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California housing market slows on TRID implementation

The market is down from December, but has increased from last year

Los Angeles

Although the California housing market for January 2016 shows a slight decrease from December 2015, year over year rates have increased, according to the California Association of Realtors report.

In January, existing single-family home sales totaled 383,670 on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. This is down 5.4% from December 2015 and up 8.8% from January 2015.

California existing home sales posted their best January performance in three years as year-over-year sales rebounded from delayed escrow closings late last year caused by new loan disclosure rules, the CAR stated.

The median home price for January was $468,330, again down 4.3% from December and up 9.2% from January 2015.

Some worry that the rising home prices are hurting the market, and making it harder for first time buyers to enter the market, according to an article by Brena Swanson.

Throughout the state, regions have increased Year over year. Southern California increased 6.5%, San Francisco Bay Area increased 6.8% and Central Valley with the largest increase of 11.8%.

"While home sales increased year over year in January, they decreased minimally on a monthly basis, primarily due to a stronger than usual sales gain in December 2015, when the backlog of mortgage approvals caused by new loan disclosure rules were carried over from November," CAR President Pat Zicarelli said. "Looking ahead, the slowdown should be a transitory interruption to an otherwise positive trend."

The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values, according to the CAR report. The year over year price gain was the largest since May 2014 and marks the fifth consecutive month of home price acceleration, reflecting an ongoing shift in sales activity toward higher-priced properties.

"The fundamentals underlying the demand for housing fueled a healthy start to 2016," said Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR Vice President and Chief Economist. "The volatility in the equity market in the last few weeks, coupled with increasing uncertainty about the impact on economic growth, however, may lead potential home buyers and sellers to take a "wait and see" approach, which could erode housing market activity in the upcoming months."

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