California New-Home Market Slowly Improving
The monthly California Building Industry Association/Hanley Wood Market Intelligence (HWMI) New Home Sales and Pricing Report showed that sales in new-home communities of 10 units or more declined 26 percent compared with May 2008, but sales improved from the 31 percent decline in the prior month and is the fourth consecutive month of that improvement trend.

During May, 3,019 new homes and condominiums were sold in the subdivisions tracked by HWMI, compared with 4,094 in May 2008. Sales of single-family homes were down by 30 percent, while sales of townhomes and “plexes” – duplexes, triplexes, etc. – were down 24 percent and sales of condominiums were off by 16 percent.

Compared with the same period last year, the median base price of homes sold dropped by 5 percent.

“The incremental gains since March are counter to this typical seasonal trend, which suggests the market has found the bottom and is truly stabilizing, albeit slowly,” said Jonathan Dienhart, Director of Published Research for HWMI.   “With the state tax credits for home purchases running out and continued troubles in the broader economy, it is not yet clear that an actual recovery is at hand.