Home prices still climbing, but at slower pace

Home prices are still climbing in the Sacramento area, but at a much more moderate pace than a year ago, DataQuick reported Wednesday.

The market research firm said the median sale price of all homes came to $260,000 last month in Sacramento County. That was down slightly from May, but up 13 percent from a year earlier.

Median sale prices in Placer County reached $385,000 last month, the highest in the eight-county region covered by DataQuick. That represented a 6.5 percent increase from a year ago.

DataQuick said the results are in line with the general slowdown in price appreciation elsewhere in California. “Sacramento is more or less mirroring the state in terms of price appreciation throttling back,” said analyst Andrew LePage.

The actual volume of sales was down significantly throughout the region, with activity dropping 10.3 percent in Sacramento County in June compared to a year earlier.

The latest statistics suggest the market is continuing to recover from the 2008 crash but isn’t roaring like it was in 2013, LePage said.

For example, he said the 13 percent growth in Sacramento sale prices is one-third the pace of a year ago, when prices jumped 39 percent.

One reason for the slowdown in price appreciation: Investors are retreating from the market. In June, 25 percent of all purchases were made by investors. A year ago, it was 34 percent. The 14-year average is 22 percent.

“We have fewer investors and cash buyers out in the market,” LePage said.

In addition, job and income growth remains relatively sluggish, putting a damper on pricing, he said.

As for the decline in sales volume, LePage cited a relative scarcity of available homes for sale. That shortage is a reflection of the incomplete recovery in the housing market. Many homeowners either are still “underwater” or have only a small amount of equity in their properties, which means they don’t have the ability to make a down payment on another house. If they can’t move into another house, they can’t sell their current house.

Also, new-home construction remains relatively slow, which puts another constraint on inventory, he said.

Only 121 new homes were sold last month in Sacramento County, down 21 percent from a year earlier.

Courtesy of Dale Kasler, sacbee.com

April Median Home Prices on the Increase

Great News for the Sacramento area real estate market.  April, 2013 Home Sales Prices are on the increase.  Check on detailed information in this article in the Sacramento Bee:

Sacramento County‘s median home resale price up nearly one-third

Published: Thursday, May. 16, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 16, 2013 – 7:53 am

In Sacramento County, the median price of detached resale homes rose by nearly a third in April compared with the same month a year before, DataQuick reported Wednesday.

The median price of resale homes in El Dorado County jumped by about 33 percent last month compared with April 2012. Placer and Yolo counties also experienced double-digit percentage gains, the San Diego-based real estate information service said.

“These eye-popping increases in medians remain a function of two things: home values going up because a lot of people are trying to buy in a supply-constrained market … and we’re seeing a lot more move-up activity,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage.

The median is the price at which half of houses sell for more and half sell for less. Factors that influence it include the mix of homes sold.

Last year at this time, investors snapping up foreclosures dominated the region’s market. Today, foreclosure sales have plummeted and traditional buyers account for the majority of the open market, with many buying pricier move-up homes.

Sales of Sacramento County homes in the $300,000 to $800,000 range nearly doubled in April compared with the same month a year ago, while the number of homes that sold for less than $200,000 dropped by 26.5 percent, LePage said.

Median prices in all four counties also rose from March to April. In Sacramento County, for instance, the median sale price for detached single-family homes went from $162,000 in April 2012 to $208,000 in March to $215,000 last month.

Sales volume has also been picking up across the region, though the number of homes on the market remains at historic lows. Last month, the number of resale homes bought in Placer County was the most for any April since 2005, near the peak of the housing boom.

Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/16/5424557/sacramento-countys-median-home.html#storylink=cpy

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February 2013 Homes Prices Up 22.6% in One Year

Due to the low inventory of homes available, home buyers are willing to spend more on a home, that is if they can find one to buy.   The  Sacramento area’s resale home inventory is still very low.  This time last year there were 1,766 homes sold in February 2012 compared to 1,566 sold in February, 2013.  This is an 11.3% drop in sold homes.   This has caused the rapid increase in home prices.  Sacramento’s median price for February 2013 is $192,500, Placer County $298,500, El Dorado County $283,250 and Yolo County $250,000.  New home sales are also on the increase with 104 closings in Sacramento, 86 in Placer and 14 in Yolo County in the month of February.


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Sacramento Homes Prices on the Rise

Sacramento is suffering from lack of inventory for sale.  Due to the lack of available homes, the home prices in December, 2012 are on the rise.

Figures released by DataQuick show that the median home prices in Sacramento County rose 18% in December compared to December, 2011 from $155,000 to $183,000.








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Check before you Burn

With the cold temperatures still upon us lots of people are burning in their fireplaces for additional heat.  The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District still has the Check Before Your Burn requirements from November thru February.   This law applies to residents and businesses in Sacramento county and the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento.

Below please find the six ways to check before you burn:


1:  Call 1-877-NO-BURN-5

2:  Visit AirQuality.org

3:  Visit SpareTheAir.com and sign up to receive Air Alert emails (input your Sacramento County zip code and select the Daily Air Quality Forecast box).

4:  Read the Sacramento Bee’s weather page on the back of Our Region section.

5:  Listen to television and radio weather forecasts.

6:  Go to Twitter.com/aqmd


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Fiscal Cliff and Real Estate

Late in the evening of Tuesday, January 1st Congress reached a settlement in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, and President Obama signed the legislation January 2nd.  As a result, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was extended another year.  The measure will continue to exempt from taxation mortgage debt that is forgiven when homeowners and their mortgage lenders negotiate a short sale, loan modification (including principal reduction), or foreclosure.
The same provision also expired in California, but Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) introduced SB 30, which would waive the potential tax bill for Californians for all of 2013.  C.A.R. already signed on as the bill’s sponsor, and the two hope to fast track the bill through the Legislature.

Also under the fiscal cliff agreement, the so called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be reinstituted for high income filers.  These limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000.  The thresholds have been increased and are indexed for inflation so will rise over time.  Under the formula, filers gradually lose the value of their total itemized deductions up to a total of a 20 percent deduction.  The reinstitution of these limits has far less impact on the mortgage interest deduction (MID) than a hard dollar deduction cap, percentage deduction cap, or reduction of the amount of MID that can be claimed.

Capital gains rates on the sale of principal residences will remain unchanged and continues to exclude the first $250,000 for single taxpayers and $500,000 for married couples.

REALTORS® should encourage their clients to consult with their own tax advisers about their own individual tax situation.

Information provided by Sacramento Association of Realtors.


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Who said Real Estate isn’t a good investment?

Sacramento‘s Real Estate Market has been one of the Nation’s worst hit areas with Foreclosures and Short Sales.   It appears that the bottom of the market came and went overnight and home prices are on the increase again.   In the event you missed this article in the Sacramento Bee check it out on who’s buying up a lot of the local Real Estate.





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Tips when applying for Loan Modification

The following tips were given by Stephfan Nurse, CEO of Consumer Education, makers of mortgage reduction software designed to help people thru the modification process: 

1)      When faxing or sending in your paperwork to your lender, make sure that your loan number is printed on every page you are sending in.  Lenders received thousands of papers a day and sometimes the cover sheet gets lost or the fax gets misplaced.  If you have the loan number on every page, they can make sure it gets in your file.

2)      Make sure that ALL of the requested paperwork is included in the file.  If you are missing just one required document, they will show your account is incomplete and your file sometimes goes to the bottom of the pile.

3)      Follow up every week with your lender to make sure all of the documents they have are up to date.   Don’t worry about being a pest; this usually keeps your file moving along.

 These tips are the same tips we use when submitting Short Sales.  The complete packages move along much quicker then the packages submitted with missing documents.  Some lenders even tell us to keep sending in pay stubs and bank statements so the file is kept current at all times.

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Rid home of mildew culprits

Mildew, a form of mold is often seen as black, white or greenish growth on siding, drywall, roofing and other areas.  

Mildew likes organic materials like drywall, wood, paper, wallpaper paste, cotton, linen, leather, wool to name a few.  In addition to food, it will grow best in moist and warm areas with lack of air circulation or light. 

One of the most common areas is the bathroom.  Usually the only thing needed here is the installation of a ventilation fan.  Make sure it is ducted to the outside and not just into the attic.  You should use the fan during and after taking a bath or shower.  If you find your family can’t seem to remember to turn the fan on, you might think about having it wired to the light switch.  If you use the fan regularly, it should remove the moisture and circulate the air.  If you find this isn’t enough to combat moisture then you may have moisture generated from somewhere else.  Hidden moisture problems include, leaking valves or supply pipes, loose and/or leaking drain lines, bad wax rings below the toilet, and water around the tub or shower from excessive splash. 

Other areas inside the home include closets, behind beds & other furniture (especially those placed against an exterior wall, combined with high humidity).  Silica gel can help in closets, as well as making sure your clothes are not densely packed in the closet.  Also, moving furniture away from the wall so air can circulate helps alleviate mildew

Outside the home you may see mildew on the siding and roof shingles.  If you have widespread areas of mildew this may indicate a larger moisture problem, one that can usually be traced back to lack of ventilation.  Cut back trees, shrubbery or other landscaping that is overgrown that can be the cause of some problems, as well as adjusting your sprinklers not to hit the side of the house. 

If you think you have hidden moisture you should contact a contractor who has a moisture meter and specializes in water damage restoration.

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Making that First Impression!

Part of a parterre in an English garden. Photo...
Image via Wikipedia

The following tips will help you make a great first impression when putting your home on the market.  People decide within 30 seconds of walking into a home whether they might want to buy it, so it is important to make a great first impression.

Curb Appeal

Spend a little money on gardening by cutting overgrown shrubs and weeds and planting new shrubs or flowers.  A bit of gardening can help paint a scene, so buyers can see their kids playing in the yard or can imagine entertaining in the back yard.

Condition of the Home

Make necessary repairs to the home before putting it on the market.  Look for cracks, damaged paint and so on to repair.  Not making repairs can cut the price of the house.

Buyer’s typically ask for $2-$3 off the price for every $1 of repairs that they perceive are needed, so it is crucial for sellers to know that, say, the roof needs to be replaced.  That way, the seller can spend the $5,000 themselves rather than face a buyer demand $10,000-$15,000 off the price of the house.

 Clean and organize the house – including drawers, cabinets & closets.  It’s a good idea to de-clutter these areas so it doesn’t appear that there isn’t enough room in the home. 

Finding the right assistance

Contact a Realtor who often provides their expertise in giving you tips to get your home ready for sale.  They also often provide a list of Handymen, Home Stagers, Painters and Roofers that can assist you in getting your home ready for sale.

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