California Home Prices Hit Highest Level in Five Years – by Elaine360

Driven by strong sales in high-end coastal areas and shrinking inventory, California’s median home price hit its highest level in March since May 2008, according to the California Association of Realtors.

The median price for a single-family home increased 13.7 percent to $378,960 in March from $333,380 in a February, after a shift from a previous two-month decline. The month-to-month increase was the highest recorded by C.A.R.

The median price in March was 28.2 percent above the $295,630 median price in March 2012 and the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

Higher sales in thePalos-Verdes-Los-Angeles-California.jpg coastal areas of Marin, Orange, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo helped push up the median price, C.A.R. vice president and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young said in a release.

“Sales of homes priced $500,000 and higher are up more than 34 percent from last year, and have been on a rising trend since early 2012,” Mr. Appleton-Young added.

California continues to deal with low home sales caused by a low supply of available homes, an issue that is impacting markets across the U.S.

Statewide inventory dropped 36 percent from last March and was below three months for the second time in the past few months, CAR reports. “Supply conditions are particularly tight in the lower-priced segment of the market, as inventory for homes priced below $300,000 plunged more than 50 percent from the previous year,” C.A.R. president Don Faught said in a release.

Homes continued to sell faster in March. A house typically stayed on the market 29.4 days in March before selling, down from 34.2 days in February and below the revised 52.2 days for the same period a year ago.

– World Property Channel

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Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
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“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”