Golden State gains ground

August 27, 2002

C.A.R. reports mild month-over-month increases in sales, median price

Inman News Features

California existing home sales posted more moderate gains in July as the median home price continued on its journey upward.

The median price of existing homes in July rose 21 percent to $323,700, while sales increased 7.5 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to the California Association of Realtors.

July home sales increased 1.3 percent, compared with June and the median price increased 0.1 percent, compared with June, C.A.R. reported.

"We've been anticipating the frenetic pace of home sales to return to more typical sales levels, especially compared to earlier this year when sales were at record-breaking levels several months in a row," said C.A.R. President Robert Bailey.

"The median price of a home has increased by 20 percent or more in five of the previous six months," said Bailey. "In fact, most regions of the state recorded double-digit increases in median prices compared to the same period a year ago. It's a reflection of continued constraints on the supply of homes for sale relative to demand."

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes totaled 540,800 in July at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local Realtor associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 7.5 percent from the 503,030 sales pace recorded in July of last year.

"California consumers also are benefiting from a wider array of loan products than have historically been available," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Affordability, while still low, is well above the levels of the late 1980s during the last housing cycle, and remains a concern for many households in the state."

The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold this year would be if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year, according to C.A.R. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. is a state trade organization with more than 100,000 members.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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