May 24, 2010 17:00 ET

C.A.R. Reports April Median Price Increased 21 Percent; Home Sales Decreased 8.1 Percent

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - May 24, 2010) - Home sales decreased 8.1 percent in April in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home rose 21 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

"It's likely that the state tax credit that went into effect May 1 created an incentive for many buyers to postpone closing escrow so they could take advantage of both the state and federal tax credits that were available," said C.A.R. President Steve Goddard. "We should see the pace of closed sales edge up in May and June as these tax-incentivized transactions close.

"Sales dipped below the 500,000-unit level for the first time in 19 months also because of supply issues -- the demand for attractive foreclosed properties well exceeds the number of properties on the market," he said. "At the same time, mortgage interest rates continue to hover near their historic lows, and many buyers are out in force to take advantage of the combination of low interest rates and affordably priced homes. It's an ideal time for many families to purchase their first home even though they may face stiff competition."

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 483,830 in April 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 8.1 percent from the revised 526,720 sales pace recorded in April 2009. Sales in April 2010 decreased 6.4 percent compared with the previous month.

             Trough vs. Current Price - April 2010

                           Trough    Trough     Apr-10   % Chg From
Region                     Month     Price      Median     Trough

San Francisco Bay Area     Feb-09   $399,040   $583,280       46.2%
Santa Clara                Feb-09   $445,000   $628,000       41.1%
Monterey Region            Feb-09   $241,130   $326,360       35.3%
Palm Springs/Lower Desert  Apr-09   $150,140   $197,040       31.2%
CALIFORNIA                 Feb-09   $245,170   $306,230       24.9%
Ventura                    Feb-09   $359,630   $442,610       23.1%
High Desert                May-09   $106,210   $127,300       19.9%
San Diego                  Mar-09   $326,830   $388,480       18.9%
Riverside/San Bernardino   Apr-09   $156,840   $183,970       17.3%
Orange County              Jan-09   $423,100   $491,120       16.1%
San Luis Obispo            Apr-09   $338,160   $390,240       15.4%
Los Angeles                Mar-09   $295,100   $338,970       14.9%
Northern Wine Country      Feb-09   $310,950   $355,000       14.2%
Sacramento                 Apr-09   $167,340   $188,100       12.4%

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

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during April 2010 was $306,230, a 21 percent increase from the revised $253,110 median for April 2009, C.A.R. reported. The April 2010 median price increased 1.5 percent compared with March's $301,790 median price.

                Peak vs. Current Price - April 2010

                           Peak      Peak       Apr-10      % Chg
Region                     Month     Price      Median    From Peak

High Desert                Apr-06   $334,860   $127,300      -62.0%
Monterey Region            Aug-07   $798,210   $326,360      -59.1%
Riverside/San Bernardino   Jan-07   $415,160   $183,970      -55.7%
Sacramento                 Aug-05   $394,450   $188,100      -52.3%
Palm Springs/Lower Desert  Jun-05   $393,370   $197,040      -49.9%
CALIFORNIA                 May-07   $594,530   $306,230      -48.5%
Northern Wine Country      Jan-06   $645,080   $355,000      -45.0%
Los Angeles                Aug-07   $605,300   $338,970      -44.0%
Ventura                    Aug-06   $710,910   $442,610      -37.7%
San Diego                  May-06   $622,380   $388,480      -37.6%
San Luis Obispo            Jun-06   $620,540   $390,240      -37.1%
Orange County              Apr-07   $747,260   $491,120      -34.3%
San Francisco Bay Area     May-07   $853,910   $583,280      -31.7%
Santa Clara                Apr-07   $868,410   $628,000      -27.7%

"The strong demand for distressed properties continued unabated last month, and overall, inventory remains constrained in most segments of the market," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Listings in April increased compared with a month earlier, typical for this time of year, as more sellers entered the market. At the $300,000 and below price point, the number of homes for sale is at a 3.3-month supply, well below the historical average of seven months."

               Unsold Inventory Index (Months)

Price Range (Thousand)      Apr-10     Mar-10     Apr-09

$1,000K+                       9.7       10.9       18.7
$750-1000K                     6.4        6.2       10.3
$500-750K                      5.4        5.1        5.8
$300-500K                      4.5        4.2        4.1
$0-300K                        3.3        3.2        3.0

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

--  C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached
    homes in April 2010 was 5.1 months, compared with five months (revised)
    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 5.10 percent during
    April 2010, compared with 4.81 percent in April 2009, according to
    Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.16 percent
    in April 2010, compared with 4.82 percent in April 2009.
--  The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 39.4
    days in April 2010, compared with 48.1 days (revised) 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, 254 of the 374 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 April may be exaggerated due to compositional changes in housing demand. The DataQuick tables listing median home prices in California cities and counties are accessible through C.A.R. Online at

--  Statewide, the 10 cities with the highest median home prices in
    California during April 2010 were: Manhattan Beach, $1,572,500;
    Saratoga, $1,440,000; Los Altos, $1,428,750; Mill Valley, $1,200,000;
    Laguna Beach, $1,162,500; Cupertino, $1,120,000; Newport Beach,
    $1,037,500; Los Gatos, $1,034,000; Calabasas, $925,000; and Santa
    Monica, $870,000.

--  Statewide, the cities with the greatest median home price increases in
    April 2010 compared with the same period a year ago were: Richmond,
    63.2 percent; Pittsburg, 56.7 percent; Tulare, 37 percent; San
    Bernardino, 37 percent; Cupertino, 35.7 percent; Monterey Park, 33.9
    percent; Tustin, 31.6 percent; Highland, 29.2 percent; Manteca, 28.1
    percent; Lancaster, 27.6 percent; and Seaside, 26.9 percent.


--  Visit to view Unsold
    Inventory by price point.

--  Visit to view
    a data table comparing current prices with trough prices in areas
    throughout the state.

--  Visit to view a
    video of C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young discuss
    highlights of the April sales and price report.

Quick Facts:

--  Existing, single-family home sales decreased 8.1 percent in April to a
    seasonally adjusted rate of 483,830 units on an annualized basis
    compared with April 2009.
--  The statewide median price of an existing single-family home increased
    21 percent in April to $306,230, compared with April 2009.
--  C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index rose to 5.1 months in April, compared
    with five months in April 2009.

For 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.

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