California home sales surge in August with prices at highest point of year
California home sales posted an increase from both the previous month and previous year, while the median home price rose to its highest level this year, according to data from the California Association of Realtors. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted 497,390 units in August, up 8.6% from a revised 457,930 in July and up 10.2% from a year ago, according to CAR, which gets its data from more than 90 local real estate associations and multiple listing services statewide. "August median price marked the highest since December 2010, signifying that prices may be stabilizing in some market segments, as investors and first-time buyers continue to see value and opportunity in the market,” said CAR President Beth Peerce. The August statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California was $297,060, up 1% from a revised $294,050 in July, but down 7.4% from the $320,860 median price for August 2010. "While the increase in August sales is encouraging, these sales are based on closings that occurred before the debt ceiling debate in early August and subsequent heightened concern about the future direction of the economy," said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "How these events and the impending reduction in the conforming loan limits will impact home sales and prices in the coming months remains to be seen." The unsold inventory of existing, single-family homes was five months in August, down from five and a half months in July. The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 52.7 days in August, up from 45.5 days for the same period a year ago. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.