Winter doldrums hit county’s home sales
Winter weather and post-holiday doldrums hit the real estate market every January, and the pace of recent house sales in Nevada County slowed right on schedule.
The number of Nevada County houses sold in January declined more than 49 percent from December sales figures.
Median sales prices in the county also came down from $475,000 in December to $470,000 in January, according to figures released recently by DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate tracking firm based in San Diego.
Prices, however, continued higher than a year ago. January’s median price is 21.6 percent higher than the January 2005 median of $386,500, DataQuick reported.
January always is the slowest month of the year for house sales, so trends are difficult to chart using January data.
“Is the market taking a breather or is it starting to tumble?” said DataQuick President Marshall Prentice. “There’s nothing really ominous in the numbers, but we won’t know for another couple of months.”
DataQuick’s figures reflect the number of sales recorded in the county recorder’s office for the month.
In January, 73 homes were sold in Nevada County, down from December’s sales of 144 homes.
In Placer County, 365 houses were sold in January, compared to 626 houses in December.
The month-to-month slowdown is steeper in Nevada County than in two key markets that affect the local market: the Bay Area and Southern California, where retirees are cashing out after years of startling appreciation. However, local prices also are rising more steeply year-to-year than in those markets.
In the Bay Area, the number of house sales from December to January declined 36 percent. The median price declined from $609,000 to $607,000 in the same period. January’s median price is 14 percent higher than the $534,000 median for January 2005.
January was the 10th month in a row the Bay Area saw a year-to-year decline in number of houses sold.
In Southern California, sales from December to January declined 31 percent. The median price dropped from $479,000 to $469,000 in the same period. However, January’s median price is 13 percent higher than the $415,000 median in January 2005, according to DataQuick.
Grass Valley agent Dick Law, of Paul Law Realty, predicted a good year ahead for local sales despite the seasonal slowdown. He reported a good rate of houses going into escrow in January and February.
“We’re expecting 2006 to be as good as 2004, which was one of our great years,” Law said.
To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4231.
The number of homes sold in January throughout Nevada County and neighboring areas:
Area 01/06 12/05
Nevada County 73 144
Grass Valley 20 54
Nevada City 14 18
Penn Valley 9 17
Rough & Ready 2 2
Truckee 21 48
Placer County 365 626
Auburn 26 59
Colfax 6 13
Granite Bay 12 24
Lincoln 109 193
Rocklin 47 63
Roseville 132 208
Source: http://www.Data Quick.com
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