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Nevada County Real Estate Update: May sales see surge, but still slowest in past five years

The month of May saw the most home sales in a single month this year, and promised more to come with a bump in pending sales, as western Nevada County’s real estate market experienced its first significant uptick after a slow start to 2023.

Ninety two homes sold in May, a 29.5% increase over April, and 133 pending sales recorded was a 25.4% jump over the prior month, according to Multiple Listing Service statistics.

But the boost in sales hasn’t been enough to change the course of continuing trends in the first half of the year. For the fifth consecutive month, home sales lagged behind not only the same month of the previous year but also in each of the past five years.

May also marked the eighth straight month that total home sales failed to surpass the century mark locally. The last time total sales reached triple digits in a single month was September, when 139 sales were recorded.

So while western county saw an expected month-over-month sales increase in May, often the case as we turn toward the summer months, the pace continues to plod along in comparison to recent years. Last month, sales were off 37% from the 145 homes sold in May 2022, and, in fact, fewer than any May of the past five years.

For context, prior to the pandemic-fueled frenzied market that produced record sales in western Nevada County for much of 2020-2022, there were 134 homes sold in May of 2019.

Still, that’s 31% more transactions than the number sold locally in May of 2023.


As we head toward the halfway point of 2023, total home sales are actually 40% fewer than this same point in 2022.

How far from 2022 sales has western county slid in 2023? Year to date, there were 641 homes sold in the first five months of 2022. This year, the first five months have recorded 384 sales.

By the end of 2022, western county totaled 1,481 homes sold.

Last month’s 133 pending sales — the most since 157 sales were pending in August — could offer a strong start to June, but it remains to be seen whether an uptick will continue into summer as the burden on buyers continues to build with higher interest rates and fire insurance premiums leaving less room for negotiations and needed repairs.

Some sellers saw a shorter stay on the market in May, as the median days before receiving an accepted offer was down to 13. But with growing inventory — the most homes on the market since October — and slowing demand, some properties are waiting much longer than that before entering escrow.

In fact, according to MLS data, in the past week there have been 35 new residential listings in western Nevada County and 37 price reductions on homes already listed.

Brian Hamilton is a Realtor (DRE #02149112) for the Betsy Hamilton Real Estate Team at RE/MAX Gold (DRE #01949144) in Grass Valley. Email him at  or visit for more information.

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