September 5th, 2008 10:25 PM by Lehel Szucs
C.A.R. reports sales increased 43.4 percent; median home price fell 40.3 percent in July
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 25) – Home sales increased 43.4 percent in July in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home fell 40.3 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.
"Sales improved significantly in July 2008 and remained above the 400,000 level for the third consecutive month," said C.A.R. President William E. Brown. "Deeply-discounted, distressed sales continue to drive volume in many regions of the state. July also was the first full month during which the effects of higher $729,000 conforming loan limits likely had an impact on closed sales.
"Year-to-year increases in the number of transactions ranged from a 6.7 percent increase in the San Francisco Bay Area to a 176.5 percent increase in the Riverside/San Bernardino region," he said. "In general, greater percentage gains occurred in lower-priced areas that had been most adversely affected by the market downturn since late 2005 and that are concurrently experiencing the biggest declines in prices."
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 489,080 in July at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 43.4 percent from the revised 341,130 sales pace recorded in July 2007. Sales in July 2008 increased 15.3 percent compared with the previous month.
The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2008 would be if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during July 2008 was $350,760, a 40.3 percent decrease from the revised $587,560 median for July 2007, C.A.R. reported. The July 2008 median price fell 4.5 percent compared with June’s revised $367,130 median price.
"Once again, the 40.3 percent year-to-year decrease in the median price of a home was an all-time record, surpassing the previous record set in June with a 37.9 percent decrease," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.
"Since the statewide median remained in the $585,000-$595,000 range through August of last year, the market will continue to experience significant year-to-year adjustments through August even if the median price holds steady over the next few months," she said. "The statewide median was last in the $350,000 range in early 2003."
Highlights of C.A.R.’s resale housing figures for July 2008:
. C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in July 2008 was 6.7 months, compared with 10 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
. Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 6.43 percent during July 2008, compared with 6.70 percent in July 2007, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 5.24 percent in July 2008, compared with 5.71 percent in July 2007.
. The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 47.5 days in July 2008, compared with 50.7 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.
Regional MLS sales and price information are contained in the tables that accompany this press release. Regional sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. The MLS median price and sales data for detached homes are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state. MLS median price and sales data for condominiums are based on a survey of more than 60 associations. The median price for both detached homes and condominiums represents closed escrow sales.
In a separate report covering more localized statistics generated by C.A.R. and DataQuick Information Systems, 2 percent, or 8 out of 391 cities and communities, showed an increase in their respective median home prices from a year ago. DataQuick statistics are based on county records data rather than MLS information. DataQuick Information Systems is a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. (The top 10 lists are generated for incorporated cities with a minimum of 30 recorded sales in the month.)
Note: Large changes in local median home prices typically indicate both local home price appreciation, and often, large shifts in the composition of housing market activity. Some of the variations in median home prices for July may be exaggerated due to compositional changes in housing demand. The DataQuick tables listing median home prices in California cities and counties are accessible through C.A.R. Online at http://car.org/economics/historicalprices/2008medianprices/July2008medianprices/.
. Statewide, the 10 cities with the highest median home prices in California during July 2008 were: Manhattan Beach, $1,774,727; Los Gatos, $1,425,000; Mill Valley, $1,375,000; Burlingame, $1,294,000; Calabasas,$1,188,000; Newport Beach, $1,145,000; Cupertino, $1,041,250; Rancho Palos Verdes, $1,005,000; San Carlos, $975,000; Danville, $930,000.
. Statewide, the cities with the greatest median home price increases in July 2008 compared with the same period a year ago were: Los Gatos, 36.6 percent; Mill Valley, 28.6 percent; Manhattan Beach, 9 percent; Berkeley, 8.2 percent; Mountain View, 6.9 percent; Cupertino, 1.1 percent.
Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with nearly 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
July 2008 Regional Sales and Price Activity*Regional and Condo Sales Data Not Seasonally Adjusted
Percent Change in Price from Prior Month
Percent Change in Price from Prior Year
Percent Change in Sales from Prior Month
Percent Change in Sales from Prior Year
Santa Cruz County
Northern Wine Country
Palm Springs/Lower Desert
San Francisco Bay
San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara County**
Santa Barbara South Coast
North Santa Barbara County
na - not available* Based on closed escrow sales of single-family, detached homes only (no condos). Reported month-to-month changes in sales activity in July overstate actual changes because of the small size of individual regional samples. Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as measuring changes in the cost of a standard home. Prices are influenced by changes in cost and changes in the characteristics and size of homes actually sold.
** Santa Barbara County and Monterey County median prices decreased significantly from July 07 due mainly to high proportion of total sales from lower-priced properties in the regions.
sf = single-family, detached home
Source: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Median Prices By Region – Current Month vs. Year Ago
Santa Barbara County*
* Santa Barbara County and Monterey County median prices decreased significantly from July 07 due mainly to high proportion of total sales from lower-priced properties in the regions.
na - not available
r - revised
Source: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®