September 22, 2010 11:24 ET

California Home Sales and Price Edge Up From July; Sales Down From Year Ago

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - September 22, 2010) -


Quick Facts:

  • Existing, single-family home sales decreased 14.9 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted rate of 447,530 units on an annualized basis compared with August 2009.
  • The statewide median price of an existing single-family home increased 8.6 percent in August to $318,660 compared with August 2009.
  • C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index rose to 6.1 months in August compared with 4.6 months in August 2009.

California home sales edged up 1.8 percent from July, but were down 14.9 percent from August 2009, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today. The statewide median home price also increased 1.2 percent from July and was up 8.6 percent from a year ago.

"Buyers who are holding out should consider the opportunities in today's market," said C.A.R. President Steve Goddard. "Favorable home prices and interest rates at or near historic lows make housing affordability the best in recent memory. Anyone who is in a position to buy a home should do so before either of these key factors rise."

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 447,530 in August at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity decreased 14.9 percent from the revised 526,110 sales pace recorded in August 2009. Sales in August 2010 increased 1.8 percent compared with July.

The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2010 if sales maintained the August pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The statewide median home price posted its 10th consecutive year-over-year gain in August. The median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California during August 2010 was $318,660, an 8.6 percent increase from the revised $293,400 median price recorded in August 2009, C.A.R. reported. The August 2010 median price was up 1.2 percent compared with July's $314,850 median price.

"The housing market is transitioning from the conclusion of the housing tax credits as is evidenced by stronger home sales in the higher-price range and weaker sales in entry-level homes and condominiums, which are typically favored by first-time home buyers," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "As a result of the strength in the upper-end market and inventory levels that are higher but still lean by average, we're seeing home prices holding steady."

Highlights of C.A.R.'s resale housing figures for August 2010:

  • C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in August 2010 rose to 6.1 months compared with 4.6 months in August 2009. 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 4.43 percent during August 2010 compared with 5.19 percent in August 2009, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 3.53 percent in August 2010 compared with 4.72 percent in August 2009.
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 47.1 days in August 2010 compared with 34.8 days for the same period a year ago.

Regional MLS sales and price information are contained in the tables that accompany this press release. Regional sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. The MLS median price and sales data for detached homes are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state. MLS median price and sales data for condominiums are based on a survey of more than 60 associations. The median price for both detached homes and condominiums represents closed escrow sales.

In a separate report covering more localized statistics generated by C.A.R. and DataQuick Information Systems, 176 of the 339 cities and communities reporting showed an increase in their respective median home prices from a year ago. DataQuick statistics are based on county records data rather than MLS information. DataQuick Information Systems is a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. (The lists are generated for incorporated cities with a minimum of 30 recorded sales in the month.)

Note: Large changes in local median home prices typically indicate both local home price appreciation, and often, large shifts in the composition of housing market activity. Some of the variations in median home prices for August may be exaggerated due to compositional changes in housing demand. The DataQuick tables listing median home prices in California cities and counties are accessible online through C.A.R. at

  • Statewide, the 10 cities with the highest median home prices in California during August 2010 were: Los Altos, $1,795,000; Saratoga, $1,420,000; Coronado, $1,331,250; Manhattan Beach, $1,275,000; Palo Alto, $1,216,250; Newport Beach, $1,187,500; Calabasas, $1,030,000; Los Gatos, $962,500; Cupertino, $940,000; and La Canada Flintridge, $935,000.

  • Statewide, the 10 cities with the greatest median home price increase in August 2010 compared with the same period a year ago were: Palm Springs, 60.5 percent; Coronado, 56.6 percent; Rohnert Park, 31.5 percent; Placentia, 26.1 percent; San Bernardino, 25 percent; Santee, 21.9 percent; Norco, 21.3 percent; Lake Forest, 21.3 percent; Auburn, 20 percent; Banning, 20 percent; Lompoc, 20 percent; Pittsburg, 18.8 percent; and Pomona, 18.4 percent.

To view sales and price tables, please visit:

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

Contact Information