California December Home Sales

January 15, 2015

An estimated 36,468 new and resale houses and condos were sold in California in December 2014. That was up month over month by 23.8 percent from 29,459 sales in November 2014, and up year over year by 4.3 percent from 34,949 sales in December 2013.

December home sales have varied from a low of 25,585 sales in 2007 to a high of 66,503 sales in 2003. The December 2014 sales were 15.7 percent lower than the December average of 43,285 sales since 1988, when CoreLogic DataQuick data began. California sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than eight years.

The median price paid for a home in California in December 2014 was $388,000, up month over month by 1.8 percent from $381,000 in November 2014 and up year over year by 6.3 percent from $365,000 in December 2013.

December 2014 marked the 34th consecutive month in which the state’s median sale price has increased on a year-over-year basis. The peak year-over-year price gain was 29.2 percent in July 2013. Since then the annual gains have generally trended downward and have been single-digit since July 2014.

The December 2014 median price was 19.8 percent lower than California’s peak median price of $484,000, reached in March/April/May 2007, and it was 75.6 percent higher than the post-peak trough of $221,000 in April 2009. That trough was reached during a period when distressed property sales were at unusually high levels and sales of mid- to high-end homes were at relatively low levels.

Of the existing homes sold statewide in December 2014, 5.7 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from a revised 5.9 percent in November 2014 and down from 6.9 percent in December 2013. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent in February 2009.

Short sales made up an estimated 6.3 percent of homes that resold in December 2014, up slightly month over month from 6.2 percent in November 2014 and down year over year from 10.3 percent in December 2013. Short sales are transactions in which the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property.

The typical monthly mortgage payment for California homebuyers in December 2014 was $1,457, up from $1,455 in November 2014 and down from $1,473 in December 2013. Adjusted for inflation, the December 2014 typical payment was 37.8 percent below the typical payment in the spring of 1989, which was the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 49.6 percent below the current cycle’s peak in June 2006 and 56.1 percent above the January 2012 trough of the current cycle.

Source: CoreLogic DataQuick;

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