April home sales blow through roof. Best since 2006

Even higher interest rates aren’t stopping sales momentum
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Solid sales numbers in April for a region that takes in Placer County is buoying hopes in the home-building industry that eight-year growth streak will remain on course.

The Roseville-based North State Building Industry Association released figures this past week showing 486 new homes sold in April — the highest total since last May and the highest number sold during April since 2006. The sales were reported in 142 subdivisions in the six-county area from Marysville and Yuba City in the north to Galt in the south.

Traffic to those homes was equal to a good crowd at a Sacramento Kings game — with 15,910 visitors to new-home communities counted last month. And about 1 in 32 of those visitors turned into a buyer.

Association chairwoman Rachel Bardis, of Sacramento’s Bardis Homes, said the increasing sales and traffic figures demonstrate the demand for new homes is continuing on a solid growth curve as the busy summer season approaches.

“We’ve enjoyed seven straight years of increased traffic since bottoming out in 2010 and there’s a very good chance we will make that eight straight years,” Bardis said. “This month’s strong sales totals show that despite gradually rising interest rates that there is a strong demand for new homes in all price ranges.”

April home sales bottomed out in 2011 when just 129 units changed hands. The drop was precipitous. In 2006, at the height of the speculative real estate bubble housing bubble, 452 sales were recorded. Placer County sales again were strongest in the region, with 148 sales on the books during April.

“Sweet spot” for sales pricing was between $351,000 and $400,000, with 126 of the sales in that range. Next highest were homes in the $451,000 to $500,000 range. Buyers were less apt to buy at $551,000 to $600,000 (19 sales) and $751,000,000 to $1 million (17 sales).