Placer real-estate market stays in recovery mode

Auburn, Placer media sales prices continue to rise
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Hot August
Auburn Newcastle Total sales in August 2013 - 49
Auburn, Newcastle Total sales in August 2012 - 52
Auburn Newcastle Median sales price 2013 -$326,500
Auburn Newcastle Median sales price 2012 - $271,000
Placer County Median sales price August 2013 - $360,000
Placer County Median sales price August 2012 - $285,000
Source: Placer County Association of Realtors

Placer County and Auburn’s home-sales marketplace continues to rebound, Placer County Association of Realtors statistics for August show.

Jerry Sellers, of Sellers Realty Group in Auburn, described the market Monday as a vibrant one, with plenty of upside potential.

“The biggest issue with Realtors, not just me, is that we don’t have enough inventory,” Sellers said.

Properties are selling quickly and it’s largely because the number of homes for sale is so low, he said. As a result, buyers are making quick decisions because of concerns that they may not have the same opportunity again if they don’t make an offer, he said.

Realtors association figures for August show 74.2 percent of all homes sold in Placer County were on the market for 30 days or less. A total of 486 houses and condominium units were sold in August in the county while the Auburn, Newcastle sales area had 49 sales.

Tim Wesely, Better Home & Gardens Real Estate, said that a more typical marketplace for homes would have inventory reflecting four to six months of potential sales.

“Currently we have a month-and-a-half,” Wesely said.

Wesely said he’s concerned about false impressions in the market that home prices have risen more than they actually have. He said a move into the market by investors who buy distressed properties at low prices and then flip them after repairing and improving them has provided buyers and sellers with statistics that don’t reflect actual home values. People see a jump in price when the costs for the repairs reflect part of the increase, he said.

Placer County’s media sales price in August was $360,000 – up from $285,000 a year earlier. Auburn’s media sales price was $326,500 – an increase from $271,000 in August a year ago.

Wesely said buyers and sellers would be better served to check on actual home sales figures in their neighborhoods to determine more accurate pricing.

“I’ve done a local analysis and we’re on pace for a normal market increase of five to six percent,” Wesely said.

Interest rates have been creeping upward but Wesely said they’re still not an object of great concern for homebuyers.

“Buyers have been a little nervous about the interest rate,” Wesely said. “If it goes up about half a percent, the amount of change still isn't that much. And today is a good time to buy because of tremendous values.”

Sellers said that the vibrant trend of the marketplace in the region is something he has every confidence will continue at a steady pace.

“We've been riding the bottom of the trough for a long time,” Sellers said. “For the last six months the market is up but not showing signs that it is going to run away with itself.”