California August Home Sales

September 11, 2014

An estimated 37,228 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in August. That was down 6.0 percent from 39,608 in July, and down 12.5 percent from 42,546 sales in August 2013, according to CoreLogic DataQuick data.

August sales have varied from a low of 29,764 in 1992 to a high of 73,285 in 2005. Last month’s sales were 21.6 percent below the average of 47,456 sales for all the months of August since 1988, when Irvine-based CoreLogic DataQuick’s statistics begin. California sales haven’t been above average for any month in more than eight years.

The median price paid for a home in California last month was $393,000, up 0.3 percent from $392,000 in July and up 8.9 percent from $361,000 in August 2013. Last month was the 30th consecutive month in which the state’s median sale price rose year-over-year. In March/April/May 2007 the median peaked at $484,000. The post-peak trough was $221,000 in April 2009.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 5.4 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from 5.6 percent in July and down from 7.8 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent in February 2009.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 6.0 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was unchanged from the month before and down from 11.4 percent a year earlier.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that California buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,523, up from $1,521 the month before and up from $1,456 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s payment was 35.5 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 47.7 percent below the current cycle’s peak in June 2006. It was 61.8 percent above the January 2012 bottom of the current cycle.

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