LOS ANGELES (June 27) â€” The median price of an existing home in California increased 8 percent in May and sales decreased 21.1 percent compared with the same period a year ago, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ® (C.A.R.) reported today.
â€œThe median price of a home continued to increase in May, but at a more sustainable 8 percent rate,â€ said C.A.R. President Vince Malta. â€œThis is the first time since November 2001 that the median price did not increase by double digits, reflecting the return to the more balanced market that we have anticipated.
â€œInterest rates, while still historically low, continue to impact sales as did the inventory of homes for sale, which reached nearly a six-month supply in May,â€ he said. â€œIt’s important that consumers work with their REALTORÂ® to ensure that their home is competitively priced in today’s changing market.â€
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 488,260 in May at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTORÂ® associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity decreased 21.1 percent from the 618,920 sales pace recorded in May 2005.
The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2006 would be if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during May 2006 was $564,430, an 8 percent increase over the revised $522,530 median for May 2005, C.A.R. reported. The May 2006 median price increased 0.5 percent compared with April’s revised $561,750 median price.
â€œYear-to-date sales are down 19.5 percent, in line with our recently revised 2006 California Housing Market Forecast, which projected a 16.8 percent decrease in sales for this year to 520,000 units compared with 2005,â€ said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. â€œWe expect the rate of home price appreciation to increase 8 percent to $565,900 for the year as a whole, compared with the impressive double-digit gains we’ve witnessed over the past four years.â€
Highlights of C.A.R.’s resale housing figures for May 2006:
. C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in May 2006 was 5.9 months, compared with 2.7 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. 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 6.6 percent during May 2006, compared with 5.72 percent in May 2005, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable mortgage interest rates averaged 5.63 percent in May 2006 compared with 4.23 percent in May 2005.
. The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 44 days in May 2006, compared with 27 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.
Regional MLS sales and price information is contained in the tables that accompany this press release. Regional sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. The MLS median price and sales data for detached homes are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORSïƒ¢ throughout the state. MLS median price and sales data for condominiums are based on a survey of more than 60 associations. The median price for both detached homes and condominiums represents closed escrow sales.
In a separate report covering more localized statistics generated by C.A.R. and DataQuick Information Systems, 84.4 percent, or 348 out of 405 cities and communities showed an increase in their respective median home prices from a year ago. DataQuick statistics are based on county records data rather than MLS information. DataQuick Information Systems is a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. (The top 10 lists are generated for incorporated cities with a minimum of 30 recorded sales in the month.)
Note: Large changes in local median home prices typically indicate both local home price appreciation, and often, large shifts in the composition of housing market activity. Some of the variations in median home prices may be exaggerated due to compositional changes in housing demand. The DataQuick tables listing median home prices in California cities and counties are accessible through C.A.R. Online at http://www.car.org/index.php?id=MzYzOTk=.
Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during May 2006 were: Laguna Beach, $1,692,500; Saratoga, $1,500,000; Burlingame, $1,371,000; Newport Beach, $1,336,000; Manhattan Beach, $1,241,500; Los Gatos, $1,180,000; Santa Monica, $1,162,500; Rancho Palos Verdes, $1,144,000; Lafayette, $1,142,500; Calabasas, $1,130,000; Santa Barbara, $1,130,000.
Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the greatest median home price increases in May 2006 compared with the same period a year ago were: Santa Monica, 60.3 percent; Ridgecrest, 56.3 percent; Adelanto, 42.5 percent; Loma Linda, 36.7 percent; Barstow, 36 percent; Laguna Beach, 33.8 percent; Delano, 33.3 percent; Tustin, 32.8 percent; Campbell, 32 percent; California City, 30.6 percent.