Tight Sacramento home inventory leads to 'feeding frenzy'

10:11 AM, Jun 14, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - For the first time in a long time, it's good to be a real estate agent trying to sell a home in Sacramento County.

The number of homes listed for sale in Sacramento County has plunged, leading to what RE/MAX agent Michael Heede described as a "feeding frenzy" involving multiple offers over the asking price.

Statistics compiled by the Sacramento Association of Realtors show just 1,458 new listings added in May, which is a 42 percent drop from May 2011.

At the current pace of sales, the existing inventory of homes for sale would be exhausted in just 24 days.

The inventory of 2,515 new listings in May 2011 would have lasted 2.5 months.

The hot market, however, is leaving many would-be buyers behind.

Many of the homes being sold, especially in the lower price ranges, are going to investors who are seeking cheap rental properties.

"Trying to put bids in on homes now is the toughest thing," said Paul Janes, a Web producer at News10 who's toured dozens of houses with his wife and has yet to have an offer accepted.

"We're trying to do it through the traditional financing method and we're getting beat out by all-cash offers," Janes said.

Carl Olson, owner of Riverpoint Realty in Natomas, said a client submitted an offer $20,000 over the asking price on a bank-owned home.

The listing agent later told Olson there were two dozen offers made and his client's offer wasn't even close.

"We're seeing young families not being able to get back into this market when it's affordable," Olson said.

Although the majority of transactions in Sacramento County last month were bank-owned or short sales, statistics show the number of conventional sales is on the rise.

Nearly two-thirds of all sales in May 2011 involved distressed properties.  That number was down to 42 percent last month.

The median price for single family homes sold last month was $168,750, down just slightly from April.

Olson said he expected the median price to start climbing in the coming months as the number of distressed homes on the market continues to drop.

by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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