California Home Sales: CAR Releases Dec Sales & Price Report

California Home Sales – “Existing, single-family home sales totaled 405,530 in December on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 9.6 percent from November and up 10.7 percent from December 2014.” 

California Home Sales:
CAR Releases Dec Sales & Price Report

California Home Sales | | Steve GaghagenNew Loan Disclosure Rules Delayed Closings In Nov But Home Prices & Sales Numbers Rebound in Dec

The California Associaiton of  Realtors (CAR) has released its figures for home sales and prices in December. As expected, the numbers show a marked rebound from November. The December number of sales was up 9.7% over November, and also up 10.7% over December of 2014.

The increase in number of sales was made a bit more pronounced because of some closings that were slated to occur in November, but were delayed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau put some new disclosure requirements into effect during November, and there were a certain number of transactions delayed as some lenders needed to re-write loan documents and disclosures to comply. Most of those closed in December, and this may have skewed the numbers upwards a bit.

The CAR report also notes that the Unsold Inventory Index (UII) fell to 2.8 months from 4.2 months in December. This index reflects the amount of time necessary to sell the entire inventory of homes on the market at the current sales rate. The 2.8 months is lower than in November, and lower than December of 2014. A “normal market” is usually considered to have a UII of 6-7 months, which is an indicator that we are experiencing a lower than “normal” amount of inventory.

The full report has been release on California Association of Realtors Newsstand. It contains, charts, graphs, and a complete rundown of California home Sales numbers broken down county-by-county, and you can read it here:

California Home Sales Bounce Back In December After Temporary Setback in November | C.A.R.

CAR Newstand

“In line with our forecast, California’s housing market experienced strong sales and price growth throughout last year, with the median price increasing 6.2 percent for the year as a whole to reach $474,420 in 2015,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Looking forward, we expect the foundation for the housing market to remain strong throughout the year, with moderate increases in home sales and prices, but headwinds of tight housing supply and low affordability will remain a challenge.”

Read More Here:

Home Prices Supported By Low Inventory

Home prices are currently being buoyed by our lack of inventory. This is good for Sellers, but there are many who believe that the cost of a home in most areas of California is still a tad above the level of comfort new buyers need to enter the market. Time will tell, of course, and it may be that a bit more of a readjustment on the price side will be necessary to completely balance the market. However, activity is still strong and the market appears healthy overall, notwithstanding a few minor areas of imbalance.

California Home Sales.

Southern California Home Sales: Luxury Home Prices Fall Nationwide

Southern California Home Sales – “The luxury market was the first to recover from the housing downturn, and now it’s a bellwether of slowing price growth for the rest of the market. Sales at the top end of the market continue to soar, but prices are downshifting …”

Southern California Home Sales:
Luxury Home Prices Fall Nationwide

Southern California Home Sales

According to Redfin, Los Angeles is among the hardest hit areas in terms of the decline in prices of Luxury Home Sales, dropping 10% from 2014 levels.

Southern California Home Sales Are Among Most Drastically Effected

This week we’ve been taking a look at California home sales in 2015 and 2016. We’ve been highlighting how Southern California home sales have performed this year and what to expect from the California real estate market in the coming year. In general, we’re looking at a housing market that is growing in sales and value, but at a slower rate than before. In short, we appear to be experiencing a “rest” in the market. All in all, that’s a good thing.

There is one section of the California Homes for Sale market, however, that is not performing like the rest. Prices of Luxury homes fell during the 2nd half of 2015 for the first time since 2012. Over at Redfin, they have been analyzing this and have come up with some very interesting numbers. As you can see from the chart above, Los Angeles is among the hardest hit areas as far as falling prices of luxury homes.

There are several causes for this, and one is the slowdown of activity from foreign investors. Here in the San Gabriel Valley we’ve noticed a distinct pull-back of activity since the fall of the Chinese stock market and the crackdown of the Chinese government on money being invested overseas. With that slowdown, prices began to pull back in an effort to attract buyers.

Check out this detailed article by Alina Ptaszynski over at Redfin. We’ll conclude our analysis after the jump.

Luxury Home Prices Fell This Summer for the First Time Since 2012 | Redfin

Redfin Blog

“Home prices in the luxury market fell 2.2 percent in the third quarter compared to last year, the first time prices for the nation’s most expensive homes have fallen since the first quarter of 2012. The luxury market, which we identify as the priciest 5 percent, was shown up by the bottom 95 percent, where prices grew 3.8 percent over the same period. The bottom 95 percent of the market has seen consistent price growth of around 4 percent in each of the past four quarters.”

Read More Here:

Southern California Home Sales: Is Luxury Real Estate A Leading Indicator?

As I mentioned in earlier posts this week, there are a few … not many, but a few … analysts of the real estate market who are convinced that we are currently experiencing another “real estate bubble”, and that prices and activity are both about to fall. One of the things that they point to is the recent decline in prices in the area of Luxury homes. The upper end of the market has long been considered a “leading indicator” for the rest of the market. The top 5% market area was among the first to recover. Could this recent drop in prices among luxury homes signify a coming downturn in the rest of the market as well?

Personally, I don’t subscribe to the extremely pessimistic view of some. All markets adjust. No market simply moves upwards in a straight line. No market moves downwards in a straight line. Whichever way the market trend is going, there will be “retracements” and “market adjustments” along the way. What’s more important than these adjustments, is the trend itself. This market action among Luxury Homes is certainly a heavy adjustment, but it falls far short of signifying a trend reversal.

The Southern California Home Sales market … along with real estate in the rest of the nation … is on an upward trend. The fact is that Luxury Home prices had become very inflated and overblown by last June, and they have adjusted over the last few months. The rest of the market may be a bit overpriced, but not to that degree. Yes, we may see some adjustment in prices throughout the rest of the market over the next few months, but it’s not the bursting of a “bubble”. It’s not the reversal of the current trend. It’s the normal activity of a healthy market making needed adjustments, and after a brief pull-back the upward trend should continue.

Southern California Home Sales.

Southern California Home Sales in 2016: California Real Estate Market Predictions

Southern California Home Sales in 2016 – “California’s housing market is expected to improve in 2016, but a shortage of available inventory and continuing high costs are expected to limit the improvement …”

Southern California Home Sales in 2016:
California Real Estate Market Predictions

Southern California Home Sales in 2016 | Brion CostaCalifornia Association of Realtors Releases 2016 Market Forecast 

It’s that time of year again, when the November numbers are all in and tabulated, and we’re close enough to the end of December that we can reliably start to forecast the direction of Southern California Home Sales in 2016. The California Association of Realtors has just released it’s annual prognostication of what the California real estate market will likely be like during the coming year.

The CAR report reflects the type of 2016 market forecast that most experts hold at present. In all liklihood we are looking at an improving market, but one that is advancing slower than before. There are several factors that may weigh on the market here in California and put a moderating influence on any faster improvement.

The CAR report itself is very dense and technical, of course. However, here’s an article by Ben Lane that just appeared on Ben gets to the heart of the matter and explains the bottom line of the report in a clear and easily  understandable fashion. This is the essence of what we’re likely to see in the coming year..

What’s California Real Estate Going To Do In 2016? |

“The state’s rising prices are predicted to hold back home sales slightly. The California median home price is projected to increase 3.2% to $491,300 in 2016, following a projected 6.5% increase in 2015 to $476,300. Despite those increasing prices, 2016 is still estimated to have the slowest rate of price appreciation in five years.”

Read More Here:

Southern California Home Sales 2016:
Some Forecasters Are More Pessimistic

There are some out there who are making more pessimistic forcasts for the future of Southern California Home Sales in 2016. Although they are in the minority, they are basing their predictions on valid concerns. We’ll cover one of those forecasts in these pages this coming Wednesday, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, for those who really want to get “into the weeds” with the technical information in the CAR report and put together their own 2016 Home Sales Forecast, we’ve included a slideshow of charts and more detailed information below. These are the charts and graphs, along with some information pertinent to Realtors, that the California Association of Realtors used to introduce and illustrate its report. If you’re a “numbers cruncher” and “graph watcher”, this slideshow will provide you with the entire picture.

2016 California Economic & Market Forecast

Southern California Home Prices Static But Sales Soar

Southern California Home Prices:
Prices Static But Sales Soar

Southern California Home Prices

Southern California Home Prices Were Flat In July… But Sales Went Through The Roof

In the month of July, Southern Californiia Home Prices were flat, showing a flattening of a steep upward trend. However, the number of sales in July in the region was 25,419 units (new and resale homes & condos combined). That’s 23.5% more than a year earlier and the strongest showing since July of 2005.

One of the reasons for this kind of action is the rising inventory. As Southern California home prices have risen, many “underwater” owners have found their situation changing to one where they’re at least able to “break even” if not make a profit on a sale. The rising number of homes available has led to more pricing competition which has slowed that steep rise of prices we’ve been seeing over the last months. Additionally, mortgage rates jumped a bit a couple of months ago. This also may have spurred some buyers to act before they go higher.

Here’s an article from Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times that provides all the facts and figures:

Southern California Home Prices Static But Sales Soar

While the price increases took a slight breather over the month, sales soared. Buyers purchased 25,419 new and resale houses and condos in July, 23.5% more than a year earlier and the strongest July since 2005. Sales were up 17.6% from June, when sales fell.”,0,2245562.story

  Southern California Home Prices and Sales Action Good News For The Market

Many economists and market analysts have been speculating as to whether or not Southern California home prices and sales were signalling a return to the “bubble” conditions of the last decade. The good news is the current flattening of prices and increase in sales is a “technical” indicator that the market is healthy and not in danger of becoming another dangerous bubble. The rising home price rate has been very steep and is in need of a flattening or even a slight “pullback”, and a balance point between prices and sales numbers is actually a good sign for all concerned.

Southern California Home Prices.

Southern California Home Sales Hit 7-Year High

California Home Sales:
May Numbers Post A 7 Year High

California Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

Southern California home sales held at a seven-year high last month thanks to a stronger economy, pent-up demand, low mortgage rates and the widening perception that a home is a good investment. A home for sale along the 2000 block of Brockport St. on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Covina, Calif.
(Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)

Prices & Activity Hold High Numbers As Several Influences Bolster California Home Sales

The California home sales market is still posting impressive numbers. Buyers poured lots of cash into the market in May and activity posted a 7 year high while prices held a 9 year high.

There are many things bolstering the market right now. The economy is generally stronger than it was last year, mortgage rates are still relatively low, prospective buyers have built up a lot of demand over the last few years, and many folks are looking at the California home sales market and seeing a home as a good investment. There are those who feel that some or even all of these influences might be changing soon, but for right now they are contributing to a very strong market.

Here's an article by Gregory J. Wilcox in the San Bernardino Sun that will give you all the numbers:

Southern California home sales hit 7-year high

"We're deep into uncharted territory: Amazingly low mortgage rates, a razor-thin inventory of homes for sale, and the release of years' worth of pent-up demand. Plus there's a seemingly endless stream of investors and non-investors who pay cash and thereby avoid the loan-qualification process. How this all plays out is educated guesswork at this point," John Walsh, DataQuick president, said in a statement." …


What's The Future For California Home Sales?

There is agreement right now between most analysts that the California home sales market is finally healing. However, there is also uncertainty. There are those who foresee sunny days ahead and those who forecast outright doom. As usual, the reality will most probably lie somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. The market has sustained a long upward push from the depths at this point and a "resting" period, or even a compensating "pull-back" is certainly not out of the question. Only time will tell when this period begins and how long it will last. 

California Home Sales.

California Home Sales: Eliminating The Mortgage Deduction

California Home Sales:
Eliminating The Mortgage Deduction Could Have A Domino Effect

California Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

A home, for sale by Realty Executives of Valencia, on Galbreth Court in the Hasley Hills area of Castaic. If the mortgage interest deduction is axed, experts disagree on just how serious an effect there would be on the recovering housing market. Photo courtesy of Realty Executives.

California Home Sales Could Slow & Tax Revenues Fall If Deduction Is Eliminated Completely

California home sales, their rate and prices, can be effected by many things. The market is a complex and ever changing “animal” with many interlocking parts. One of those parts is the mortgage interest tax deduction. Its size … and even its continued existence … are both being discussed in Congress right now.

Opinions vary, but all seem to agree that elimination of this popular incentive to home ownership would have at least some effect on the California home sales market. The disagreement stems from just how much of an effect we would actually feel. Some say that it would force prices down as Sellers would need to compensate. Others say it would slow activity to a crawl as buyers decided to forgo home ownership entirely. Still others say it would have some effect, but not nearly as much as the “doomsayers” predict.

Here’s an article from Jana Adkins in the Santa Clarita Valley Signal that runs through a lot of varying opinions. Jana … or the headline writers at least … seem to be of the opinion that removal of the deduction would have a huge impact. However, if you read through the article you’ll find that the “experts” are really all over the map in their opinions.

California Home Sales: Eliminating The Mortgage Deduction Could Have A Domino Effect

Repealing the deduction would be bad for homeowners and it would be bad for cities and school districts that rely on property tax revenue,” Hernandez said. Such a change could potentially drive down home ownership rates, drive up the cost of financing, and push down the value of real estate, he said … “

  Does The Federal Tax Structure Control
The California Home Sales Market?

Wiith all this talk about the mortgage interest tax deduction and how it’s elimination might effect the California home sales market, there is very little talk about what is more likely to occur: a compromise focusing on adjustment rather than elimination. Most of the talk is about what might happen should the deduction be removed entirely. However, it seems much more likely that complete elimination stands only an outside chance. A reduction in the deduction seems much more likely, and if this happens then it’s also more likely that the less extreme predictions of how this will effect California home sales will probably be more accurate than those of the “sky is falling” variety.

California Home Sales.

California Home Sales: Home Prices Soar Across Southern California

California Home Sales:
Prices Soar Across Southland

California Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

In this Monday, May 13, 2013 file photo, gardener Jose Lopez trims the front lawn of a home for sale in Alhambra, Calif. U.S. home prices jumped 12.1 percent in April from a year ago, buoyed by strong demand and a limited supply of available homes.
(AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

California Home Sales Numbers Show Large Jumps
In Both Price And Activity

All across the Southland, the California Home Sales market is posting some really impressive numbers. Prices are way up, as anyone with any knowledge will tell you, but activity has increased as well. In the San Fernando Valley the median price of a home increased by 39% in May of thixs year over last year.

The good news is not restricted to resale market. Sales of new homes posted their highest rates in five years. 

Here's the complete run down on California home sales from Gregory J. Wilcox in the Los Angeles Daily News

California Home Sales: Home Prices Soar Across Southern California

Prices in the Los Angeles metro area are up 19 percent from a year ago, according to a widely watched index released Tuesday. … In the San Fernando Valley, the median price of a previously owned home soared a record 39 percent in May and cracked the half million mark again, a trade group said. … And San Bernardino County’s median price jumped 28 percent last month, according to market tracker DataQuick…."

  Are California Home Sales Numbers Bubble-Bound?

Some analysts have begun to worry that, with such good numbers posted recently, the California home sales market might be in the beginnings of another "bubble" experience. Actually, the fundamentals of the market are solid and so are the "technical" indicators. We should expect a slow down to the rise in prices and activity to begin to kick in within the next couple of months, but that will be normal and healthy market adjustment activity. Those who are seeing "bubble activity" in the California home sales market at this point, may be getting a bit "overblown" themselves.

California Home Sales.

California Home Sales: Median Price Sees Largest Jump In 33 Years

California Home Sales:
Median Price Sees Largest Jump In 33 Years

California Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

In May 2013, homes costing $500,000 or more accounted for 35.4 percent of sales in California, up from 24.6 percent a year ago. (Keith Birmingham/LA Daily News)

At Least 34.5% Of California Home Sales In May
Were $500K And Up

More good numbers in California home sales in May were just reported. The California Association of Realtors reports that the state's median home price increased to $417,350 from $316,460 in May 2012. This is an increase of 34.5% over may of last year, and that's the largest year-over-year jump since February of 1980. Additionally, the percentage of sales over $500K increased.

Here's a Video from the National Association of Realtors with some good numbers from a couple of weeks ago:

More currently still, here's an article from Gregory J. Wilcox in the Los Angeles Daily News with those numbers and a lot more:

California median housing price increases by most in 33 years

"The median price of a previously owned house in California soared 31.9 percent in May, the largest year-over-year increase in more than three decades as sales of more expensive properties increased and inventory remained tight …"

Other Factors Also Support California Home Sales

There are other good things going on in the California Home Sales market as well. The market numbers are currently being supported by fewer REO sales and continuing low interest rates. Good news in the coming months can be supported by the fact that Buyers are using more conventional financing strategies and are also investing higher down payments than they have previously.

California Home Sales.

San Fernando Valley Home Sales Prices Rise In April

San Fernando Valley Home Sales:
Prices, Activity Rise From
Last Year's Numbers

San Fernando Valley Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

Good Numbers Support
San Fernando Valley Home Sales Market

In April of this year the San Fernando Valley home sales market posted good numbers as both sales activity and prices increased over last year at this time. The average price in the area has been over $400K every month this year as prices were buoyed by reignited interest in the market combined with low inventory.

Here's an article from Gregory J. Wilcox in the Los Angeles Daily News with all the numbers:

San Fernando Valley home sales, prices rise in April

"Last month the median price of a previously owned house increased 15.3 percent to $460,000 from $399,000 a year earlier, said the Van Nuys-based Southland Regional Association of Realtors. The median also rose $30,000 from $430,000 in March."

Numbers Indicate A Good Summer Buying Season For
San Fernando Valley Home Sales Market

We are now entering the traditional "Selling Season" for the San Fernando home sales market, and for California home sales as a whole. Buyers know that the inventory is now at the highest it will probably be for the year, so now is the time they'll have the most choice. Traditiionally, people prefer to move in the summer when most schools are out. The year-round school areas have dampened this effect somewhat, but not greatly as most all schools do have some period of time off in the summer.

Put this all together and we can expect some good numbers in San Fernando Valley home sales as well as other regional areas during the next coming months.

San Fernando Valley Home Sales.

California Home Sales: Foreclosed Home Sales Decline In California

California Home Sales:
Foreclosures Decline Again

California Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

California Home Sales Numbers Show Foreclosures Down While Prices Climb Again

RealtyTrac shows more good numbers for the California home sales market. The first quarter of 2013 shows that foreclosed properties made up 30% of the market, down from 40% a year ago.

Here's an article from "The Westside Story" that will fill you in on the numbers:

Foreclosed Home Sales Decline in California

"The number of foreclosed home sales in the state of California went down while the median sales price increased. The news came from Realty Trac, a real estate tracking service. The firm said 30 percent of California sales in the first quarter of 2013 …The Westside Story"

Rising Prices In California Home Sales Market Help Some Avoid Foreclosure

Some homeowners who were looking at foreclosure have been assisted out of their situation by rising prices. They were either able to re-finance or sell their homes because they now had equity as the price floor rose beneath them. There are stiill a lot of foreclosures in the California home sales market. In fact, the state is still #3 of the states with the highest percentage, but the numbers are moving in the right direction.

California Home Sales.