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Rising rates, lagging inventory, winter storms plague western Nevada County market

Western Nevada County’s home sales last month continued the plodding pace that started the new year, with a slight uptick in sales over January but also the fewest sales in the month of February in the past nine years.
There were 72 homes sold in February, marking a 16.1% increase over January but still down 19.1% from the 89 sold in February 2022. The last time the local market saw such a low number of transactions for the month of February was in 2015. That marks the second straight month western county saw a significant decrease in sales than the same month in prior years.
In January, the 62 homes sold was the lowest single month of sales in at least the past six years, dating back to January 2016, when 63 homes were sold. A year ago, January saw 115 homes sell, which reflects a 46% decrease in closed transactions during the same month year over year.
Pending sales in February were down 3% from January, with just 96 transactions in the works, and 46.7% off from the 180 pending sales of February 2022.
For perspective, there were 203 pending sales in February 2021 and 180 pending in February 2020, about double the sales pending last month.

In addition to increased interest rates for perspective buyers, low inventory has offered limited options through the first two months of 2023. There were 180 homes listed for sale in February, down 3.7% from January but up 19.2% over the 151 on the market in February 2022.
Local listings have lagged since the pandemic, as inventory struggled to keep up with the pace of sales, as there were 159 homes for sale in February 2021, well off the pre-pandemic norms for western Nevada County.
There were 389 homes listed in February 2020 and 365 homes that same month in 2019. Last month’s inventory was about half of the what homebuyers would have to choose from prior to the sales frenzy that sparked during the Covid-19 shutdown.
The median price of homes sold in February was $469,500, less than 1% higher than the $465,000 recorded in January. But a year-over-year comparison shows a 12.2% decrease from the $535,000 median price of sales in February 2022, which is more consistent with the trend of lower sales prices recorded following the aforementioned frenzy in sales of 2020-2021.
In addition to challenges posed by higher interest rates and lagging inventory of homes for sale, western Nevada County also continues to be plagued by winter storms taking a toll. With the low number of pending sales in February, the local market would need to see a significant rally in order to close out first quarter sales on pace with 2022 by the end of March.
Brian Hamilton is a Realtor (DRE# 02149112) for the Betsy Hamilton Real Estate Team (DRE# 01936209) at RE/MAX Gold (DRE#: 01949144) in Grass Valley. For more information, contact him at

February home sales in western Nevada County:
$469,500 — Median price (2023)
$535,000 — Median price (2022)
47 – Days on market (2023)
22 – Days on market (2022)
72 – Homes sold (2023)
89 – Homes sold (2022)
180 – Homes for sale (2023)
151 – Homes for sale (2022)


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