California Home Sales Rise as Prices Fall

February 15, 2011 No Comments »

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California home sales increased for a third consecutive month in January to their highest level since May 2010, according to a report released today by the California Association of Realtors.

January’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 546,420 single-family home sales was up 5.1 percent from December and 2.5 percent higher than the 532,870 sales pace recorded a year ago.

Last month also marked the first year-over-year home sales increase since May 2010.

Unfortunately, the median sales price in California fell to $278,900, down 8.6 percent from $305,020 a month earlier and 2.0 percent from the $284,600 median price recorded in January 2010.

The median price last month was the lowest recoded since June 2009, when it was $274,640.

“More distressed properties are coming on to the market, which led to an uptick in sales of distressed properties during January,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young, in a release.

“We expect this trend to continue as lenders expedite the disposition of these properties,” she added.

Meanwhile, 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 4.76 percent during January, compared with 5.03 percent a year earlier, and adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.25 percent, down from 4.33 percent in January 2010.

The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home nearly doubled to 61.8 days last month, up from 32.9 days a year ago.

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