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House prices hit new low in Sacramento; now at 2002 levels

How low can this go?

October home sales blew through another barrier in the Sacramento County real estate market, as the median sales price fell below $200,000 for the first time since April 2002.

The reverse breakthrough – back to $195,000 – came exactly one year after the county's median sales price for new and existing homes combined fell below $300,000, according to MDA DataQuick statistics released Thursday. The median is that point at which half cost more and half cost less.

Three years of falling home values have now pushed median sales prices below $200,000 in three counties: Sacramento, Yuba and Sutter. Six years ago, news reports pointed to fast-rising sales prices in those counties "shattering" the $200,000 barrier.

The silver lining to the reversal of fortune: another strong month of home sales across the Sacramento region.

"I think the quest for a bargain has overpowered concerns about the economy and where the housing market might be next year," said MDA DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage.

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