California November Home Sales

December 13, 2012

An estimated 37,481 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide last month, down 4.5 percent from 39,254 in October, and up 14.7 percent from 32,669 sales in November 2011, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

A decline in sales from October to November is normal for the season. November sales in California have varied from a low of 25,578 in 2007 to a high of 60,326 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 5.3 percent below the average of 39,594 sales for all months of November since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin.

The median price paid for a home in California last month was $291,000, up 2.1 percent from $285,000 in October and up 19.3 percent from $244,000 in November 2011. November was the ninth consecutive month in which the state's median sale price rose year-over-year. For the current cycle, the median hit bottom at $221,000 in April 2009, while it peaked at $484,000 in early 2007.

Of the existing homes sold in November, 16.6 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from a revised 17.1 percent in October and down from 32.9 percent a year earlier. Last month's figure was the lowest for any month since foreclosure resales made up 16.0 percent of the resale market in October 2007. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.5 percent in February 2009.

Short sales - transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property - made up an estimated 26.3 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was down from an estimated 27.1 percent the month before and up from 24.9 percent a year earlier.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,026. That was up from $1,009 in October and up from $955 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month's typical payment was 55.2 percent below the 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle, and 63.7 percent below the 2006 peak of the current cycle.

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 high by historical standards but has been trending downward and is well below peak levels. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, and cash and non-owner-occupied buying remains at a high, DataQuick reported.

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

Source: DataQuick; DQNews.com

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