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California home sales register nominal annual increase in September
California existing home sales ticked up in September on a year-over-year basis for the first time in seven months as a shortage of homes available for sale continues to hold back the market, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
Making sense of the story
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 425,680 units in September, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2016 if sales maintained the September pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The September figure was up 1.3 percent from the revised 420,360 level in August and up 0.8 percent compared with home sales in September 2015 of a revised 422,360. Home sales remained above the 400,000 pace for the sixth straight month, and the year-over-year increase was the first since January.
“While higher sales both on a monthly and an annual basis is a glimmer of good news, with most of the home-buying season behind us for 2016, it’s not enough to tip the scales for an increase above 2015’s sales pace,” said C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “With listings continuing to decline and demand still strong, especially at the lower end of the market, affordability will remain a challenge for would-be buyers.”
The statewide median price remained above the $500,000 mark for the sixth straight month, with minimal signs of cooling down outside of a few select markets. The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home was down 2.3 percent in September to $514,320 from $526,580 in August. September’s median price increased 6.1 percent from the revised $484,670 recorded in September 2015. 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. The monthly price decline is primarily due to seasonal factors.
Zillow released a study on Tuesday, revealing some of their real estate findings; including: “half of all buyers are under age 36, meaning the Millennial generation is driving more of the housing market than we previously understood.”
Another finding had to do with the hiring of real estate agents. They found that “buyers aren’t replacing the expertise of real estate agents with online research—but they are doing a tremendous amount of research online before contacting an agent. Those who start their home searches online are actually more likely to use an agent than other buyers.”
The report summarizes Zillow’s findings in a 164-page report; click here to read about all of the real estate findings in detail.
The multi-generational home is growing, and some make the choice to live with family for economical reasons.
An August 2016 Pew Research report shows that “a record 60.6 million Americans — almost one in five – lived in multigenerational households in 2014, defined by Pew as a having two or more adult generations or grandparents and grandchildren. This is about a 30% increase in just seven years; in 2007 there were 46.5 million people living in multigen households…” (Forbes. “Multigenerational Living is Back and That’s a Good Thing”)
“…’The economic downturn in 2007 to 2009 may have driven families to come together under one roof out of need, but today this increasing multigen living is by choice,’ says Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, a group dedicated to improving lives of children and older adults through intergenerational programs and services.” (Forbes. “Multigenerational Living is Back and That’s a Good Thing”)
Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week. As rates remain at historically low levels, homeowners taking advantage of the chance to refinance their mortgages have pushed up refinancing activity.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.44 percent from 3.46 percent last week. The average rate is down from 3.90 percent a year ago, and is close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate eased to 2.76 percent from 2.77 percent.