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California Home Sales & Median Price Post Increases in November, C.A.R. reports

December 22, 2011

C.A.R. releases November sales and price report

For release:
Dec. 15, 2011

California home sales and median price post increases in November, C.A.R. reports

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 16) – California home sales posted an increase both on a monthly and annual basis in November, marking the fifth consecutive month of year-to-year sales increases, according to figures released today from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

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Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California rose to a seasonally adjusted 503,570 units in November, up 2.1 percent from a revised 493,140 in October, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. November home sales also were up 2.3 percent from the revised 492,040 units sold during the like period a year ago. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2011 if sales maintained the November pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“The continuing strength in home sales is encouraging and should keep us on track to match or exceed last year’s sales pace,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold. “Despite the challenges the housing market has faced, sales are maintaining a pace that is just shy of normal levels, enabling both distressed and non-distressed properties to move and providing a tremendous opportunity for those who are looking to buy a home.”

The November statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California was $280,960, up 1.0 percent from $278,060 in October but down 5.2 percent from the $296,480 median price recorded for November 2010.

“On a regional level, more markets registered year-to-year price gains in November than in October, despite the statewide year-over-year price decrease,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “However, price declines in such high cost areas as Contra Costa, Marin, Ventura, Orange County, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz may be a sign that the recent lowering of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits may have had an impact on purchases of homes in the moderately high-priced range.

Other key facts of C.A.R.’s November 2011 resale housing report include:

The Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes was 5.0 months in November, down from 5.3 months in October and down from a 6.2-month supply in November 2010. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 3.99 percent during November 2011, down from 4.30 percent in November 2010, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 2.90 percent in November 2011, compared with 3.25 percent in November 2010.
The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home edged up to 56.6 days in November 2011, compared with a revised 54.8 days for the same period a year ago.
Multimedia:

View a video of C.A.R. Deputy Chief Economist Robert Kleinhenz discussing highlights of the November existing home sales and price report.
View Unsold Inventory by price range.
Note: The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only. County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home. Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold. Due to the low sales volume in some areas, median price changes in November may exhibit unusual fluctuation.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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