California home sales stumbled in July as low inventories and eroding affordability dragged down the housing market, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Closed sales of existing, single-family homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 415,840 units in July, according to info collected from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations & MLS’s.
Making sense of the story
- The July figure was down 4.1 percent from the revised 433,600 level in June and down 5.1 percent compared with home sales in July 2015 of a revised 438,230. Home sales remained above the 400,000 pace for the fourth straight month, but sales have declined year over year for the fifth consecutive month.
- “Despite the tight housing supply conditions that have persisted over the past few years, home sales have stayed relatively solid,” said C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “Even with a shortage of homes on the market, low rates and strong demand have been the norm. Some regions, such as the Bay Area, are seeing an uptick in inventory as high prices are motivating sellers to list their properties for sale. While this could ease the inventory somewhat, supply remains tight, and low affordability is expected to be an issue in the short term.”
- The statewide median price remained above the $500,000 mark for the fourth straight month, but there are signs of an expected slowing in price growth. The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home slipped 1.8 percent in July to $509,830 from $519,410 in June. July’s median price increased 3.9 percent from the revised $490,780 recorded in July 2015. 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. More homes being sold at the high end of the market (over $1 million) and slightly fewer sales at the lower end (under $300,000) contributed to the year-over-year gain in the median price.