by Calculated Risk on 10/20/2020 11:01:00 AM
California’s home-buying season extended further into September as home sales climbed to their highest level in more than a decade, and the median home price set another high for the fourth straight month, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 489,590 units in September, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2020 if sales maintained the September pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
September’s sales total climbed above the 400,000 level for the third straight month since the COVID-19 crisis depressed the housing market earlier this year and was the highest sales level recorded since February 2009. September sales rose 5.2 percent from 465,400 in August and were up 21.2 percent from a year ago, when 404,030 homes were sold on an annualized basis.
For-sale properties continued to be added to the market at a pace slower than normal, and housing supply remained significantly below last year’s level. The year-over-year decline of 48.4 percent in September was the fourth consecutive month with active listings falling more than 40 percent from the prior year.
CR Note: Existing home sales are reported when the transaction closes, so this was mostly for contracts signed in July and August. Sales-to-date, through September, are down 3.7% compared to the same period in 2019.