Brian Hamilton: Buying season begins in red hot seller’s market |

Brian Hamilton: Buying season begins in red hot seller’s market

Two hundred and one. That’s the number of homes posted for sale in western Nevada County as of April 16.

Although that number representing first time active inventory has been above 200 homes since November, and a slight uptick in inventory over recent months, it is still far off the number of homes typically listed this time of year, the beginning of buying season.

But make no mistake, low inventory hasn’t slowed high demand — nor the number of homes sold.

For example, a total of 357 homes were sold in the first quarter of 2021, which easily outpaced the first quarter in each of the previous five years of sales in western Nevada County, including the 281 homes sold in the first quarter of 2020.

For those hoping more homes on the market might mean more affordable prices, and a slow down in the bidding wars often resulting in multiple offers of above-asking price, the trends in this hot market continue to be the opposite.

A year ago, even amid the pandemic, there were 396 homes on the market at the end of April 2020, much more typical than the 200 fewer homes currently listed.

Despite the lower inventory, home sales last month in western Nevada County were up 10% over March 2020, and actually saw 20% more homes sold than February 2021.

And sellers who sold in March 2021 also enjoyed both a significant increase in median price of homes sold, as well as a short stay on the market with the listing.

March 2021’s median price of homes sold ($525,000) reflected a 23.5% increase over median price of home sold one year ago ($425,000), and marked a 7% increase over February 2021’s median of $490,000.

Meanwhile, the average days on the market in March was 14 (fourteen), a drop from 33 days on market in February, and well below the 53-day average that listings logged in March 2020.

According to Nevada County Association of Realtors data, the median price of a home sold in the first quarter of 2021 was $515,000. That’s up over the $450,000 median of 2020 and, for pre-pandemic context, higher than the $468,000 median for homes sold in the first quarter of 2019.

Similarly, the average 22 days on market in the first quarter of 2021 was similar to the 21-day average recorded in 2020, but nearly just half the 41 days averaged in 2019.

And, again for context, in the first quarter of five previous years (2014-2018), the average number of days on market was not once lower than 50.

It remains to be seen whether a significant increase in inventory is on the horizon as we move deeper into the April-July buying season, when historically more than 40% of a year’s housing transactions take place.

But for the time being, the low supply and high demand continues to fuel higher prices, higher volume of sales and a much shorter stay for homes on this extremely hot market.

Brian Hamilton is the assistant to the regional manager for the Betsy Hamilton Real Estate Team. Contact Betsy Hamilton at or 530-263-9044. Visit for previously published market updates. Contact Brian Hamilton at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User