California home sales increase in October

Home sales increased 8.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 493,240 units in October compared with a year earlier, C.A.R. reported.  On a month-over-month basis, home sales in the state rose 0.9 percent.

“Based on preliminary analysis, it appears that the lower conforming loan limits has had a cooling effect on home sales in October, particularly in the higher-cost markets across the state, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal regions of Southern California,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.  “This evidence supports the need for reinstating the higher loan limits while the housing market is in transition to recovery.”

The October statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California was $278,060, down 3.3 percent from $287,440 in September and down 8.9 percent from the $305,150 median price recorded for October 2010.

For more information, view the October 2011 sales and price report from C.A.R. below:

C.A.R. October sales and price report

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 15) – California home sales posted a marginal increase in October and also were above year-ago levels, according to figures released today from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California edged up to a seasonally adjusted 493,240 units in October, up 0.9 percent from a revised 488,700 in September, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  October home sales also were up 8.5 percent from the revised 454,740 units sold during the like period a year ago.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2011 if sales maintained the October pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“Based on preliminary analysis, it appears that the lower conforming loan limits has had a cooling effect on home sales in October, particularly in the higher cost markets across the state, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal regions of Southern California,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.  “This evidence supports the need for reinstating the higher loan limits while the housing market is in transition to recovery.”

C.A.R. logoThe October statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California was $278,060, down 3.3 percent from $287,440 in September and down 8.9 percent from the $305,150 median price recorded for October 2010.

“While October’s sales were on track with expectations, the month-to-month drop in the median price was larger than usual for this time of year,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.  “Because of the lower Fannie, Freddie, and FHA conforming loan limits, some buyers purchased less expensive homes so that their mortgages would meet the criteria for the lower limit, while others were unable to qualify for nonconforming loans that typically have higher down payment requirements and higher mortgage rates.  The resulting change in the mix of sales drove down October’s median price.”

Other key facts of C.A.R.’s resale housing report for October 2011 include:

  • The Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes was 5.3 months in October, up from 5.1 months in September but down from a revised 6.2-month supply in October 2010.  The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
  • Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.07 percent during October 2011, down from 4.23 percent in October 2010, according to Freddie Mac.  Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 2.92 percent in October 2011, compared with 3.36 percent in October 2010.
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 55.2 days in October 2011, compared with 51.5 days for the same period a year ago.
  • View Unsold Inventory by price range.

Note:  The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only.  County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales.  Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home.  Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold.  Due to the low sales volume in some areas, median price changes in October may exhibit unusual fluctuation.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 160,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

October 2011 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

October 2011 median price

October 2011 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)October 2011 Unsold Inventory Index

Renee West
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Renee West

Broker Associate at Villa Real Estate
I'm a real estate broker associate in Newport Beach & Corona del Mar, CA, with Villa Real Estate.
Contact me at (714) 914 9060 or rwest@villarealestate.com for all your real estate wants and needs.
Renee West
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