A continuing shortage of homes for sale in the greater Sacramento area sent prices for those relatively few properties on the market sharply higher last month with the median sale price surging 11 percent compared to a year ago, according to a new report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of all single-family homes sold in Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties last month.

The median sale price of a home in the tri-county region in August was $345,000, up 11 percent from the $311,000 median in August 2015. Sacramento County led the way with a 13 percent median sale price increase, climbing to $315,000. Placer County’s median rose 8 percent to $425,000, and El Dorado County increased 4 percent to $407,000.

Meanwhile, sales in the tri-county region rose 4 percent last month from a year ago with 2,772 homes changing hands compared to 2,678 in August 2015. El Dorado County recorded the biggest jump in sales with a 14 percent increase from last year, while Sacramento County home sales increased 4 percent and Placer County sales dipped 2 percent.

“The story of the Sacramento region’s housing market continues to be all about inventory, or lack of inventory to be more precise,” said Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “Listings fell 17 percent last month from a year ago when inventory was already in short supply. All told, the inventory of available homes is down 27 percent just in the past two years, and that continues to put upward pressure on prices.”

James said the tri-county housing market continues to see strong demand thanks to job growth in the region and a continuing influx of Bay Area retirees, as well as workers trading longer commutes for more affordable housing. “The demand remains quite strong but we just aren’t seeing enough inventory to meet that demand, which ultimately translates into higher prices,” he said.

Some other key findings from the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Sacramento Regional Housing Report for last month:

  • Year-to-date home sales in the tri-county area through August totaled 19,103, off fractionally from the 19,106 transactions during the same eight months of 2015;
  • Although the median in the tri-county area rose 11 percent year over year, it was flat month over month compared to July 2016;
  • Sales over the past 12 months in the tri-county area rose 3 percent to 28,448 units compared to the previous 12 months;