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Prices, Softening Market, Fire Insurance Issues Impacting Home Sales

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Sonora, CA – The latest Mother Lode real estate sales figures show a significant slide in homes sold.

On Wednesday, Tuolumne County Association of Realtors (TCAR) released its Q-3 report of residential real estate transactions, which indicates a 14 percent drop in the number of home sales so far this year as compared to the same time last year.

As far as prices go, both the median sales price and average sales price ticked up by one percent from 2018 Q-3 to $292,000 and $327,489 respectively. (Note: the median sales price is the value separating the higher half of the home sales data from the lower half; the average sales price is the total of all sales, divided by the number of homes sold.)

The average days on market grew ten percent from 107 days reported for Q-3 2018, to 118 so far in 2019 through Sept. 30.

“We are finding the market softening a little bit even though interest rates are really good,” confides TCAR spokesperson Ron Kopf. “Good, viable inventory in the lower price range is still hard to find. The Bay Area is still softening a little bit with their sales and fire insurance is an issue as well.”

Private sales over both reports showed private sales as representing 97 percent of the market and REO or bank-owned sales taking up the rest. However, due to the lower sales volume, actual private sales decreased by 13 percent with 673 homes sold through the end of September 2019.

There were 18 bank-owned or REO sales over the same period, a 36 percent decline when compared to Q-3 2018.

Properties in the $200,000 and below market segment, which made up 16 percent of both 2019 and 2018 Q-3 home sales, declined by ten percent from the same time last year with 114 sold in this category in 2019 through Sept. 30 versus last year’s 126.

Sales of homes $175,000 and under, reported at 58 homes on the two reports, was nearly unchanged, representing about eight percent of the market.

The high sales price of $1,350,000 was four percent less than in Q-3 2018 when it was $1,400,000. The low sales price remained the same at $60,000.

TCAR’s current market snapshot taken Oct, 7, indicates a median listing price of $339,999 and an average listing price of $394,769 with 624 active listings. Of these, 99 percent or 615 are private listings.

Ten percent or 60 of the active listings are priced $200,000 and below; three percent or 17 are in the $175,000 and under price-frame. The highest price home currently on the market comes in just shy of $2 million and the lowest listed one at $60,000.

TCAR officials say that as the average rate of home sales is 77 per month, the current number of homes listed on the market reflects an eight-month inventory.