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Lack of Inventory Constrains Home Sale Volume

A lack of homes available for sale is limiting the volume of sales. (East Bay Real Estate Directory)

A lack of homes available for sale is limiting the volume of sales. (East Bay Real Estate Directory)

Alameda, like much of the rest of the state, is facing a shortage of homes for sale, which is limiting sales volume.

According to the California Association of Realtor’s (C.A.R.) February 2013 resale housing report, closed escrow sales of existing single-family detached homes in February were down 0.9 percent compared to January, and down 5.9 percent compared to February of 2012.

“The demand for homes remains solid, but a shortage of homes for sale, especially in the lower-priced segments, is negatively impacting housing sales,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught.

According to the association, statewide sales of homes priced less than $300,000 were down 27 percent from February 2012, due to fewer homes in that price range listed for sale. However, sales of homes priced above $500,000 were up 31 percent compared to a year ago.

Locally, Alameda realtor Rosemary McNally told Action Alameda News, “As of Friday morning there were 38 single-family homes (including condos) on the Multiple Listing Service. There are far more buyers than sellers, just as in many parts of the Bay Area and country. Historically low interest rates are available, but there are many buyers prepared to pay all cash when they find a home they want. Alameda is a highly desirable city, and it is a sellers’ market now. But as always, the time for a buyer to make an offer is when they find a home they like, at a price they can afford.”

Across Alameda County the median time on market for resale homes shrank from 68.2 days in January to 57 days in February. The unsold inventory index was 5.0 in February 2012, and then 2.2 in January of this year, and 2.6 in February.

In February of this year, the median sales price of existing single-family homes in Alameda County was $511,790, down from $520,680 in January, but up 27 percent from February 2012.

The sharp rise in prices could translate to a corresponding rise in property taxes, as Proposition 8 (1978) allows taxable property values to rise faster than Proposition 13’s two percent limit when assessments have been temporarily lowered.

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