Sales in California Up in February, Median Prices Down
Home sales in California showed signs of improvement for February compared to the previous month of January and year before in February 2011, according to data from the California Association Of Realtors (C.A.R.).
For February, sales were up 2.1 percent from January’s revised 517,120 and up 5.5 percent from the revised 500,480 sales pace recorded a year ago. The statewide sales figure represents the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year, with adjustments for seasonal factors.
While the state followed the national trend of declining home prices, C.A.R. reported other signs are pointing towards stabilization.
“While the median home price dipped in February, the year-over-year decline was the smallest recorded since December 2010,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold. “This may be a signal of a possible stabilization in home prices, which should bode well for prospective buyers who have been on the sidelines waiting for prices to level out and may entice them to jump into the market.”
The statewide median price of an existing, single-family home dropped 0.6 percent to $266,660 in February compared to January’s $268,280 median price. The median price was down 1.7 percent a year ago, with a revised $271,370 median price recorded in February 2011.
The number of single-family detached homes that closed in California totaled 528,010 in February, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local realtor associations and MLSs statewide.
“February sales posted a stronger than usual performance with sales in major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco all logging double-digit gains from the previous year,” said C.A.R. VP and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young.
California’s housing inventory also declined in February, with the Unsold Inventory Index for single-homes down to 5.3 months in February, compared to a revised 5.7 months in January and down from the 7.5-month supply in February 2011. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home fell to 58.9 days in February 2012, down from a revised 64.7 days for the same period a year ago.
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