CA Median Home Price Stays Strong, Buyers Confront Listing Shortage

LOS ANGELES (March 15) – Courtesy of the California Association of Realtors  

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.

 The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home  slipped 1 percent from January’s revised median price of $337,360 to $333,880 in  February.  February’s price was up 24.2 percent from a revised $268,810 recorded  in February 2012, marking a full year of annual price increases and the eighth  consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.  The median sales price is the  point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is  influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

 “With housing inventory dropping nearly 39 percent from a year ago, supply  constraints continued to propel strong gains in the median price, but also  intensified market competition,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist  Leslie Appleton-Young.  “With an imbalance between supply and demand, home  buyers have been fiercely competing with each other.  More than half of home  sales are receiving multiple offers, with homes getting an average of four to  five offers, and some even more.”

 Other key facts of C.A.R.’s February 2013 resale housing report include…. 

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