Sales Pace of California Resales Rises 85%

Real Estate Brief

By Inman News, Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The sales pace of single-family, detached resale homes soared 84.9 percent in December 2008 compared to the same month in 2007, with the median sales price diving 41.5 percent, the California Association of Realtors reported this week.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of home sales in the state was 544,580 in December — this rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for typical seasonal fluctuations in sales activity. That compares to a pace of 294,520 sales in December 2007.

Sales for the entire year in 2008 were up an estimated 27 percent compared to the prior year, the association also reported, with the median price falling 38 percent in 2008.

The trade group’s Unsold Inventory Index for single-family, detached resale homes in December 2008 was 5.6 months, which compares to 13.4 months in December 2007. This index gauges the length of time it would take to sell off the total for-sale inventory, based on that month’s sales pace.

A separate monthly report by the Realtor group and DataQuick Information Systems, which measures prices and price changes for new and resale single-family homes and condos, found that five of 338 cities and communities tracked had year-over-year increases in median home prices.