Real Estate

Despite slow down, California housing still on target for 2015 forecast

Financial turmoil and global economy impact growth

Although California's housing market softened in October as both statewide sales and median price contracted from the previous month, it is still on target to meet forecast projections, the California Association of Realtors reported.

Home sales surpassed the 400,000 level in October for the seventh consecutive month and posted higher on a year-to-year basis for the ninth straight month.

"The slowdown in October's home sales could be attributed to the financial turmoil and global economic uncertainty that took place in August and September, as some prospective buyers took a wait-and-see approach," said 2016 CAR President Ziggy Zicarelli.

"With job growth increasing the most since late 2014 and interest rates remaining below 4%, the demand for housing should continue to grow at a modest pace. Statewide sales are on track to finish the year with a mid-single-digit increase from last year," he added.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 403,510 units in October.

This is down 5.1% from the revised 425,120 level in September and up 1.3% compared with home sales in October 2014 of a revised 398,510.

The year-to-year increase was the lowest since January 2015 and was significantly below the six-month average of 9.7 percent observed between April 2015 and September 2015.

The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the October pace throughout the year. 

The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home came in at 1.3% in October to $475,990, down from a revised $482,150 in September.  However, October's median price was 5.7% higher than the revised $450,460 recorded in October 2014.

Back in October, CAR published a report saying California’s housing market is expected to improve in 2016, but a shortage of available inventory and continuing high costs are expected to limit the improvement. In 2016, California existing-home sales are expected to rise in 2016 by 6.3% over 2015’s expected total.

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