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CAR Confirms August Home Sales Lower Than July

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 16) – Following a strong performance in July, California’s housing market pulled back in August as mortgage rates continued to inch up, although sales of condominiums and townhomes remained robust, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported.

“The condo and townhome market has been performing exceptionally well, as rising single-family home prices and limited inventory prompted many buyers to look for a more affordable alternative,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught. “In fact, sales of condominiums and townhomes surged almost 8 percent from last August and are up nearly 5 percent year to date compared to last year.”

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 434,700 units in August, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in August were down 2 percent from a revised 443,500 in July and down 1.9 percent from a revised 443,030 in August 2012. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2013 if sales maintained the August pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

Home prices continued in an upward trend in August, reaching levels not seen in more than five years. The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home was up 1.7 percent from July’s median price of $433,910 to reach $441,330 in August, the highest price recorded since December 2007. August’s price was 28.4 percent higher than the revised $343,800 recorded in August 2012, marking a year and a half of annual price increases and the 14th straight month of double-digit annual gains. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

“Housing inventory levels are improving, especially in homes priced below $750,000. Indeed, the number of active listings across all price ranges has been rising on a month-to-month basis for the last six months and has reached the highest level since mid-2012,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “As housing supply loosens up with the seasonal slowdown, annual home price increases are expected to taper as we’ve observed in the last two months.”

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