January 12th, 2008 9:08 AM by Lehel Szucs
C.A.R. reports sales decrease 36.2 percent, median home price falls 11.9 percent
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 21) – Home sales decreased 36.2 percent in November in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home fell 11.9 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.
"While it is normal for sales to decline at this time of year, regional sales fell more steeply than usual because of the ongoing liquidity crunch and tighter underwriting standards," said C.A.R. President William E. Brown.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 287,600 in November 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 decreased 36.2 percent from the 450,930 sales pace recorded in November 2006.
The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2007 would be if sales maintained the November 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 November 2007 was $488,640, an 11.9 percent decrease from the revised $554,500 median for November 2006, C.A.R. reported. The November 2007 median price fell 1.7 percent compared with October’s $497,110 median price.
"The large decreases in the statewide median price of the past few months have resulted from difficulties in obtaining jumbo loans, particularly in the upper and middle tiers of the market," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Whether this trend will continue after the liquidity crunch has eased remains to be seen."
Highlights of C.A.R.’s resale housing figures for November 2007:
C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in November 2007 was 15.3 months, compared with 6.4 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 6.21 percent during November 2007, compared with 6.24 percent in November 2006, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 5.48 percent in November 2007 compared with 5.51 percent in November 2006.
The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 63 days in November 2007, compared with 68 days for the same period a year ago.
Regional MLS sales and price information is 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, 13.9 percent, or 41 out of 295 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 November 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://www.car.org/index.php?id=MzgwNzQ=.
Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during November 2007 were: Newport Beach, $1,400,000; Saratoga, $1,300,000; Santa Monica, $1,100,000; Cupertino, $1,074,090; Santa Barbara, $1,065,000; Danville, $1,021,000; Yorba Linda, $910,000; San Clemente, $870,000; Redwood City, $822,500 and San Francisco, $814,500.
Statewide, the 13* cities and communities with the greatest median home price increases in November 2007 compared with the same period a year ago were: San Juan Capistrano, 42.3 percent; Newport Beach, 31.5 percent; Santa Monica, 29.4 percent; Mountain View, 18 percent; Cupertino, 18 percent; Truckee, 10.2 percent; Redwood City, 9.7 percent; Yorba Linda, 9.6 percent; Santa Barbara, 7.5 percent; Moorpark, 7.2 percent; San Francisco, 7.2 percent; Pasadena, 7.2 percent; and Los Angeles, 5.8 percent.
*There are 13 cities in the top 10 increases list this month because several cities had identical percentage gains.