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What We're Reading: The Good Friday edition
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California home sales surge

An estimated 48,118 homes and condos sold in July

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A growing supply of properties in California caused a surge in new and resale homes and condos sold, with sales rising to a seven-year high in July, California-based research firm DataQuick posted.

An estimated 48,118 new and resale homes and condos sold in July, up 17.3% from 41,027 in June and an increase of 21.8% from 39,507 sales a year earlier, the firm noted.

Last month’s sales count was the highest for July since 66,929 homes sold back in the housing heyday of 2005. Additionally, last month was the first time California sales were above average for any month since September 2006.

On a similar note, DataQuick revealed this week that July sales in Southern California came close to historic norms, falling just 0.5% below the average number of sales historically expected for the month of July.

July sales in the past two decades have fallen as low as 30,596 sales in 1995 and as high as 71,886 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 3.8% above the average of 46,364 sales for all of July since 1988, when DataQuick began recording statistics.

The median price paid for a home in California rose 3.1% to $363,000 in June and was also up 29.2% from $281,000 from a year earlier.

Last month was the 17th consecutive month in which the state’s median sale price rose year-over-year.

Of the existing homes sold in July, 8.4% were properties that were foreclosed on during the past year — the lowest level since July 2007.

Meanwhile, short sales made up an estimated 14.6% of all homes that resold in July, down from an estimated 15.7% in June and 26% a year earlier.

The average monthly mortgage payment that California buyers committed themselves to pay in July was $1,457, up 58.3% from last year, but down 36.9% from the typical payment in spring 1989 — the peak of the prior real estate cycle, DataQuick revealed.

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