California May Home Sales

California May Home Sales

An estimated 37,734 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in May. That was down 0.7 percent from 37,988 in April, and down 14.4 percent from 44,087 sales in May 2013, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

May sales have varied from a low of 32,223 in 1995 to a high of 67,958 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 18.3 percent below the average of 46,214 sales for all the months of May since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. California sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than eight years.

The median price paid for a home in California last month was $386,000, up 0.8 percent from $383,000 in April and up 13.5 percent from $340,000 in May 2013. Last month’s median was the highest since December 2007, when it was $402,000. This May marked the 27th consecutive month in which the state’s median sale price has risen year-over-year.

In March/April/May 2007 the median peaked at $484,000. The post-peak trough was $221,000 in April 2009.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 6.0 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from a revised 6.6 percent in April and down from 11.3 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent in February 2009.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 6.9 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was up from an estimated 6.3 percent the month before and down from 15.0 percent a year earlier.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that California buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,508, down from $1,523 the month before and up from $1,227 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s payment was 35.8 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 47.9 percent below the current cycle’s peak in June 2006. It was 61.1 percent above the January 2012 bottom of the current cycle.

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