California home sales rose in December, posting their highest level since May, according to a report from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.), as the inventory of unsold homes dwindled.
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY
- Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 520,680 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide. December’s sales were up 5.9 percent from November’s revised pace of 491,590 units, but were down 6.8 percent from the revised 558,840 sales pace recorded in December 2009. The statewide sales figure is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
- Following three consecutive monthly declines, the median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California increased 1.7 percent from a revised $296,690 in November but was down 1.6 percent from the revised $306,860 median price recorded for the same period a year ago.
- “December’s sales increase reflects buyers taking advantage of rock bottom interest rates and improved affordability since the first half of the year, when prices were higher,” said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce. “Most of December’s sales opened escrow in October and November. Rates hit their absolute lowest in October but began edging higher in November, prompting buyers to get off the fence,” she said.
- For more about the California housing market, watch a video of C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young as she discusses highlights of the December sales and price report.