Time-consuming short sales and fewer listings combined to shrink the number of first-quarter home sales in Sacramento County from the same time last year. That's according to Prudential Realty, which released its first quarter sales statistics this afternoon.
Prudential counts 3,854 sales of single-family detached homes in the county in January, February and March - compared to 4,806 the same time in 2009.
Most of the homes for sale in Sacramento County and West Sacramento are short sales - where lenders accept less than owed to avoid the higher costs of foreclosing. Those sales can take months to be approved. And agents still say there are more buyers than listings at the lower affordable end of the market.
Inside the metro area, sales were up from last year in Antelope, Carmichael, Fair Oaks and Folsom.
They were down in Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, North Highlands, Orangevale, Rancho Cordova, Sacramento and West Sacramento.
In the larger region - Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties - first quarter sales totaled 8,323, according to MDA DataQuick. That's down from 9,034 in the first quarter of 2009.