California home sales continue to drop

Home price appreciation hits second year

San Diego-based real estate analytics firm DataQuick is reporting the collapse in the short sale market in California is impacting overall home sales.

In March, 25,680 new and resold homes were taken off the market by buyers, compared to 28,719 in February.

Last month's sales were 18.9% below the average of 31,660 sales for all the months of February since 1988, when DataQuick statistics begin.

Considering the many challenges buyers in the Golden State housing markets face, the trend is unlikely to reverse. Homebuyers in sunny SoCal in particular are struggling with inventory constraints, credit hurdles, and reduced affordability.

However, looking at recent report headlines, California still has a few gems to give it hope going forward.

But one market in particular is a shell of its former self. Short sales, where the sale price is below what's owed on the mortgage, made up an estimated 9.6% of the homes that resold last month.

That was down from an estimated 10.9% the month before and 22.4% a year earlier.

Foreclosure sales are also down 17.9% from a year earlier.

Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8% in February 2009.

February also marks a full two years where median sale price has risen year-over-year.

The median price paid for a home in California last month rose to $355,000, up 0.6% from $353,000 in January and up 22.8% from $289,000 in February 2013.

In spring 2007, the state’s median peaked at $484,000.

The post-peak trough was $221,000 in April 2009.

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