California median home price remains strong; buyers confront listings shortage – by Elaine360

LOS ANGELES (March 15) – California’s median home price marked a full year of annual price gains, propelled by strong sales of higher-priced homes in February, while a lack of inventory constrained total home sales for the month, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported.  Also, consistent with a rebenchmarking conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) in December 2011, C.A.R. released today benchmark revisions to historic single-family existing-home sales.  Rebenchmarking is an adjustment performed periodically on a series of data to ensure its continued accuracy.

“The demand for homes remains solid, but a shortage of homes for sale, especially in the lower-priced segments, is negatively impacting housing sales,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught.  “Sales of homes priced above $500,000 continue to be strong, posting nearly 31 percent higher than a year ago, while homes priced below $300,000 were down 27 percent from last February due to fewer available homes for sale.”

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 416,610 units in February, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  Sales in February were down 0.9 percent from a revised 420,270 in January and down 5.9 percent from a revised 442,660 in February 2012.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2013 if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

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