I can't help thinking about all the things that I wasn't able to get into this morning's story about the big April sales bounce. Here's back to the notebook for a few more details about what's clearly a big development in the region's housing market.
Is this sustainable?
I asked veteran Sacramento real estate Carlos Kozlowski of Coldwell banker and his opinion was: yes .
Kozlowski believes there is enough pent-up demand to absorb all the thousands of bank repos still to come on the market this year as rising numbers of people continue to lose their homes to foreclosure.
"Prices are not going up. Prices will stay somewhere about where they are until this inventory is absorbed," he said. Then will come the new wave of buyers: the foreclosure refugees allowed back in the market with new federally-backed mortgages.
"People who lost homes a year or two ago will be able to buy in 18 months," he said. "Everybody who bought for a half million two years ago will be able to buy the same house for $250,000 to $300,000."
Homebuilders not sharing in the sales burst
While year-over-year sales may have risen for the first time in years in Sacramento, Sutter and Yuba counties, homebuilders saw year-over-year sales continue to fall everywhere but El Dorado County. For the entire eight-county capital region - Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento , Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties - builders tallied 454 sales in April. They reported 687 sales in April 2007.
Five counties see year-over-year gains for existing homes
Placer and Yolo counties would have shown overall year-over-year gains had not home builders taken a dive in both counties.>
- For existing resales sales only, Placer County was up almost 8 percent over April 2007.
- Yolo was up 15 percent.
- Sacramento County, epicenter of the sales boom because of all its bank repos, saw sales rise 40.8 percent over the same time last year.
- Yuba County saw them jump almost 61 percent as its median price remained at about $199,000.
- Sutter County saw its existing resales jump 30 percent over the same time last year.
All in all, this part of the market is really moving inventory. Incidentally, all these numbers are from DataQuick Information Systems and are part of yesterday's blog posting.
Banks have changed tactics
I talked with Elk Grove real estate agent Chris Saizan of Keller Williams about banks getting even more aggressive to dump their rising inventory.
Saizan said, "Earlier they were pricing aggressively, but not to the extent that we're seeing today. A lot of these foreclosed properties six and seven months ago, it was common for them to set for 30, 40 and 60 days. Because of all the foreclosures now the banks are saying, 'let's price incredibly low and we get multiple offers and they close within five days.'"
Saizan said he often tells his clients to offer $20,000, $30,000 and even $40,000 above the listing price to get a shot at it. He said one client wanted to buy a house in the 95757 ZIP Code when he saw it listed for $199,0000.
"My (investor) client wrote an offer for $226,000 and we still got beat out by another buyer," he said.