California Statewide February Home Sales

March 18, 2010

An estimated 28,111 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That was up 0.9 percent from 27,858 in January, and down 3.8 percent from 29,225 for February 2009. California sales for the month of February have varied from a low of 20,513 in 2008 to a peak of 48,409 in 2004, while the average is 32,325. MDA DataQuick's statistics go back to 1988.

The median price paid for a home last month was $249,000, up 0.8 percent from $247,000 in January, and up 11.2 percent from $224,000 for February a year ago. The year-over-year increase was the fourth in a row, following 27 months of year-over-year declines. The median peaked at $484,000 in early 2007 and hit a low of $221,000 last April.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 44.3 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was up from a revised 43.8 percent in January and down from 58.8 percent in February a year ago, the all-time high.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,068. That was up from $1,064 in January, and up from $976 for February a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, last month's mortgage payment was 50.2 percent below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 59.6 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, cash and non-owner occupied buying is up, MDA DataQuick reported.

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