California October Home Sales

November 19, 2009

An estimated 41,280 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That was up 2.6 percent from 40,216 in September, and down 2.4 percent from 42,293 for October 2008. California sales for the month of October have varied from a low of 25,832 in 2007 to a peak of 70,152 in 2003, while the average is 44,451. MDA DataQuick's statistics go back to 1988.

The median price paid for a home last month was $257,000, up 2.4 percent from $251,000 in September, and down 7.6 percent from $278,000 for October a year ago. It was the smallest year-over-year decline in the statewide median sale price since September 2007, when it declined 7.5 percent from a year earlier.

The last time the statewide median was higher than October’s $257,000 was in November 2008, when it was $258,000.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 41.2 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That is the lowest since May last year when it was 39.8 percent. In October 2008 it was 52.4 percent. It reached a peak this year of 58.8 percent in February.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,097. That was up from $1,085 in September, and down from $1,362 for October 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 58.3 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 has declined somewhat but remains high by historical standards. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, and non-owner occupied buying is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.

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