The Auburn real estate market, located within the larger boundaries of the Sacramento metropolitan area, saw an encouraging performance in the most recent tracking period despite regional weakness and high levels of foreclosure. Although the state of California had been showing encouraging gains in the number of homes sold in recent months, the month of February 2011 (the most recent period for which accurate figures are available) reversed that trend and ventured back into negative growth. For the entirety of California, there were just less than 500,000 home sales in February, a fall of nearly 50,000 from month-ago levels. This broader trend was echoed in the Sacramento metropolitan region, which saw a decline of approximately three and a half percent compared to both month-ago and year-ago levels. The median price figures for the city and state are disappointing, as both fell alongside the volume of home sales. An average home in Sacramento County cost less than $170,000, representing a decline of almost two percent from month-ago levels and a fall of more than six percent from last year. In contrast, Placer County, where Auburn is located, actually saw a month over month increase in median sales price (about three percent) despite a year over year decline (around six and a half percent) for the same metric. There were about three and a half percent more sales in Placer County compared to month ago levels and nearly fifteen percent more relative to the same time last year.
California’s foreclosure levels continue to be among the worst in the country, with Californian cities accounting for seven of the top ten high-foreclosure regions in the nation. In fact, a majority of Placer County’s real estate transactions involved some form of distressed properties. Although this may well have inflated the short term home sale volume figures, it also leads to the question of how much demand will remain after the flood of foreclosures subsides. A full 57% of sales in Placer County were foreclosures and short sales, and market inventory was just over three months (which is lower than usual). This suggests that there may soon be multiple offers for the same property, which in turn may inflate the median sales price of the region.