Total home sales in the East Fork Township in 2012 reached their highest level in seven years as values continue to stabilize, according to data released by the Douglas County Assessor's Office.
In the township, which stretches from north Carson Valley to Topaz Lake, 800 homes were sold in the calendar year, compared to 697 in 2011 - a 15 percent increase.
Home sales peaked in 2004 with 1,306 units sold. That number dropped to 1,153 in 2005, to 776 in 2006, and hit a recessive low of 492 in 2008. In the last four years, sales have been climbing out of the trough, and last year was the highest so far.
But home values have been appreciating slowly, lagging behind the upward trend in sales.
In 2012, the median sales price of a home was $195,000, up from $189,900 the previous year, yet still significantly below the median sales price of $398,000 in 2006.
The average sales price of a home was $239,237 in 2012 versus $233,695 in 2011, a modest, year-over-year increase of 2.4 percent - more than current U.S. inflation of 1.8 percent - but still a long way from the average sales price of $467,252 in 2006.
The fourth quarter of the year beat the same quarter in the previous year in terms of both sales and price.
The quarter ending on Dec. 31 saw 207 homes sold in the East Fork Township compared to 178 in the same quarter of 2011. The median sales price was $190,000 versus $174,750, while the average sales price came in at $241,461 versus $210,436.
Compared to the third quarter of the year, which ended on Sept. 30, the fourth quarter lost some ground. The third quarter produced 226 sales, a median sales price of $207,025 and an average sales price of $255,430.
The third quarter was, however, the best performing quarter of the year. The fourth quarter ranked second in total sales and average sales price.
As the market stabilized last year, the number of foreclosures dropped.
According to the assessor's office, the number of deeds listed as trustee's deeds peaked at 276 in 2010, dropped to 224 in 2011, and fell dramatically to 92 in 2012.
Year over year, the latest figure represents a 58 percent decline in foreclosures.