California September 2008 Home Sales

October 22, 2008

An estimated 40,317 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide last month. That was up 6.1 percent from 37,988 in August and up 64.8 percent from 24,460 in September last year. California sales for the month of September have varied from last year's record low to a peak of 69,304 in 2003, while the average is 45,035. MDA DataQuick's statistics go back to 1988.

Of the homes that resold in September, 51.1 percent were foreclosure resales, meaning they had been foreclosed on at some point in the prior 12 months. That's up from 46.9 percent in August and 12.6 percent in September 2007.

The median price paid for a home last month was $283,000, down 6.0 percent from $301,000 for the month before, and down 34.2 percent from $430,000 in September a year ago. Around half of the drop in the median is due to depreciation, with the other half due to shifts in the types of homes selling, and how those homes are financed.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,337. That was down from $1,428 in August, and down from $2,046 in September a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, mortgage payments are back to where they were in early 2001. They are 35.3 percent below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 47.7 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 is at or near record levels, financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is near the all-time low, as is financing with multiple mortgages. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, non-owner occupied buying activity appears flat but might be emerging, MDA DataQuick reported.

Copyright 2005 DataQuick Information Systems. All rights reserved.