Home sales increased 63.8 percent in March in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home declined 39 percent, C.A.R. reported Monday. “The statewide median price showed the first monthly increase since August 2007, and has remained in the $250,000 range over the past three months,” said C.A.R.’s Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “A number of regions around the state also have registered monthly gains for one or more months since the beginning of this year. While these are welcome signs, it remains to be seen whether home prices have stabilized.
“While we still face continued weakness in the general economy and expect continued foreclosures, the increased incidence of multiple offers indicates that first-time home buyers and investors are responding to dramatically improved housing affordability. Low mortgage rates and house prices, coupled with the federal first-time home buyer tax credit, is having a definite impact on the California housing market,” Appleton-Young added.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 522,980 in March at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 63.8 percent from the revised 319,290 sales pace recorded in March 2008. Sales in March 2009 decreased 16 percent compared with the previous month. The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during March 2009 was $253,040, a 39 percent decrease from the revised $414,520 median for March 2008, C.A.R. reported. The March 2009 median price rose 2.2 percent compared with February’s $247,590 median price.
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