California Home Sales Jump 22%

June 26, 2002

Strong Demand, Low Inventory Continues To Fuel Home Sales, Median Remains Above $300,000

Inman News Features

May sales of existing homes in California increased 22.7 percent and the median home price rose 25.5 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to the California Association of Realtors and real estate information service Real Estate Solutions.

"Fueled by a combination of strong demand for housing and low inventory of homes for sale as we entered the peak home-selling season, sales and the median price of a home in California surged last month," said C.A.R. President Robert Bailey. "Time on the market - the median number of days it takes to list and sell a home - was at 24 days in May."

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 620,300 in May at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to C.A.R. Statewide home resale activity increased 22.7 percent from the 505,590 sales pace recorded in May last year while resale activity posted a 3.5 percent decrease compared with April.

The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2002 would be if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year and is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during May was $321,130,posting a 25.5 percent increase over the $255,860 median for May last year, and up 1.3 percent from April, according to C.A.R.

"The median price of a home jumped by double digits in 12 regions throughout the state last month, while sales posted double-digit gains in 13 regions," said C.A.R. VP and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "While we don't expect home sales to maintain this frenetic pace, the state's ongoing shortage of affordable homes for sale will continue to exert upward pressure on the median price."

C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in May was 2.1 months, compared with 3.6 months for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. has more than 100,000 members.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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