[social]Statewide home sales in California fell in February; however, more homes were listed statewide during that same time – showing sellers are gearing up for a robust spring selling season.
Even though 2014 started with weaker sales numbers, “The slower sales in February reflects diminished housing affordability after three years of solid price increases and interest rates that are nearly a full percentage point higher than a year ago,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. “With the interest rate difference alone, home buyers this year would have to pay $150 more per month on their mortgage payment than last year, a substantial amount for many would-be home buyers trying to get into the market.”
The median home price was 1.6% lower in February ($404,250) than in January ($410,990). HOWEVER, February 2014 median price ($404,250) was 21.3% higher than February 2013 ($333,180).
“Supply conditions in the housing market have shown some improvement since the end of last year, except for the lowest price range where the inventory for distressed properties is depleted. In the mid-priced range of $300,000-$750,000, which covers nearly half of all home sales, inventory is up 27 percent, while the supply of high-end homes – properties priced at or above $1 million, also is up 13 percent from a year ago,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The improvement in these prime price ranges will benefit trade-up buyers who are expected to dominate the market in 2014, as many of them will be searching for homes in these price categories.”
Other key facts from C.A.R.’s February 2014 resale housing report include:
- Housing inventory improved in February, with the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale rising in February to 4.7 months, up from January’s Unsold Inventory Index of 4.3 months. The index was 3.6 months in February 2013. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.
- The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home fell to 40 days in February, down from 44.3 days in January but up from a revised 34.3 days in February 2013.
- Mortgage rates were lower in February, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4.30 percent, down from 4.43 percent in January but up from 3.53 percent in February 2013, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in February averaged 2.54 percent, down from 2.54 in January and down from 2.61 percent in February 2013.
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