California kicks off spring home-buying season with mixed results, C.A.R. reports
- Existing, single-family home sales totaled 416,790 in April on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 1.7 percent from March and up 2.2 percent from April 2017.
- April’s statewide median home price was $584,460, up 3.5 percent from March and 8.6 percent from April 2017.
- For the first time in nearly three years, the number of available homes for sale increased, following nearly two consecutive years of double-digit declines in active listings.
LOS ANGELES (May 17) – California’s spring housing market posted mixed results as home sales cooled in April and home prices continued to accelerate, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area region, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 416,790 units in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.
The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2018 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
April’s sales figure was down 1.7 percent from the 423,990 level in March and up 2.2 percent compared with home sales in April 2017 of a revised 407,960. March marked the second straight deceleration in home sales and the first decline in three months.
“After nearly three years of decline in active listings, we’re finally seeing an improvement in the availability of homes for sale, which is encouraging for prospective buyers as we enter the busy spring home-buying season,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “However, entry-level buyers may continue to experience the housing shortage as homes priced under $300,000 continue to bear the brunt of inventory issues.”
Home prices maintained their strong year-over-year growth across California, with the statewide median price jumping 3.5 percent in April to reach $584,460, up from a revised $564,830 in March and rising 8.6 percent from a revised $537,950 in April 2017. With the median price per square foot rising to $281, the growth in home prices marks true increases in home values rather than a shift in the market toward sales of larger or higher-end homes. However, with the Bay Area outperforming the rest of the state, there is undoubtedly some pressure on the median price as the Bay Area made up a larger share of home sales.
“After increasing year-over-year by more than 8 percent for the past three months, the California median home price is close to striking distance of the pre-recession peak price of $594,530, which was recorded in May 2007,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “With a continued imbalance of supply and demand, we’ll likely break previous price records – which many areas have already done – before the summer is over.”