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Brian Hamilton: Strong first-quarter sales come with mixed message for months ahead in local market

Prospective homebuyers hoping to see signs of a shifting local real estate market saw somewhat of a mixed message in March.

After all, western Nevada County’s number of homes listed for sale in March, a total of 250 on the market, represented a 28.2% increase over February.

According to Multiple Listing Services statistics, the median days on market of those home sold grew to 25 days, up 13.6% over the prior month, and nearly double the 14 days on market that western county buyers and sellers saw in March 2021.



And although those homes were first listed at a median price of $691,500, the highest initial median price posted for homes sold in any month over the past three years, the median of those homes was sold at 21% reduction from the original listing price.

Signs of a slowing market? Perhaps.



But March also saw 142 homes sold, the most in a single month since August 2021, a nearly 60% increase over 89 sold in February and two more homes than the 140 sold in March 2021.

The median price of homes sold in March also climbed to $545,000, a 1.8% increase over February and the highest price posted per month since July and August 2021 saw a record median price of $565,000.

And the 195 pending sales posted in March marked an 8.3% increase over the prior month and the most pending sales in a single month since 207 were posted in July 2021 — the same month that saw the highest monthly number of homes sold here in all of 2021, and the most since 206 were sold in July 2020.

NOT QUITE 2021, BUT …

Pulling the perspective back for a wider view, there were 346 homes sold in western county over the first three months of 2022.

Although that marks a 3.1% decline from the first quarter of 2021, it easily outpaces first-quarter sales of 281 homes sold in 2020, the 297 sold in 2019 and the 277 sold in 2018.

The second quarter of the past two years signified the impact of the pandemic on the local market. As the state of California mandated residents stay home, April 2020 sales reflected an uncertain market, dipping down to 80 homes sold. For sake of comparison, there were 120 homes sold in April 2019 and 172 sold in April 2021. The second quarter of 2021 saw 516 homes sold, a 51.3% increase over the second quarter of 2020.

The most sales in any single quarter over the past three years was the 595 homes sold between July-September of 2020, when the pandemic-fueled frenzy was in full swing across the Golden State and beyond.

BY THE NUMBERS

March home sales in western Nevada County:

$545,000 — Median price (2022)

$525,500 — Median price (2021)

25 – Days on market (2022)

14 – Days on market (2021)

142 – Homes sold (2022)

140 – Homes sold (2021)

250 – Homes for sale (2022)

189 – Homes for sale (2021)

WHAT’S STILL AHEAD?

What the rest of 2022 has in store remains to be seen, with the impact of inflation and climbing interest rates — the Federal Reserve in March approved the first interest rate hike in three years, with promises of more to come throughout 2022 — as well as the war in Ukraine, on a post-pandemic real estate market unknown.

So far, the local market is outperforming the pre-pandemic sales of 2019, when a total of 1,528 homes were sold.

But will the second quarter of 2022 look more like 2019, which saw 389 homes sold in the second quarter?

Or will we see sales more similar to the 341 sold during that same stretch in 2020, which closed out the year with 1,744 homes sold? Or could we see a surge in a sales, with homebuyers looking to get ahead of rising rates, like that of the second-quarter of 2021, which finished the year with a total 1,804 homes sold?

“Despite higher mortgage rates, California’s housing market is holding up remarkably strong, with home prices reaccelerating, market competition growing and signs that the listings crunch is thawing,” said California Association of Realtors President Otto Catrina, a Bay Area real estate broker, said in March. “Prospective buyers are taking advantage of still-low rates before they move higher and getting a jump on competition before the start of the spring homebuying season.”

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

March also saw 142 homes sold, the most in a single month since August 2021, a nearly 60% increase over 89 sold in February and two more homes than the 140 sold in March 2021.
Graphic by Brian Hamilton
Brian Hamilton
Business

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Although the markets have halted their brutal day after day erosion on occasion, the brutal sell off on June 9 and 10 seemed to confirm the general direction is still downward.



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