Is California’s price boom slowing?

by Ryan Smith26 Oct 2015
Tight inventory and a lack of affordability are keeping home sales in California relatively low, according to a new report from PropertyRadar.

September sales of single-family homes were down in Spetember, dropping 4.3% to 35,629 from 37,227 in August. September sales were still up 5.8% year-over-year, however.

According to PropertyRadar, sales in the first three quarters of 2015 are up 7.1% from the same period last year. However, they’re still far below sales between 2002 and 2007.

“When you take a step back and look at sales volumes over a longer period of time, they remain weak,” said Madeline Schnapp, PropertyRadar’s director of economic research. “Lack of inventory and declining affordability are holding sales back.”

Median prices were also down in September, dropping to $405,000 from an August median of $415,000. It was also 2.6% lower than the 2015 high of $416,000 in July, PropertyRadar reported.

The median was up on a year-over-year basis, but Schnapp said that price appreciation in many areas of the state had slowed to a crawl – or stopped entirely. On a month-over-month basis, prices actually dropped in 21 of the state’s 26 largest counties, according to PropertyRadar. And while prices continue to appreciate on an annual basis, that appreciation is generally much slower than it had formerly been.

The exception to that rule seems to be in northern counties, mostly in the Bay Area. Santa Cruz, for instance, saw prices appreciate 18.1% on an annual basis, according to PropertyRadar.

“Homes in the Silicon Valley corridor, consisting of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, continue to buck statewide trends and are experiencing double-digit price appreciation,” Schnapp said. “The increased demand from plentiful well-paying jobs, sky high rents, and fear of higher mortgage interest rates have propelled home prices into the stratosphere.”


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