California Home Sales and Price Gains Temper in May as Buyers Confront Housing Affordability Constraints and Low Inventory, C.A.R. Reports

Business Wire

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

California home sales eased slightly in May as a shortage of homes and housing affordability concerns held back would-be home buyers, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. Meanwhile, the median home price posted higher from both the previous month and year for the third consecutive month and remained at its highest level since December 2007.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 391,030 units in May, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. May marked the seventh straight month that sales were below the 400,000 level and the tenth straight decline on a year-over-year basis. Sales in May dipped 0.6 percent from a revised 393,480 in April and were down 9.5 percent from a revised 432,140 in May 2013. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2014 if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“Since last summer, the market has been transitioning to a slower pace of sales, somewhat higher inventory and less upward pressure on prices,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. “Generally speaking, buyers are feeling less urgency to buy as affordability has become more of an issue and lending standards continue to remain tight. However, a recent surge in mortgage applications, due partially to declining interest rates, may indicate that higher housing demand can be expected in the coming months.

For the third straight month, the statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home rose both month to month and year to year. May’s median price increased 3.7 percent from April’s median price of $449,360 to $465,960 and was up 11.7 percent from the revised $417,140 recorded in May 2013. The statewide median home price has increased year over year for the previous 27months, marking more than two full years of consecutive year-over-year price increases and the 23rd straight month of double-digit annual gains. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

“While home price increases have tempered over the past few months, prices are still nearly 12 percent higher than a year ago, which is presenting affordability challenges to home buyers,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “And though housing inventory is up from last year, it’s still half of what is considered normal, with some of it being overpriced. A tempering in home price increases and the recent drop in mortgage rates, however, should help spark the market in the upcoming months.”

Other key facts from C.A.R.’s May 2014 resale housing report include:

  • Housing inventory was unchanged in May, with the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale holding steady at 3.6 months. The index was 2.6 months in May 2013. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home fell to 31.6 days in May, down from 33.8 days in April but up from 27.1 days in May 2013.
  • Mortgage rates fell in May, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4.19 percent, down from 4.34 percent in April but up from 3.54 percent in May 2013, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in May averaged 2.43 percent, down from 2.44 in April and down from 2.55 percent in May 2013.

Slides (click links to open):

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. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed by a relatively small share of transactions at either the lower-end or the upper-end. 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 may exhibit unusual fluctuation. The change in median prices should not be construed as actual price changes in specific homes.

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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 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

May 2014 County Sales and Price Activity

(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

         
May 2014 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes     Sales

State/Region/County

May
2014

April
2014

 

May
2013

     

MTM%
Chg

 

YTY%
Chg

   

MTM%
Chg

 

YTY%
Chg

CA Single-family (SAAR) $465,960 $449,360   $417,140   r   3.7%   11.7%     -0.6%   -9.5%
CA Condo/Townhomes $376,040 $369,770   $338,160   r   1.7%   11.2%     -1.2%   -6.7%
Los Angeles Metro Area $425,900 $412,060   $380,540   r   3.4%   11.9%     4.4%   -11.8%
Inland Empire $280,060 $264,010   $238,240       6.1%   17.6%     -0.3%   -9.6%
San Francisco Bay Area $768,910 $768,110   $719,610       0.1%   6.9%     7.2%   -3.4%
                               
San Francisco Bay Area                              
Alameda $749,330 $718,580   $652,590       4.3%   14.8%     8.3%   -2.7%
Contra-Costa (Ctrl. Cty.) $759,870 $755,950   $811,090       0.5%   -6.3%     6.7%   25.7%
Marin $1,033,330 $1,007,580   $963,110       2.6%   7.3%     9.3%   -7.2%
Napa $602,940 $523,150   $488,890       15.3%   23.3%     -0.9%   -16.4%
San Francisco $963,030 $940,570   $947,260       2.4%   1.7%     -1.9%   -3.2%
San Mateo $1,130,000 $1,001,000   $950,000       12.9%   18.9%     -0.2%   -14.6%
Santa Clara $875,580 $900,000   $824,960       -2.7%   6.1%     5.0%   -5.9%
Solano $316,840 $315,150   $265,090       0.5%   19.5%     14.1%   -1.9%
Sonoma $490,450 $475,260   $436,520       3.2%   12.4%     24.1%   -9.7%
Southern California                              
Los Angeles $411,640 $406,750   $365,990       1.2%   12.5%     6.9%   -12.2%
Orange County $698,260 $679,820   $655,630       2.7%   6.5%     8.6%   -13.7%
Riverside County $323,890 $309,240   $282,560       4.7%   14.6%     2.5%   -8.7%
San Bernardino $214,540 $198,910   $170,090       7.9%   26.1%     -4.9%   -11.2%
San Diego $498,020 $492,080   $469,590       1.2%   6.1%     -1.4%   -18.7%
Ventura $568,360 $575,390   $496,870       -1.2%   14.4%     3.1%   -15.6%
Central Coast                              
Monterey $445,000 $451,500   $410,000       -1.4%   8.5%     15.0%   5.0%
San Luis Obispo $487,500 $465,300   $445,160       4.8%   9.5%     8.5%   -12.1%
Santa Barbara $736,110 $633,330   $656,250   r   16.2%   12.2%     -3.3%   -16.8%
Santa Cruz $681,500 $625,750   $623,750       8.9%   9.3%     10.5%   -24.3%
Central Valley                              
Fresno $199,540 $192,880   $167,770       3.5%   18.9%     0.4%   -6.7%
Glenn $152,500 $170,000   $160,000       -10.3%   -4.7%     -15.4%   -21.4%
Kern (Bakersfield) $209,250 $197,500 r $187,500   r   5.9%   11.6%     12.8%   4.2%
Kings County $171,670 $166,250   $149,000       3.3%   15.2%     13.0%   -14.3%
Madera $176,670 $182,500   $142,000       -3.2%   24.4%     -27.6%   -27.6%
Merced $171,430 $164,540   $151,050       4.2%   13.5%     12.1%   -0.8%
Placer County $383,070 $375,160   $353,110       2.1%   8.5%     14.4%   -7.5%
Sacramento $273,970 $267,260   $243,660       2.5%   12.4%     0.4%   -13.4%
San Benito $417,500 $430,000   $355,000       -2.9%   17.6%     0.0%   -11.1%
San Joaquin $248,680 $251,100   $206,190       -1.0%   20.6%     3.7%   -13.1%
Stanislaus $223,870 $212,500   $181,160       5.4%   23.6%     -10.5%   2.4%
Tulare $177,140 $172,500   $157,500       2.7%   12.5%     13.8%   -3.5%
Other Calif. Counties                              
Amador $242,860 $190,000   $216,670   r   27.8%   12.1%     0.0%   -37.8%
Butte County $261,840 $254,170   $238,300       3.0%   9.9%     7.3%   -14.7%
Calaveras $247,250 $239,000   $206,000       3.5%   20.0%     21.1%   -18.9%
Del Norte $177,500 $147,500   $153,000       20.3%   16.0%     20.0%   -47.8%
El Dorado County $374,240 $366,950   $338,240       2.0%   10.6%     7.7%   -14.1%
Humboldt $254,350 $238,460   $233,930       6.7%   8.7%     2.0%   -1.9%
Lake County $170,000 $158,000   $141,250       7.6%   20.4%     -9.1%   -32.6%
Tuolumne $244,440 $237,500   $184,290       2.9%   32.6%     0.0%   -28.7%
Mendocino $297,500 $300,000   $250,000       -0.8%   19.0%     25.0%   -5.2%
Nevada $290,000 $339,000   NA       -14.5%   NA     41.8%   NA
Plumas $189,000 $231,500   NA       -18.4%   NA     -5.0%   -26.9%
Shasta $214,020 $202,270   $202,500   r   5.8%   5.7%     -10.0%   -30.0%
Siskiyou County $170,000 $150,000   $115,000       13.3%   47.8%     26.5%   -2.3%
Sutter $210,000 $216,500   NA       -3.0%   NA     18.3%   NA
Tehama $178,000 $250,000   $200,000       -28.8%   -11.0%     105.0%   36.7%
Yolo $361,630 $331,250   $299,140       9.2%   20.9%     7.3%   2.5%
Yuba $195,000 $181,000   NA       7.7%   NA     -1.3%   NA

r = revised
NA = not available

May 2014 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market

(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

                               
May 2014

Unsold
Inventory
Index

             

Median
Time
on
Market

       
State/Region/County

May
2014

 

April
2014

   

May
2013

   

May
2014

 

April
2014

 

May
2013

   
CA SFH (SAAR) 3.6   3.6     2.6     31.6   33.8   27.1    
CA Condo/Townhomes 3.2   3.1     2.4     34.9   31.8   27.2    
Los Angeles Metro Area 3.9   3.8     2.7     44.1   44.4   33.4    
Inland Empire 4.3   4.2     2.8     47.5   46.5   33.9    
San Francisco Bay Area 2.5   2.4     2.2     26.9   29.5   31.4    
                               
San Francisco Bay Area                              
Alameda 2.2   2.3     2.1     40.8   45.2   48.2    
Contra-Costa (Central Cty) 2.7   2.4     2.2     47.4   46.7   47.3    
Marin 2.6   2.7     2.8     28.7   24.8   29.6    
Napa 4.7   4.5     4.0     48.6   39.6   47.9    
San Francisco 2.6   2.3     2.9     20.3   23.0   24.2    
San Mateo 2.0   1.8     2.0     18.5   17.9   18.1    
Santa Clara 1.9   1.8     1.8     18.4   18.1   17.7    
Solano 3.0   3.4     1.8     34.5   33.7   32.5    
Sonoma 3.2   3.7     2.8     39.6   45.7   43.1    
Southern California                              
Los Angeles 3.6   3.5     2.5     38.7   39.5   27.9    
Orange County 3.9   4.0     2.7     49.6   49.9   42.1    
Riverside County 4.3   4.3     2.8     50.3   49.5   34.9    
San Bernardino 4.4   4.1     2.9     41.8   41.2   31.8    
San Diego 3.8   3.6     2.8     24.8   26.7   24.7    
Ventura 3.9   3.9     3.2     48.2   49.4   44.0    
Central Coast                              
Monterey 3.5   4.2     3.6     26.0   29.9   23.7    
San Luis Obispo 4.9   4.9     3.5     28.9   27.8   23.8    
Santa Barbara 4.3   4.1     2.7   r 35.6   52.5   28.4    
Santa Cruz 3.4   3.5     2.7     22.2   23.6   21.2    
Central Valley                              
Fresno 4.4   4.3     3.6     26.1   26.1   24.7    
Glenn 7.5   5.9     5.1   r 47.0   38.3   60.5    
Kern (Bakersfield) 2.7   2.9     2.7   r 20.0   24.0   16.0   r
Kings County 3.3   3.7     2.5     48.8   46.5   26.9    
Madera 3.9   3.3     3.6     28.7   41.4   27.3    
Merced 3.6   4.0     2.1     29.5   27.3   25.7    
Placer County 3.5   3.8     2.3     22.8   23.9   20.3    
Sacramento 3.1   2.9     2.0     22.3   22.0   18.6    
San Benito 2.9   3.0     2.0     23.5   25.0   20.1    
San Joaquin 3.1   3.0     2.2     23.7   23.8   19.4    
Stanislaus 2.9   2.6     2.4     21.8   22.7   18.6    
Tulare 3.8   4.3     2.7     29.8   37.4   24.2    
Other Counties in California                              
Amador 5.0   4.3   r NA     61.0   57.1   43.4    
Butte County 4.1   4.2     2.9     36.7   42.3   26.4    
Calaveras 7.0   7.4     4.2     56.5   54.0   31.0    
Del Norte 14.5   17.8     7.7   r 106.5   121.5   178.0    
El Dorado County 4.8   4.6     3.3     26.5   37.6   27.1   r
Humboldt 5.8   5.5     5.0     36.4   48.8   27.5    
Lake County 7.9   6.5     5.0     84.2   65.5   69.7    
Tuolumne 7.9   7.1     4.7     52.8   49.9   28.1    
Mendocino 7.0   8.9     6.7     52.3   75.5   66.8    
Nevada 6.5   9.0     NA     28.0   25.0   NA    
Plumas 23.8   19.5     NA     99.0   157.0   NA    
Shasta 6.4   5.2     2.7   r 28.7   32.1   26.8   r
Siskiyou County 9.4   10.6     9.1     47.7   124.8   64.6    
Sutter 3.5   4.3     NA     18.0   29.0   NA    
Tehama 6.0   11.4     6.4     43.4   91.0   33.4    
Yolo 2.7   2.8     2.3     23.4   23.9   19.4    
Yuba 3.1   2.8     NA     26.0   27.0   NA    

r = revised
NA = not available

Contact:
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ®
Lotus Lou, (213) 739-8304
lotusl@car.org

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