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Brian Hamilton: Sales remain strong compared to pre-pandemic

Brian Hamilton

With 56 new listings hitting the western Nevada County real estate market in the past week, and sellers of 44 homes reducing their price in the same span, the much talked about shift is apparent.

Considering the pandemic’s hot market as comparison, and the slowing market seems a sudden and significant shift, with inventory finally climbing back to more than 400 homes for sale and days on market doubling from the frenzied sales one year ago.

Heading into June, there was an inventory of 413 homes on the western county market, more than any single month since early June 2020, when there were 431 homes for sale.

The growing inventory has led to longer stays on the market and reductions in sale price, if not yet a considerable change in the number of homes sold in the prior month or the median price for which they sold.

May 2022 saw 145 homes sell, off 3.3% from April, and a $553,000 median sales price, down 6.6% from the previous month.

In year-over-year comparison, May 2021 saw 162 homes sold and a $549,500 median price. May 2020, mere months before the sales frenzy hit the industry, totaled 101 homes sold and a median price of $410,000.

Those figures still represent a 34.8% increase in median sale price in May 2022 over May 2020, even in the midst of the market shift.


Pulling back for a longer view of sales trends in western Nevada County, there have been 641 homes sold in the first five months of the year. Those sales are 50 fewer than the same time period in 2021, with 691 transactions.

Over the same stretch in 2020, there were 495 home sold. And through the first five months of 2019, a total of 451 homes were sold, 29.6% fewer than last month’s sales total.

As inventory continues to climb — May was the fourth consecutive monthly increase in homes on market — typically, so do the days on market.

When it took an average of just eight days for an accepted offer in May 2021, there was a total of 214 homes for sale. Last month, it took an average of 20 days for an accepted offer, with a total 413 homes for sale.

Looking further back, May 2020 saw an average of 45 days on market with 431 homes listed for sale. And May 2019 averaged 62 days on market with 546 active listings in western Nevada County.


California Association of Realtors reported a similar slowdown in sales statewide in the first quarter of 2022, with 1.9% fewer homes sold in April from March and 8.5% fewer sold in March 2021.

The association pointed to rising interest rates and higher home prices for the slowdown.

“As rates remain on the rise, the sense of urgency to buy is keeping the market highly competitive, especially since housing inventory continues to stay well below pre-pandemic levels,” said association President Otto Catrina, a Bay Area real estate broker and realtor. “While we will likely see more listings come on to the market as we move further into the home-buying season, the housing shortage issue will likely persist throughout the rest of the year in major metropolitan areas, such as the Bay Area and the Southern California region.”

California’s median home price set another record in April at $884,890 — surpassing the record of $849,080 set just the previous month, the association reported. April’s price was 4.2% higher than the $849,080 recorded in March and 8.7% higher than the $814,010 recorded last April.

In comparison, western Nevada County’s median price in April hit an all-time high of $592,000, before dropping 6.5% to May’s median of $553,000.

Brian Hamilton is a Realtor (Lic.# 02149112) and assistant to the regional manager for the Betsy Hamilton Real Estate Team (Lic.# 01936209) at RE/MAX Gold (Lic#: 01949144) in Grass Valley. For more information, contact him at Brian@BetsyHamilton.com or visit http://www.BetsyHamilton.com


May home sales in western Nevada County:

$553,000 — Median price (2022)

$549,500 — Median price (2021)

20 – Days on market (2022)

8 – Days on market (2021)

145 – Homes sold (2022)

162 – Homes sold (2021)

413 – Homes for sale (2022)

205 – Homes for sale (2021)

A year by year comparison of home sales in May, from 2019 to now.
Graphic by Brian Hamilton
Western Nevada County’s median price in April hit an all-time high of $592,000, before dropping 6.5% to May’s median of $553,000.
Graphic by Brian Hamilton

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