Local real estate prices go up in March
Median house prices for Nevada County rose 14 percent from March 2005 to March 2006, according to DataQuick Information Systems, based in San Diego.
The median price for all single-family dwellings rose from $416,000 in March 2005 to $474,500 in March 2006.
Grass Valley remained the county’s most relatively affordable area, with the median price there at $437,000 for March. That is a 17 percent increase over the March 2005 city median of $372,500.
Statistics alone don’t tell the story, however.
Real estate agent Tom Drummond said he is seeing buyers at the low and high ends, but few in the middle.
“This is not a real real estate market,” said Drummond, of Network Real Estate’s Lake Wildwood office. “Between $380,000 and $600,000 is a tough price range. … The houses available in that range are much better than they were a year ago, but we don’t have the buyers.”
He blamed the lack of good-paying, mid-level jobs in the area. “People are entry level or they already have money and are moving around,” Drummond said.
Drummond also noted that the median price range, even in a particular area, may not accurately reflect the value of a particular property.
In Truckee, Nevada County’s most expensive area, the median price declined nearly 19 percent from year to year, with the March 2006 median at $502,500. That also represented a decline from the February 2006 median of $575,000.
Also during March 2006, the number of houses sold throughout the county rose to 131, over 81 sold the month before. Sales typically pick up as winter ends, although wet weather in March may have dampened activity.
Statewide, housing sales picked up significantly over February’s doldrums – a normal seasonal surge. However, housing prices continue to rise at a much slower pace than they did a year before, DataQuick reported.
“March numbers are pretty good at predicting upcoming activity. We figure that sales (statewide) will be good but not spectacular on into the summer, and that price increases will stay below 10 percent,” said DataQuick President Marshall Prentice.
The median house price in the nine Bay Area counties rose to $622,000, up 9.5 percent from a year before. In six Southern California counties, the median price passed half a million dollars for the first time, landing at $501,000 for the month for a 14 percent increase.
Year-over-year sales continued to decline in both areas.
To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4231.
The median price of homes sold in Nevada County through the first three months of 2006:
City Jan. Feb. March
Grass Valley $374,500 $450,000 $437,000
Nevada City $512,500 $374,000 $476,750
Penn Valley $349,000 $549,000 $444,750
Truckee $575,000 $575,000 $502,500
$470,000 $459,000 $474,500
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