California continues to be the talk of the housing recovery, logging its highest November sales in six years.
The Golden State’s median sale price jumped nearly 17% year-over-year to $321,000. This appreciation indicates a shift away from distressed sales and toward traditional sales
Last month, 19,285 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. This was up 14.2% from November 2011, real estate analytics firm DataQuick reported.
Last month’s numbers were the highest for the month of November since 2006.
High buyer demand and record low mortgage rates are playing a large role in the California price appreciation. Additionally, more expensive homes are replacing discounted foreclosures, creating upward pressure on the median sales price.
“The government’s offered people an amazing gift in the form of extraordinarily low mortgage rates. But that’s not the only thing fueling these sales gains. Investor activity and cash purchases remain unusually high, and more buyers feel confident about their jobs, the economy and the likelihood housing prices have bottomed and are likely to rise. We’re also seeing more nondistressed sales, where people sell at a profit and buy another house, triggering more move-up activity,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
Home sales between $300,000 and $800,000 rose 34.6% since November 2011. Even more, sales of homes priced at more than $800,000 jumped 46.8% year-over-year.
Conversely, homes that sold below $200,000 decreased 18.7% from a year earlier.
Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity, while above long-term averages, continues to drop and is far below peak levels. Financing with multiple mortgages is very low, and down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.
See the chart below for the housing market changes in several California counties.