Pending Sales in February Reach Highest Level in Seven Months

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Discussion on the California Residential Real Estate Market

July home sales climb to highest level in nearly three years

Sales 2015-08Sustained job and income growth gave home buyers the confidence in July to jump into the California housing market, pushing home sales to their highest level in nearly three years.

Home sales remained above the 400,000 mark in July for the fourth consecutive month and rose to highest level since October 2012. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 449,530 units in July. The July figure was up 2.7 percent from the revised 437,680 level in June and 12.7 percent compared with home sales in July 2014 of a revised 398,980. The year-to-year change was the highest since July 2009 and significantly higher than the 6-month average increase of 6 percent observed from January 2015-June 2015.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home dipped 0.3 percent in July to $488,260 from $489,640 in June.  July’s median price was 5.4 percent higher than the revised $463,330 recorded in July 2014. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

Median Price 2015-08

The July Unsold Inventory Index was unchanged from June, remaining at 3.3 months, but down from 3.8 months in July 2014. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.

Home sales Surge in March-April

The spring selling season gets off to a sunny start in March with the sale pace reaching an 18-month high. Also, NAR President Chris Polychron urges the Senate Banking Committee to take action on overly tight mortgage credit. Other stories: Hard-hit buyers are returning to the market seven years after the downturn and the Rural Housing Service joins NAR to talk about the advantages of Sec. 502 direct loans for households that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get mortgage financing.

Pending Sales Post Solid Gain in May 2014

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 6.1 percent to 103.9 in May from 97.9 in April, but still remains 5.2 percent below May 2013 (109.6). May’s 6.1 percent increase was the largest month-over-month gain since April 2010 (9.6 percent), when first-time home buyers rushed to sign purchase contracts before a popular tax credit program ended.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects improving home sales in the second half of the year. “Sales should exceed an annual pace of five million homes in some of the upcoming months behind favorable mortgage rates, more inventory and improved job creation,” he said. “However, second-half sales growth won’t be enough to compensate for the sluggish first quarter and will likely fall below last year’s total.”

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