Home/Mortgages/California Home Sales Move Higher in August

September 11, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in California increased for the first time in three months according to real estate information provider DataQuick while home prices held steady from the previous month.

An estimated total of 41,280 new and existing homes and condos were sold in the Golden State in August. That was 4.5 percent higher than the 39,507 homes sold in July and 9.4 percent higher than the 37,734 homes sold in August 2011.

Home sales in the state typically decrease 3.5 percent between July and August. Despite being 14.1 percent below the historical average of 48,061 sales for the month, home sales have improved year-over-year for the last 13 months.

Distressed property sales accounted for 38.2 percent of all re-sales in August, down from 40.5 percent in July, with homes that had been foreclosed on in the previous twelve months accounting for 20.0 percent of the existing home sales. That was down from a revised 21.7 percent in July and down from 34.3 percent in August of 2011.

Foreclosure re-sales are down by nearly two-thirds since the market peaked in February 2009 when foreclosure re-sales accounted for 58.5 percent of the resale market.

Short sales accounted for an estimated 18.2 percent of all re-sales last month, down from 18.8 percent in July. In August of last year, short sales accounted for 17.5 percent of all existing home sales.

The median sales price for a home in California increased 2.6 percent to $281,000, unchanged from July but was still 14.1 percent higher than the median price of $249,000 posted in August of 2011. It was the sixth consecutive increase in year-over-year prices in the state following 18 months of declines.

The statewide current cycle peak price was $484,000 in early 2007, while the low during the current cycle was $221,000 in August 2009.

Tags: California real estate, new and re-sale homes, condos, sales, median home prices, distressed properties, short sales, typical mortgage payment