Sacramento, a part of California’s Central Valley, continues to suffer from widespread foreclosures and declining median prices. Any temporary bump that may have resulted from federal and state tax incentives is certainly gone, as the nation’s home prices fell for the sixth consecutive month and Central Valley properties faired even more poorly. Across the country, median prices plummeted by nearly six percent, following a five percent decline the previous month. Even controlling for the depressing effect of short sales and distressed properties, the average price fell by nearly two percent nationwide. The Central Valley and Sacramento metropolitan area were in an even more abysmal position, falling anywhere from seven to eleven percent compared to month-ago levels. Sacramento itself and the neighboring communities of Arden Arcade and Roseville saw an average decline of just less than eight percent relative to month-ago levels. Controlling for distressed sales and foreclosures, Sacramento still saw a median decline of almost four percent. Broadly speaking, the market still shows a shortage of housing demand, high levels of negative equity, and a struggling employment sector.
Although foreclosures in the Sacramento area continue to be extremely high relative to the rest of the nation, they actually declined significantly in the last available tracking period. Sacramento saw fewer foreclosures relative to both month ago and year ago levels, meaning that about one in every 189 properties received a foreclosure notice. Compared to last month, there were about twenty percent fewer notices of foreclosure, while relative to last year there were approximately nineteen percent fewer. Notices of foreclosure include any document pertaining to the foreclosure process, including notices of default, bank repossession, and notices of sale. Throughout the entire Sacramento area, there were 4,546 foreclosure notices filed in the month of February 2011. Although notices of foreclosure declined overall and in each individual category, Sacramento still remained one of the worst cities in the country in terms of foreclosure volume. Specifically, among the 206 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Sacramento ranked 10th. Cities in California accounted for seven of the ten worst cities, a testament to a state that has been particularly hard-hit by the economic downturn.