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March 18th, 2009

California Home Sales on the Rise

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One of the country’s hardest-hit housing markets has shown significant signs of improvement so far this year. According to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), single-family home sales increased 100.8% in January from a year ago. With home prices at extremely low levels, California has drastically begun reducing their unsold inventory.

The median price of a single-family home dropped 40.5% in January. The C.A.R.’s index of unsold homes depleted from 16.6 months in January of 2008, to just 6.7 months in 2009.

“The strength in California home sales in recent months signifies that the market is gradually working its way through the large numbers of distressed sales that have followed in the wake of the troubled mortgage problem. With favorable home prices and historically low mortgage rates, affordability in the California housing market is now at its highest since the start of the decade,” said C.A.R. President James Liptak.

Sales in Southern California’s six-county region continued to improve last month as well. The L.A. Times reported that homes sales increased 41% in February from 2008.

The recent uptick in housing reports hasn’t been limited to just the west coast. National housing starts rose 22% in January according to the Commerce Department. Indicators for new construction are also on the rise. Applications for building permits jumped 3% in February.

Economists are quick to warn against getting too excited over the news. However, if these statistics hold in the coming months, especially in foreclosure-ridden states like California, we may be witnessing a significant turnaround.

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8 Responses to “California Home Sales on the Rise”

  1. Steve Laird Says: March 18th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    With the Federal Tax Credit of up to $8,000 and the New California Tax Credit of up to $10,000 it has rejuvinated the California New Housing Market – We are even starting to hear positive media coverage -

  2. Mitch Says: March 18th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    This one was a nice surprise, and I hope it’s indicative of the country’s getting ready to turn things around. Even Wall Street enjoyed hearing this yesterday.

  3. California Home Sales on the Rise « Equity Expert’s Weblog Says: March 19th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    [...] California Home Sales on the Rise Filed under: Real Estate — equityexpert @ 8:47 am Tags: Home Sales, LinkedIn, Real Estate California Home Sales on the Rise [...]

  4. Tim Manni Says: March 19th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Steve,

    It’s about time right, California’s housing market really needs it. Positivity can really help buyers on the fence make a move in the right direction. I’ll be curious to see the statistics down the road of how influential the tax credit was.

    Good to hear from you, thanks for the comment,
    Tim

  5. Tim Manni Says: March 19th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Hey Mitch,

    Nothing like blogging about some good news for a change right? I’ve got my eye on two (at least temporarily) improving trends — retail sales, and certain housing markets. It’s quite early to really get too excited, but we just have to hope that these trends keep improving.

    Good to hear from you,
    Tim

  6. Miami Beach condos Says: March 19th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Great article Tim,
    I’ve heard that because California and Florida entered the real estate market crisis before other states that it would see the first signs of recovery.

  7. Tim Manni Says: March 20th, 2009 at 11:59 am

    MBC,

    Thanks. For Florida and California’s sake I hope you’re right. Hope to hear from you again soon,

    Tim

  8. Burbank Real Estate Report » Blog Archive » Quick facts for the Burbank real estate buyer Says: March 31st, 2009 at 12:05 am

    [...] California Home Sales on the Rise (hsh.com) [...]

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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