FAIRFIELD — Solano County home sales in November continued a four-month trend of increasing prices, with the median sales price reaching the highest level in four years, according to San Diego-based real estate service DataQuick.
A total of 584 homes sold in the county last month, according to DataQuick. That’s up 11.9 percent from a year ago and down only 2.7 percent from October, less than the normal seasonal decrease between those months.
The median price was $221,500 – the highest in the county since November 2008, when prices were in the midst of a free fall that would see them plunge below $200,000 for years.
Solano mirrored the Bay Area as a whole, with sales increasing 15.5 percent across the region over a year ago and prices up 20.5 percent over November 2011. The 7,296 homes sold in the Bay Area was the highest November total since 2006.
James D. Marshall, a Realtor with Re/Max Gold in Fairfield, said local buyers are very active.
“There’s not a lot of inventory and what me and others are experiencing is buyers are being ultra-aggressive and driving up the bidding,” he said.
Marshall said the hottest segment of the market continues to be homes selling for $150,000 to $500,000. He said the “luxury” homes in the county – which he defined as those worth more than $500,000 – are not moving as fast. He said those selling for less than $150,000 are usually the target of investors who want to purchase them and turn them into rentals, another hot market.
While prices are increasing, Marshall warned that the release of the rumored “shadow inventory” – homes foreclosed on and still owned by banks – could change things.
“If that hits the market, you won’t see price decreases, but you’ll start to see the prices level out,” Marshall said.
John Walsh, DataQuick’s president, predicted that the trend upward in prices will continue.
“Current trends are likely to stay with us well into spring, at least,” Walsh said in a press release. “With the mismatch between supply and demand, there’s an upward pressure on prices.”
Walsh also warned about the possibility of bank-owned homes flooding the market.
Solano has the lowest median prices of the nine-county Bay Area. The next-lowest median price in November was $332,000 in Contra Costa County.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.