Where Are the Home Buyers in Sacramento?

sacramento-home-listing-300x200If you’re wondering where the Sacramento real estate market is moving right now, then this blog is for you. Because I list and sell a lot of homes in Sacramento, I can easily spot trends — if I’m paying attention and not hanging out with Myrl at The Dive Bar late at night. The trend now is buyers are in no big rush to buy, and inventory is lingering on the market. It doesn’t mean that a home won’t sell, it will just take a little bit longer and there might not be multiple offers.

I see some sellers are dismayed when they hear they might not receive multiple offers, but geez Louise, how many buyers does one seller need? A seller needs one committed and dedicated buyer who loves that seller’s home. It’s all about loving that home. It always has been. You just need to find that special person among home buyers in Sacramento.

A seller contacted me yesterday for an update on selling a home in Natomas. I had sent him a comparative market analysis last spring when the market was a frantic hotbed of activity. At that time, the home he wanted to sell could have listed for $225,000 and probably received multiple offers, which would have driven up the price a little bit. Today, that same home should be listed a little bit more conservatively, closer to $219,000, and he will most likely receive just one offer, and that offer might be for a little bit less.

This doesn’t mean prices are falling; it just means the strategy to sell is a little bit different. I suspect prices will stay fairly stable and probably rise again next spring, depending on where interest rates move. The thing about interest rates is movement doesn’t remove buyers from the marketplace as the economist at NAR predicts. A rise in interest rates simply lowers the purchasing power of the buyer. A half-point increase in an interest rate knocks down a buyer’s sales price by about $25,000. A full-point increase? $50,000 less. Home buyers in Sacramento should grab these historically low rates while they can!

I am including a chart below from Trendgraphix which shows the last 15 months of average sold sales prices by month versus the prices of homes for sale. You can see the average for sale price is higher than where the demand for homes lies. This doesn’t mean that sellers are asking higher prices and buyers are paying less, so don’t get confused about that. It means that the average sales price is higher than the average price most buyers can pay. There are more sales in the lower end. But look at that increase. That’s a 142% jump in our average sold price since summer of 2012, and it’s continuing to go up.

Sold Sales Prices vs For Sale PricesMy conclusion is buyers can demand a little more and sellers will give it to them. Even in a market of limited inventory. Our inventory has almost doubled but it sits at 1.8 months. That is still incredibly low, and not a buyer’s market, unless we have no buyers. Where are the home buyers in Sacramento? I’ll tell you one agent shared with me this morning that her buyer has a list of 100 homes that the buyer wants to see. Who looks at 100 homes?


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