Buyers hold off in California

March 26, 2003

Statewide sales fall 7.1%; median price climbs 11.1%

Inman News Features

The median price of an existing home in California shot up another 11.1 percent in February, while sales dropped 7.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago, the California Association of Realtors reported today.

Statewide closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes totaled 566,890 in February at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. This was down from the 610,380 sales pace recorded during the same month a year ago, according to C.A.R.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California last month was $327,600, an 11.1 percent increase over the revised $294,860 median for February 2002, C.A.R. reported. Last month's median price was down 2.7 percent from the prior month.

"Overall, the housing market continues to be a bright spot in the economy, especially in light of mixed economic indicators elsewhere and concerns about the conflict with Iraq," said C.A.R. President Toby Bradley.

In a separate report covering more localized statistics generated by C.A.R. and DataQuick Information Systems, 92.6 percent or 377 of 408 California cities and communities showed an increase in their respective median home prices from a year ago.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California last month were: Newport Coast at $1.06 million; Manhattan Beach at $1.05 million; Beverly Hills at $925,000; Burlingame at $900,000; Coronado at $862,000; Saratoga at $860,000; Pacific Palisades at $811,750; La Jolla at $794,250; Laguna Beach at $755,000; and Millbrae at $750,000.

C.A.R. is a state trade association with more than 115,000 members.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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