Mar 1 2019 38376 1

Dated: 03/01/2019

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California home sales fall to lowest level in more than 10 years

-Existing, single-family home sales totaled 357,730 in January on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 3.9 percent from December and down 12.6 percent from January 2018.

-January’s statewide median home price was $538,690, down 3.4 percent from December and up 2.1 percent from January 2018.

-Statewide active listings rose for the 10th straight month, increasing 27 percent from the previous year.

- The statewide Unsold Inventory Index was 4.6 months in January, up from 3.5 months in December.

LOS ANGELES Housing demand in California remained subdued for the ninth consecutive month in January as economic and market uncertainties sent home sales to their lowest level since April 2008.

January’s sales figure was down 3.9 percent from the revised 372,260 level in December and down 12.6 percent from home sales in January 2018 of 409,520. January marked the ninth consecutive month of decline and the sixth month in a row that sales were below 400,000, dipping to the lowest level since April 2008.

“California continued to move toward a more balanced market as we see buyers having greater negotiating power and sellers making concessions to get their homes sold as inventory grows,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin.“While interest rates have dropped down to the lowest point in 10 months, potential buyers are putting their homeownership plans on hold as they wait out further price adjustments.”

The statewide median home price declined to $538,690 in January. The January statewide median price was down 3.4 percent from $557,600 in December and up 2.1 percent from a revised $527,780 in January 2018.

The Los Angeles Metro region posted a year-over-year sales drop of 15.1 percent, as home sales fell 14.2 percent in Los Angeles County and 13.2 percent in Orange County.

Home sales in the Inland Empire declined 16.1 percent from a year ago as Riverside and San Bernardino counties posted annual sales declines of 13.9 percent and 19.2 percent, respectively.

Statewide active listings rose for the 10th consecutive month after nearly three straight years of declines, increasing 27 percent from the previous year.

All major regions recorded an increase in active listings, with the Bay Area posting the highest increase at 57 percent, followed by Southern California (29.7 percent), Central Valley (19.5 percent) and the Central Coast (14.5 percent).

The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, increased year-to-year from 3.6 months in January 2018 to 4.6 months in January 2019. The index measures the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. The jump in the UII from a year ago can be attributed to the double-digit sales decline and the sharp increase in active listings.

The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home rose from 27 days in January 2018 to 37 days in January 2019.

C.A.R.’s statewide sales price-to-list-price ratio* decreased from 98.7 percent in January 2018 to 97.3 percent in January 2019.

The average statewide price per square foot** for an existing, single-family home statewide edged up from $257 in January 2018 to $264 in January 2019.

The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 4.46 percent in January, up from 4.03 percent in January 2018, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate also increased in January to an average of 3.91 percent from 3.47 from January 2018.

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