Home/Mortgages/California Home Sales Sink in September

October 23, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in California fell for the third time in the last four months in September according to real estate information provider DataQuick while home prices remained strong, moving slightly higher than the previous month.

An estimated total of 34,453 new and existing homes and condos were sold in the Golden State in September. That was 16.5 percent lower than the 41,280 homes sold in August and 2.7 percent lower than the 35,404 homes sold in September 2011.

Home sales in the state typically decrease 10.3 percent between August and September. It was the first time in 14 months that year-over-year homes sales have declined.

Distressed property sales accounted for 44.7 percent of all re-sales in September, down from 45.9 percent in August, with homes that had been foreclosed on in the previous twelve months accounting for 17.7 percent of the existing home sales. That was down from a revised 20.0 percent in August and down from 33.8 percent in September of 2011.

Foreclosure re-sales are down by just over 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 27.0 percent of all re-sales last month, up from a revised 25.9 percent in August. In September of last year, short sales accounted for 23.8 percent of all existing home sales.

The median sales price for a home in California increased 2.1 percent to $287,000, up from $281,000 in August and was 15.3 percent higher than the median price of $249,000 posted in September of 2011. It was the seventh 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 September 2009.

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