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PropertyRadar: California home sales up 9%

Homebuyers stepping up to the plate

California single-family home and condominium sales were up 9% in April mostly due to the 9.2% gain in non-distressed property sales that accounted for 83% of total sale, according to the latest housing report from PropertyRadar.

On a yearly basis, sales volumes were up 5.8% from 34,995 in April 2014 to 37,009 in April 2015.

Additionally, year-over-year sales were up 3.6% across the nine Bay Area counties and 11% in Southern California.  Sales fell 3.4% in Central California. 

“For the second consecutive month, California property sales were higher than a year earlier,” said Madeline Schnapp, director of economic research for PropertyRadar.

“Year-over-year growth in sales ground to a halt in September 2013.  While it is still too early in the year to say the California real estate market is off to the races, healthy job growth in the past 18 months combined with pent-up seasonal demand certainly worked to drive sales higher during the past two months,” said Schnapp.

The median price of a California home was $405,000 in April, a gain of $12,000, or 3.1% from $393,000 in March. On a year-over-year basis the median price was up 8% from $375,000 in April 2014.

Foreclosure starts, notices of default, were up 2.5% from March but were down 7.3% in the past 12 months. Foreclosure sales jumped 19.2% for the month and were up 27.7% from the February 2015 low.

“Despite high prices, buyers are still stepping up to the plate to purchase homes. With the Federal Reserve on tap to raise short-term interest rates as early as September, potential homebuyers may be worried that the current environment of near record low interest rates may not last,” Schnapp continued. 

The California Association of Realtors recently posted similar findings saying that the state is making progress on home affordability.

The percentage of homebuyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California in first-quarter 2015 rose to 34% from the 31% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014 and up from 33% in the first quarter a year ago, according to CAR’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index.

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