California home sales experienced its first year-over-year decline after five consecutive months of increase. Sales of existing single-family homes decreased 1.2 percent to 484,240 in September from 490,280 in the same month of last year. The sales level dropped below the 500,000 benchmark for the first time in 2012 and was at the lowest level since July 2011. Despite the decline, sales were still up 5.6% for the first nine months of the year when compared to 2011. The growth in the existing housing market continued to be fueled by strong sales in higher-priced segments of the market as supply shortage remained a constraint on sales in the lower price segments.
Meanwhile, the statewide median price rose 19.5 percent to $345,000 from $288,700 in September 2011, continuing its year-over-year increase for the seventh straight month. It was also the third consecutive month with a double-digit year-over-year gain. The increase in price was due to upward price pressure resulting from the limited supply of inventory, as well as more demand in higher-priced homes. The combination of these two factors led to the change in the mix of sales, which was the primary contributor to the jump in the statewide median price.
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Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed
“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to buy and not a bad time to sell”