December 16, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in California declined in November but were still higher than last year’s sales total according to real estate information provider DataQuick. Home prices edged up from October but remained lower than last year.

An estimated total of 32,669 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the Golden State in November. That was 4.2 percent lower than the 34,087 homes sold in October but 4.0 percent higher than the 31,403 homes sold in November 2010. Historically, California averages 39,682 home sales in the month of November.

The median sales price for a home in California increased 3.6 percent to $244,000 in November from $240,000 in October and was 4.3 percent lower than the median price of $255,000 in November 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 14 consecutive months.

Distressed property sales accounted for 53.6 percent of all re-sales in November, up from a revised 53.4 percent in October, with homes that had been foreclosed on in the previous twelve months accounting for 33.5 percent of the existing home sales in November. That was down from a revised 34.0 percent posted in the previous month of October and down from 37.6 percent posted in November of 2010.

Short sales increased to 20.1 percent of all re-sales last month, up from a revised 19.4 percent in October. In November of last year, short sales accounted for 17.6 percent of all distressed property sales.

Low mortgage interest rates and the lowest home prices in years helped California borrowers keep their payments low as the typical monthly mortgage payment for home buyers in November was $931, up slightly from $924 in October which had been lowest payment on record for California when adjusted for inflation since DataQuick began keeping track in 1988.

The payment was still $79 less than the average mortgage payment of $1,010 in November of last year. November’s typical mortgage payment was 66.4 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