a ton of overpriced homes."

As the "for sale" signs pile up, buyers like John Daniels of Sacramento and Alison Munro of Vacaville are holding back, waiting for lower prices. They're key players in what experts now call a "buyer's market." "We're probably going to wait longer than three months just to see," said Daniels, a supervisor for Select Carrier Group, a Sacramento shipper. Daniels is looking at homes in Sacramento's Natomas area.

Munro, a Fairfield teacher considering a move back to her Sacramento hometown, said, "We are looking actively, but I'm kind of watching the prices come down...We're just waiting it out a little bit longer." El Dorado Hills-based real estate agent Mark Macarow said buyers are not as much in a rush. Often that means sellers must adjust expectations...

Here is a closer look at the four-county region:

Sacramento County's median sales price jumped $6,250 in May to $360,000 after falling in April. May's price remained $12,000 below the county's August 2005 peak of $372,000. Prices were still 2.9 percent higher than May 2005.

Yolo County, which in April posted the four-county area's only median sales price gain, reversed course and posted the region's only median price decline in May. Yolo's median price was $419,500, just $500 below the April median. That price remained $17,000 below its high of $436,500 in November 2005. But it was 2.3 percent higher than a year ago May, according to DataQuick.

El Dorado County saw its May median sales price rise by $1,000 to $450,000 after falling slightly in April. The county's May median price remains $25,000 below its September 2005 high of $475,000. Prices are 1.1 percent higher than May 2005.

Placer County's median sales price climbed $8,627 to $481,127 after falling in April. Sales prices remain $20,873 below their August peak of $502,000. May prices remained 5.7 percent higher than May 2005.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain the disparity between the Dataquick inventory numbers and the numbers listed at sacramentohousingbubble.blogspot.com? As of May 31 2006, the Dataquick numbers list a 4 county inventory of 13,146. On that same date, the blog lists the inventory at 14,822. Which one is more accurate?

Max said...

The closest date I have data for is June 1, and I'm showing 15,539 listings on that day. ocrenter has 14,824 for May 31.

I bet Dataquick is only including detached housing in their numbers, while James, ocrenter and I include condos and mobile homes as well. What really matters is the trend, and all of us agree that inventory is going up rapidly.

Max

Max said...

Oh, also, inventory gets very volatile at the end of the month due to expiring listings, so these data could be very different depending on the time of day they're pulled...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Max.

Anonymous said...

YoY prices still rising? Imagine that.

Max said...

YoY prices still rising? Imagine that.

But still down 3.2% from the peak. Also, I wouldn't brag too loudly about a 2.9% increase. :)

Next month will be the first in a long series of YoY declines.

Anonymous said...

Sacto.'s median price graph (you know, that graph that is hated by crash monkeys?) is a classic soft landing. Pos 2.9% here or neg 2.9% there has meaning only in the blogsphere.

Wake me when unemployement spikes and prices drop double dig.

rocklin renter said...

Hey John Lockwood....errr... I mean anonymous.

Lander said...

"Which one is more accurate?"

Max is right. It is the trend that matters. For May, even though the raw numbers were different, both the SacBee and the Sacramento Housing Bubble blog measured a 16% increase in inventory.