Home/Mortgages/Home Sales and Prices Fall in California, but so does the Monthly Payment

November 18, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes, along with home prices, declined in California from September to October, but there is a silver lining – average mortgage payments are at an all-time low according to real estate information provider DataQuick.

An estimated total of 34,087 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the Golden State in October. That was 3.7 percent lower than the 35,404 homes sold in September but 4.3 percent higher than the 32,669 homes sold in October 2010. Historically, California averages 43,528 home sales in the month of October.

The median sales price for a home in California declined 3.6 percent to $240,000 in October from $249,000 in September and was 6.3 percent lower than the median price of $256,000 in October of 2010.

The statewide current cycle peak price was $484,000 in early 2007, while the low during the current cycle was $221,000 in April 2009. Year-over-year home prices have declined for 13 consecutive months.

Distressed property sales accounted for 53.6 percent of all re-sales in October, up from 52.5 percent in September, with homes that had been foreclosed on in the previous twelve months accounting for 34.1 percent of the existing home sales in October. That was an increase from 33.8 percent posted in the previous month of September but was down from 36.7 percent posted in October of 2010.

Short sales increased to 19.5 percent of all re-sales last month, up from 18.7 percent in September. In October of last year, short sales accounted for 18.2 percent of all distressed property sales.

Low mortgage interest rates and falling prices helped California borrowers keep their payments low as the typical monthly mortgage payment for home buyers declined by another $40 from September to October, falling to $924, the lowest payment on record for California when adjusted for inflation since DataQuick began keeping track in 1988.

The payment was also $81 less than the average mortgage payment of $1,005 in October of last year. October’s typical mortgage payment was 66.6 percent lower than it was during the current cycle’s peak in June 2006.

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