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Mother Lode Median Home Sales Price Up By Seven Percent

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Sonora, CA – Mother Lode realtors sharing their latest figures say that while 2018 brought fewer sales than the previous year, the median sales price rose by seven percent.

According to Tuolumne County Association of Realtors (TCAR), the total number of residential home sales last year through all four quarters came in at 1,050, which was down three percent compared to the 1,088 units sold in 2017. A main contributing factor for the decline, realtors say, is a low inventory of homes prices at $200,000 and below.

However, the 2018 median sales price – which is the value separating the higher and lower halves of the market sales – was $289,000 versus $270,225 in 2017. Of 2018’s total sales, 96 percent were private residential, a one percent uptick from the previous year, with only five short sales versus the 11 reported in 2017. The days on the market average last year was 108 while in 2017 it was 125 a 14 percent improvement from the sellers’ standpoint.

The 2018 average sales price of $324,344 is up eight percent from 2017 when it came in at $300,406. While the highest sales price last year was just over $1.4 million, in 2017 the top price was $2.15 million. The lowest priced property in 2018 was $60,000; in 2017 it was $31,000.

Homes Under $200,000 Only 16 Percent Of The 2018 Market

With regard to lower-priced homes, sales within the $200,000 and below price point last year made up 16 percent of the total market with 165 units sold while in 2017 228 homes that sold within the category represented 21 percent of the total residential sales market.

Comparing the 2018 and previous year’s data to the current market: a snapshot of this year’s first quarter recorded on Jan. 7 captured the median listing price at $346,000, which is nearly eight percent higher than a TCAR snapshot taken Jan. 8, 2018 of $321,500.

The average listing price as of Jan. 7 was $414,091 with 26 homes listed at $200,000 and below, roughly eight percent of the listings. The lowest list price was $139,000 while the highest came in at nearly $1.5 million.

TCAR estimates as of Jan. 7 with an average rate of 87.5 sales per month and 333 active listings, there is about a 3.8-month inventory.

Across The State Trends Reinforce Affordability Issues 

In its Feb. 19 report, the California Association of Realtors (CAR) stated that the median-priced existing single-family home for sale was $564,270 in the fourth quarter of 2018. A minimum annual income of $122,340 would be required to make monthly payments of $3,060, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 4.95 percent interest rate.

In contrast, CAR indicates median-priced home nationally came in at $257,600 and that 54 percent of the households could afford such a purchase price. To qualify for buying a home at that amount would require a minimum annual income of $55,850 in order to make monthly payments of $1,400.

According to the CAR Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI), the percentage of California homebuyers who could afford to purchase it was estimated at 28 percent, up a notch from the previous quarter but down the same from the same time last year. CAR officials say the HAI was under 30 percent for six of the past eight quarters and hit a peak of 56 percent affordability in the first quarter of 2012.

CAR officials add that in its price tracking by county across the state, during the fourth quarter of last year housing affordability improved from the same time the previous year in ten counties while it declined in 30 and remained flat in eight.