Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Numbers are in! April home sales and price report

Spring home buying season off to strong start,
home sales and price post impressive April results, C.A.R. reports

LOS ANGELES (May 15) – California home sales and median price both jumped in April, with sales shooting up to their highest level in more than two years, and the median price rising above $300,000 for the first time in 16 months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.
“A brighter economic picture, coupled with record-high housing affordability, pushed the spring home buying season off to a strong start,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.  “With a continuing improving economy and interest rates declining to new record lows in recent weeks, we should see a steady improvement in the housing market throughout the end of the year.”
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 555,300 units in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  Sales in April were 10 percent higher than March’s pace and 11 percent higher than in April 2011.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the April 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 climbed 5.7 percent in April to $308,050, up from March’s revised $291,330 median price and 4.7 percent from a revised $294,140 recorded in April 2011.  The median price rose above the $300,000 mark for the first time since December 2010.
“The median home price climbed for the second straight month with solid gains from both the previous month and year,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.  “A sales improvement in the higher price segments of the housing market was a contributing factor to the price increase, as non-seasonally adjusted sales of homes priced higher than $500,000 increased nearly 11 percent, while sales of homes below $500,000 edged up a modest 2.1 percent.”
“Additionally, the strong sales increase of higher-priced homes resulted in a considerable decline of inventory of homes in the higher price ranges when compared with last year.  This signifies the tight supply conditions we’ve been experiencing in the lower price ranges over the past several months are now extending into the upper price ranges.”
Other key points of C.A.R.’s April 2012 resale housing report include:
• California’s housing inventory remains low, with the Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes remaining at 4.2 months in April, unchanged from a revised 4.2 months in March.  April’s housing inventory was down from a revised 5.6 months in April 2011.  The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.  A 7-month supply is considered normal.

• Interest rates remained extremely low in April, with 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaging 3.91 percent, down from 4.84 percent in April 2011, according to Freddie Mac.  Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 2.78 percent in April 2012, compared with 3.20 percent in April 2011.

• The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home fell to 49.3 days in April 2012, down from a revised 53.2 days for the same period a year ago.

• View Unsold Inventory by price range.

Note:  The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only.  County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales.  Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home.  Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold.  Due to the low sales volume in some areas, median price changes in December may exhibit unusual fluctuation.
Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

April 2012 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

April-12Median Price of Existing Single-Family HomesSales
State/Region/CountyApr-12Mar-12Apr-11MTM% ChgYTY% ChgMTM% ChgYTY% Chg
CA SFH (SAAR)$308,050$291,330r$294,140r5.7%4.7%10.0%11.0%
CA Condo/Townhomes$240,410$235,710r$237,420r2.0%1.3%-1.5%4.0%
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area$289,700$276,270$277,3004.9%4.5%-4.7%1.3%
Inland Empire$181,770$179,500$169,4601.3%7.3%-11.0%-3.7%
S.F. Bay Area$526,370$478,330$488,940r10.0%7.7%5.3%9.2%
S.F. Bay Area
Contra-Costa (Central County)$626,970$582,070$553,1607.7%13.3%21.7%19.7%
San Francisco$693,750$649,390$636,9006.8%8.9%-2.1%-4.2%
San Mateo$745,000$677,900$700,000r9.9%6.4%-3.5%16.0%
Santa Clara$636,000$575,250$578,000r10.6%10.0%6.6%-3.0%
Southern California
Los Angeles$286,800$272,920$290,6005.1%-1.3%-2.9%-0.6%
Orange County$513,950$485,300$530,1405.9%-3.1%1.4%19.2%
Riverside County$213,950$211,350$199,2301.2%7.4%-13.0%0.0%
San Bernardino$132,030$131,640$128,9000.3%2.4%-7.1%-9.9%
San Diego$369,910$363,710$378,2301.7%-2.2%4.5%9.7%
Central Coast
San Luis Obispo$360,670$380,140$390,180-5.1%-7.6%0.0%5.1%
Santa Barbara$411,540$405,380$400,000r1.5%2.9%-14.3%14.4%
Santa Cruz$475,000$482,160$460,000r-1.5%3.3%-10.0%8.5%
Central Valley
Kern (Bakersfield)$145,000$132,480r$126,750r9.5%14.4%-0.2%-8.4%
Kings County$151,870$141,430$136,1507.4%11.5%0.0%5.2%
Placer County$276,150$268,750$270,8902.8%1.9%-5.9%5.9%
San Benito$287,450$232,350$261,00023.7%10.1%14.8%8.8%
Other Counties in California
Butte County$197,620$200,000$217,040r-1.2%-8.9%8.3%13.6%
Lake County$113,330$110,000$98,3303.0%15.3%-10.3%-10.3%
Siskiyou County$103,330$110,000$120,000r-6.1%-13.9%61.1%-19.4%
April 2012 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
April-12Unsold Inventory IndexMedian Time on Market
CA SFH (SAAR)4.24.2r5.6r49.353.153.2r
CA Condo/Townhomes4.04.25.955.456.758.8r
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area4.54.35.854.857.055.5
Inland Empire4.
S.F. Bay Area3.33.54.7r47.553.252.5r
S.F. Bay Area
Contra-Costa (Central County)
San Francisco4.
San Mateo2.52.44.7r23.025.127.8r
Santa Clara2.32.53.4r22.624.326.9r
Sourthern California
Los Angeles4.44.35.853.055.653.7
Orange County4.84.97.561.770.268.9
Riverside County4.
San Bernardino4.
San Diego4.85.16.647.452.152.5
Central Coast
San Luis Obispo4.74.76.359.775.070.1
Santa Barbara4.94.67.7r65.881.769.7r
Santa Cruz4.54.06.2r26.543.450.6r
Central Valley
Kern (Bakersfield)3.43.4r4.2NANANA
Kings County3.43.64.950.166.471.2
San Benito2.43.44.443.437.441.0r
Other Counties in California
Butte County3.94.16.629.867.455.7
Lake County6.25.56.794.666.689.3
Siskiyou County12.619.911.768.382.898.3