California September Home Sales

October 21, 2010

An estimated 33,176 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That was down 3.1 percent from 34,239 in August, and down 17.5 percent from 40,216 for September 2009. California sales for the month of September have varied from a low of 24,460 in 2007 to a high of 68,114 in 2005, while the average is 44,310. MDA DataQuick's statistics go back to 1988.

The median price paid for a home last month was $265,000, up 1.9 percent from $260,000 in August, and up 5.6 percent from $251,000 for September a year ago. The year-over-year increase was the 11th in a row, following 27 months of year-over-year declines. The bottom of the current cycle saw a median of $221,000 in April 2009, while the peak was $484,000 in early 2007.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 35.8 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was up from a revised 35.7 percent in August and down from 41.7 percent in September a year ago. The all-time high was in February 2009 at 58.5 percent.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,055. That was up from $1,045 in August, and down from $1,085 in September 2009. Adjusted for inflation, last month's mortgage payment was 51.1 percent below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 60.4 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 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.

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916)456-7157 or alepage@dqnews.com

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