Housing prices continue to fall in Sacramento area

Mortgage rates are dropping, and so are home prices in the Sacramento region. What's unclear is whether falling mortgages will be enough to strengthen the fledgling recovery in Sacramento's troubled housing market.

As rates fell to 5 percent or less for 30-year fixed mortgages, MDA DataQuick said Thursday, the median sale price for a home in Sacramento County dropped to $185,000 last month. That was the lowest level since September 2001 and represented a $10,000 drop in one month. Prices have fallen $105,000, or 36 percent, in a year.

The findings were similar throughout the eight counties surveyed by DataQuick: Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba.

The upside is that sales volume keeps growing, a sign of a feeble market gaining strength. In Sacramento County, November marked the eighth straight month in which sales were higher than a year ago, as buyers defied headlines about the financial and economic crises.

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