Sacramento Area Homes in High Demand

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SACRAMENTO -- The latest sales numbers for homes in the Sacramento show robust sales and a 50 percent increase in the number of homes coming on to the market.

That is good news on several fronts because it shows a resurgence of the area economy. Most of the inventory being sold and coming on line are in the higher end of the market in the
$375,000 to $750,000 range, for the most part in Placer and El Dorado counties.

The news is not so good for first-time, entry-level buyers looking at buying below the average home price for Sacramento County, which is $358,000.

"If you look at below $358,000 we only have about one month of inventory so buyers are having a really difficult time at that price point," said Pat Shea, president of Lyon Real Estate.

That's old news for Jose Mendoza who has been shopping for a first home for six weeks.

"All the houses are going quick. I've put in at least four offers, and I've always been turned down because someone else comes in higher than me, so it's hard," said Mendoza.

Mendoza was looking at a North Highlands home with the asking price of $242,000. His realtor Franco Garcia said buyers outnumber sellers in that price range 4 to 1.

Garcia, the president-elect of the Sacramento Area Association of Realtors, said those thinking about selling won't have much to worry about.

"It's a great time to sell, especially if your house is under $300,000 ... you'll probably get multiple offers, especially if it's fixed up," said Garcia.

Shea says the robust economy, the financial safeguards against another housing bubble, and an influx of Bay Area buyers looking for a bargain mean prices aren't going to be coming down any time soon.

"Any buyer who can put together the capital and the financing should try and purchase now," said Shea.

The average home price in June is $408,000 , bolstered by the sale of higher-end homes in Placer and El Dorado counties, the highest average since 2007.