Positive trend for Nevada County housing market | TheUnion.com

Positive trend for Nevada County housing market

Evidence of a recovering real estate market in Nevada County was again seen in October, as 118 properties were sold, putting the year on track to surpass 2011 in total homes sold.

That monthly total far surpassed the October 2011 total of 87 residential homes sold as well, a trend carried over from September’s total of 439 residential homes sold in the county, which itself was a 14 percent increase from 907 homes sold by this point in 2011, according to figures tallied by the Nevada County Realtors Association.

October’s average home sale price was $270,226, which was also up from that same month last year’s average sale price of approximately $238,000, according to the realtors’ association.

The total number of residential homes sold in Nevada County thus far in 2012 is close to 1,160, for a yearly average price of $247,538.

With all of November and December yet to be tabulated, 2012 is on track to surpass 2011’s total 1,188 residential homes sold, well beyond the three preceding years, which all totaled fewer than 1,000 homes sold.

Prior to 2007, there were 1,169 residences sold in Nevada County in 2006 and 1,794 sold the year previous.

The 10-year high in homes sold was 1,987 in 2004, when the average home $400,335. The average home price spiked for a 10-year high in 2006 at $473,691.

In the wake of superstorm Sandy, analysts are predicting a resurgence of the long-depressed construction industry, particularly along the East Coast of the country, as the thousands of homes and other structures are rebuilt.

Those jobs, in turn, could raise economic growth, analysts say.

The modest lift to the economy is expected to come in the first months of 2013. Construction firms, contractors and local governments will hire to rebuild or renovate homes, buildings, roads and bridges that were damaged or destroyed.

“This is going to be a net positive, particularly in the mid-Atlantic,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director of Moody’s Economy.com.

Sandy inflicted up to $50 billion in estimated losses from property damage, lost business and additional living costs. The damage was concentrated near the coastlines of New Jersey and New York City.

Construction jobs are especially vital to the economy. Pay is higher than average — at $25.86, average hourly pay tops the average of $23.58 for all U.S. private-sector jobs — and is far above the averages for areas like retail ($16.43) and leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants and hotel jobs ($13.35).

In addition, job growth in construction typically spurs hiring for other jobs, like architects, real estate agents and sellers of appliances, building materials and office equipment. The stocks of home-improvement retailers like Home Depot (up more than 3 percent) and Lowe’s (up nearly 6 percent) surged last week even as overall stock prices were flat.

Economists caution that the construction hiring may be only modest and will likely boost the economy only slightly. And the storm damage could slow growth a bit in the current October-December quarter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.

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