SOURCE: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R)

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R)

October 04, 2010 11:20 ET

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Releases Its California Housing Market Forecast for 2011: Small Increases Projected in Both Home Sales and Median Price

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - October 4, 2010) -  A weaker-than-expected economic recovery will result in a projected decline in California home sales for 2010, although home sales are expected to edge up slightly in 2011, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) "2011 California Housing Market Forecast" released today. 

California home sales for 2010 are forecast to decline 10 percent from the 2009 sales figure of 546,500 homes sold. Sales in 2011 are projected to increase a lackluster 2 percent to 502,000 units compared with 492,000 units (projected) in 2010. After two consecutive years of record-setting price declines, the median home price in California will climb 11.5 percent in 2010 to $306,500 and increase another 2 percent in 2011 to $312,500, according to the forecast.

"California's housing market will see small increases in both home sales and the median price in 2011 as the housing market and general economy struggle to find their sea legs," said C.A.R. President Steve Goddard. "The minor improvement in the housing market next year will be driven by the slow pace of recovery in the economy and modest job growth. Distressed properties will figure prominently in the market next year, but we also expect to see discretionary sellers play a larger role," he said.

"As the U.S. economy continues its tepid recovery, we'll see some improvement in California's economy," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "We expect a net jobs increase of approximately 1.4 million jobs in California for the year to come and an improvement in unemployment figures," she said.

"The situation in the California housing market continues to be a tale of two housing markets," said Goddard. The segment of the market under $500,000 has been driven by distressed sales, while higher-priced areas of the state have been constrained by restricted financing options, and increasingly have experienced an increase in the number of distressed properties. Sales in the low end have been constrained by a lack of inventory, putting upward pressure on prices. Multiple offers on lower-end homes have been very common, according to Goddard.

"A lean supply of available homes for sale will drive prices up at the low end, but larger inventories and limited, less attractive financing will cause continued softness at the high end," said Appleton-Young. "There's some indication that lenders will accelerate the number of foreclosures coming on market, further adding to the housing supply, but we do not anticipate that lenders will flood the market with distressed properties," she said.

"The wild cards for 2011 include federal housing policies, actions of underwater homeowners and the strength of the economic recovery," said Appleton-Young. "What is certain is that favorable home prices and historically low interest rates will continue to make owning a home in California attractive for those who are in a position to buy," she said.

An expanded forecast presentation will be presented Wednesday afternoon during the CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2010 (http://expo.car.org/), running from Oct. 5-7 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The trade show attracts nearly 7,000 attendees and is the largest state real estate trade show in the nation.

Don't miss "2010 Econ Panel: The Future of Real Estate Finance and Your Market in 2011" during the CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2010. C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young will lead a panel of renowned economists as the experts share their predictions on what the changing economy means for real estate. Panelists include: Richard Green, professor and director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate; John Karevoll, housing analyst at Dataquick Information Systems; and Michael LaCour-Little, professor and director of the California State University, Fullerton Real Estate and Land Use Institute. The panel is scheduled to be held Thursday, Oct. 7, from 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center.

2011 FORECAST FACT SHEET  
               
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010f 2011f
SFH Resales (000s) 625.0 477.5 346.9 439.8 546.5 492.0 502.0
% Change 0.03% -23.6% -27.3% 26.8% 24.3% -10.0% 2.0%
Median Price ($000s) $522.7 $556.4 $560.3 $346.4 $275.0 $306.5 $312.5
% Change 16.0% 6.5% 0.7% -38.2% -20.6% 11.5% 2.0%
30-Yr FRM 5.9% 6.4% 6.3% 6.0% 5.1% 4.7% 5.1%
1-Yr ARM 4.5% 5.5% 5.6% 5.2% 4.7% 3.9% 4.1%

Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 160,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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