California October 2008 Home Sales

November 20, 2008

An estimated 42,293 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That was up 4.9 percent from 40,317 in September and up 63.7 percent from 25,832 for October last year. It was the strongest month since December 2006 when 43,431 homes were sold. California sales for the month of October have varied from last year's low to a peak of 70,152 in 2003, the average is 44,602. MDA DataQuick's statistics go back to 1988.

The median price paid for a home last month was $278,000, down 1.8 percent from $283,000 for the month before, and down 34.4 percent from $424,000 for October a year ago. Around half the drop in median is due to depreciation, 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 $1,310. That was down from $1,337 in September, and down from $2,016 for October a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, mortgage payments are back to where they were in early 2001. They are 36.5 percent below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 48.7 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.

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