In September 2017, California real estate sales increased 1.7 percent from 2016.
Compared to February 2016, 2017’s February shows strong gains in both sales and price.
California pending home sales dip slightly in January; Southern California market continues to outshine other regions
Following relatively strong closed escrow home sales over the past few months, California
pending home sales slipped negligibly from a year ago, which suggests a softening in the
housing market in the upcoming months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Making sense of the story
- Based on signed contracts, statewide pending home sales decreased in January on a
seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* slipping 0.2
percent from 107.4 from January 2016 to 107.2 in January 2017. On a monthly basis,
California pending home sales were down 9.2 percent from the December index of 118.0.
- Only the Southern California region posted a year-over-year improvement in pending
sales last month, rising 8.1 percent from January 2016 and increasing 10.5 percent on a
monthly basis. Riverside County led the region in pending sales, posting a 16.2 percent
increase from a year ago. Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties also posted
modest year-over-year increases of 7.1 percent, 8.0, and 4.0 percent, respectively. San
Bernardino County was the only area within Southern California that saw pending sales
lower on an annual basis by 2.8 percent.
- For the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole, tight housing supplies and low affordability
contributed to a fall in pending sales of 9.7 percent compared to January 2016. Only San
Mateo County posted an annual increase, rising 5.3 percent from January 2016 after
posting a significant double-digit annual decline (35.3 percent) in December. Pending
home sales decreased 21.2 percent in San Francisco County, 7.1 percent in Santa Clara
County, 24.9 percent in Monterey, and 4.8 percent in Santa Cruz County. A shortage of
homes on the market and poor affordability will likely persist throughout the year, and
impact Bay Area home sales.
- Pending sales in the Central Valley fell 7.9 percent from January 2016 and were up 2.2
percent from December. Within Central Valley, pending sales were down 14.6 percent in
Kern County and 11.8 percent in Sacramento compared with a year ago.
California home sales and median price post higher in October
Bolstered by healthy sales activity in Southern California and the Central Valley, California existing home sales and median price gained ground in October on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis, 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 442,970 units in October, 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 October pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The October figure was up 4.1 percent from the revised 425,680 level in September and up 8
percent compared with home sales in October 2015 of a revised 410,310. Home sales remained
above the 400,000 pace for the seventh straight month, and were up year-over-year for the second consecutive month. The year-over-year increase was the largest since January, and October’s sales level was the highest since July 2013.
“With prices continuing to increase amid a low supply of homes for sale on the market, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal regions, home buyers are migrating toward lowerpriced homes in more affordable inland areas,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh. “As a
result, home prices at the lower end of the market have risen significantly in the past year,
challenging an already depressed homeownership rate.”
The statewide median price remained above the $500,000 mark for the seventh straight month,
with little signs of slowing down. The median price of an existing, single-family detached
California home was up 1.2 percent in October to $513,520 from a revised $507,260 in
September. Since 2010, prices typically have declined from September to October. The monthly
price gain is an indication that demand remains unseasonably strong.
“While this month’s sales and price gains are encouraging, the market continues to experience a
supply issue that won’t abate any time soon,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist
Leslie Appleton-Young. “A shortage of new listings remains a threat to home sales in the short
run, and with available inventory below normal levels, the dearth of listings suggests that the
market will remain tight over the near term.”
March existing home sales and median price accelerate from previous month and year
California home sales rose from both the previous month and year to post the highest sales pace in six months, while strained housing supplies continued to push home prices higher, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
Making sense of the story
- Existing, single-family home sales totaled 415,220 in March on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 5.5 percent from February and 5.7 percent above March 2015.
- March’s statewide median home price was $483,280, up 8.9 percent from February and up 4 percent from March 2015.
- The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home declined in March to 29.9 days, compared with 41.4 days in February and 34.2 days in March 2015.
- March’s sales level rose above the 400,000 level for the first time in three months.
C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli commented, “California’s housing market is moving in the right direction as we enter the spring home-buying season, but sales growth will likely be isolated in areas where inventory is more abundant and housing affordability is less of an issue. For example, in the Bay Area, where inventory is extremely tight, annual sales are down in the double-digits in seven of the region’s nine counties.”
- The number of active listings increased slightly for the third consecutive month after declining for five straight months, but was not enough to boost housing supplies. Active listings increased 3.9 percent from February on a statewide basis.
- The increase in active listings was outpaced by the rate of home sales, causing C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index to drop from 4.6 months in February to 3.6 months in March.
Read the full story: www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases
If you’re talking San Diego County real estate, 2012 was the year of the home sale. It was also an atypical year.
Homebuyers snapped up more than 40,000 properties last year, the highest volume since 2006, when about 44,500 homes were sold, according to numbers from real estate tracker DataQuick.
Old trends were tossed out. Typically, sales rev up in the spring and summer, and hunker down in the later months. But last year, they flamed through the winter holidays as first-time buyers to seasoned investors kept scouting for homes from a limited supply.
Inventory, now at least at a three-year low; record-low mortgage rates; and the inability for many underwater homeowners to sell have pushed home prices up to a 41/2-year high…
Read more of U~T San Diego’s article on the real estate market in San Diego here: “Housing sales heat up”.
Negotiation strategies differ depending on how well the home is priced and who’s on the other side. If you’re trying to buy a short-sale listing where the lender has to agree to accept less than the amount owed, the seller doesn’t have much say in the negotiations about price unless he can contribute money to pay down the loan amount.
Regardless of who you’re dealing with, you’re more likely to grab a seller’s or lender’s attention if you are preapproved for the mortgage you’ll need and can provide verification of cash for the down payment and closing costs.
Many buyers feel that cash is king. If buyers are willing and able to pay all cash with no mortgage, no hassling with the lender and no appraisal contingency, they feel they’re owed a price concession.
Not all sellers agree. Some, who are confident in the value of their home, would rather work
with an offer from a well-qualified buyer who needs to obtain a mortgage but who will pay a higher price.
Before you start negotiating, you should understand as much as you can about the other party. For instance, if the sellers are moving to a retirement home, they might go for the highest-priced offer in a multiple-offer situation, even though it might not be ideal in other regards. If they are liquidating their last asset, every penny will count.
An all-cash or large-cash-down buyer might not be able to negotiate a “deal” based on the fact that no
lender will be involved. But if the home is a good value and suits your long-term needs, you might increase your offer price and include a mortgage. This way, you conserve cash for other uses.
HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Many buyers don’t want to negotiate. They want their first offer to be their best offer. Usually, the only time this is effective is if yours is the only offer, the house is priced right for the market, and you offer full price. In this market, you’re better off planning for some negotiation, and not putting all your cards on the table at once.
In most areas, the home-sale market still favors buyers. A lot of sellers are selling for less than they paid. Some have to bring money to the closing. Sellers who have owned for years are selling for less than they would have years ago. It’s natural that they would want to try for the highest price possible.
Negotiations are about more than price. Generally, the fewer the contingencies or the cleaner the contract, the more attractive it will be to the seller. Closing and possession dates can become issues at the bargaining table. What’s included and excluded, time periods to satisfy contingencies, and virtually everything in the contract is negotiable.
Since everything is up for grabs, be clear about what’s not negotiable — for instance, you can’t go over a certain price. Show flexibility in areas that will hopefully be valuable to the sellers, such as buying “as is” regarding some needed repairs. Don’t waste your time with sellers who are firm at a price that is considerably over market value. Wait until they become realistic while you continue looking. Some sellers eventually get tired of having their home listed and reduce the price to market value. Others don’t.
Sellers need to understand that buyers in today’s market will walk away from a negotiation if they feel they’re not getting anywhere or are being treated unfairly. Buyers could become suspicious or disappear if they’re told by the sellers or their agent that other buyers are lining up to make an offer when they aren’t.
THE CLOSING: A smart strategy is to defend your position while being honest and fair with the other party.
Dian Hymer is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.