California August Home Sales

September 17, 2009

An estimated 39,811 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That was down 11.7 percent from 45,079 in July, and up 4.8 percent from 37,988 for August 2008. Sales have increased on a year-over-year basis the last fourteen months. California sales for the month of August have varied from a low of 33,429 in 2007 to a peak of 73,285 in 2005, the average is 49,467. MDA DataQuick's statistics go back to 1988.

The median price paid for a home last month was $249,000, down 0.4 percent from $250,000 in July, and down 17.3 percent from $301,000 for August a year ago.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 39.9 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That is the lowest in more than a year. In August 2008 it was 46.5 percent, it reached 58.8 percent last February.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,093. That was down from $1,101 in July, and down from $1,519 for August a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, last month's mortgage payment was 48.6 percent below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 58.4 percent below the current cycle's peak in June 2006.

MDA DataQuick is a division of MDA Lending Solutions, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. MDA DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains near record levels, while financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is near the all-time low but has recently edged higher. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, and non-owner occupied buying is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.

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