Home prices on the rise
Home sales increased 12 percent in July in California compared with the same period a year ago, according to the latest sales and price report released by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
· Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 553,910 in July at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2009 would be if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year.
· Many housing analysts believe the first-time home buyers tax credit has helped fuel home sales in recent months. According to a survey of first-time home buyers, nearly 40 percent reported they would not have purchased a home if the tax credit was not offered. Because the tax credit has helped so many first-time buyers become homeowners, it is critical that Congress extends the credit beyond the Dec. 1 deadline, and includes all buyers, not just first-timers.
· The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California declined 19.6 percent in July compared with July 2008, but rose 3.9 percent compared with June. The median price statewide during July 2009 was $285,480. July marked the fifth consecutive month of month-to-month increases in the median price and the smallest yearly decline in 19 months.
· C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in July 2009 was 3.9 months, compared with 6.9 months for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
· Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 5.22 percent during July 2009, compared with 6.43 percent in July 2008, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.82 percent in July 2009, compared with 5.24 percent in July 2008.
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