Home/Mortgages/Home Sales Edge Higher in California, Prices Continue to Climb

May 22, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in California edged slightly higher from March to April while year-over-year home prices improved for the second consecutive month according to real estate information provider DataQuick.

An estimated total of 38,241 new and existing homes and condos were sold in the Golden State in April. That was 2.0 percent higher than the 37,481 homes sold in March and 8.6 percent higher than the 35,202 homes sold in April 2011.

Home sales in the state are typically flat between March and April, with an average difference in sales between the two months of less than 300. Despite being 12.0 percent below the historical average of 44,115 sales for the month, it was still the best showing for the month since 2006.

The median sales price for a home in California increased 5.2 percent to $264,000 from $251,000 in March and was 6.0 percent higher than the median price of $249,000 posted in April of 2011. It was the second 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 April 2009.

Distressed property sales accounted for 48.6 percent of all re-sales in April, down from a revised 51.9 percent in March, with homes that had been foreclosed on in the previous twelve months accounting for 30.3 percent of the existing home sales. That was down from a revised 32.8 percent in March and down from 36.4 percent in April of 2011.

Short sales accounted for an estimated 18.3 percent of all re-sales last month, down from a revised 19.1 in March. In April of last year, short sales accounted for 16.9 percent of all existing home sales.

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