California Hits Highest Housing Sales Mark in 7 Years

Last month's 48,000+ is the highest for any July since 66,929 homes sold in 2005

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More than 48,000 new and resale houses and condos sold in California in July, marking the highest count since 2006, according to the California Desert Association of Realtors (CDAR).

In August 2006, 51,054 homes sold, according to CDAR, and last month's mark of 48,118 is the highest for any July since 66,929 homes sold in 2005.

The new and resale houses sold in July was a 17.3 percent increase from 41,027 sold in June, and up 21.8 percent from 39,507 sales in July 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
July was the first time California sales have been above average for any month since September 2006. July sales have varied from a low of 30,596 in 1995 to a high of 71,886 in 2004, according to CDAR.

Last month’s sales were 3.8 percent above the average of 46,364 sales for all the months of July since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

The median price paid for a home in California in July was $363,000, up 3.1 percent from $352,000 in June and up 29.2 percent from $281,000 in July 2012. July was the 17th 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, according to CDAR.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 8.4 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year – the lowest level since foreclosure resales were 7.6 percent of the resale market in July 2007July’s figure was down from a revised 9.8 percent in June and 21.7 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent in February 2009, according to CDAR.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – comprised an estimated 14.6 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was down from an estimated 15.7 percent the month before and 26.0 percent a year earlier, according to CDAR.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that California buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,457. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s payment was 36.9 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. The payment was 48.9 percent below the current cycle’s peak in June 2006, and 58.3 percent above the January 2012 bottom of the current cycle, according to CDAR.

DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

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