An estimated 28,719 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide last month. That was down 0.5 percent from 28,871 in January, and down 3.1 percent from 29,630 sales in February 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. Sales are generally flat from January to February. February sales in California have varied from a low of 20,513 in 2008 to a high of 48,409 in 2004. Last month's sales were 9.9 percent below the average of 31,890 sales for all the months of February since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin.
The median price paid for a home in California last month was $289,000, down 0.3 percent from $290,000 in January and up 20.9 percent from $239,000 in February 2012. February was the 12th consecutive month in which the state's median sale price rose year-over-year. In March/April/May 2007 the median peaked at $484,000, then it declined to a low of $221,000 in April 2009.
Of the existing homes sold in February, 17.5 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from a revised 19.0 percent in January and down from 33.9 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent of the resale market in February 2009.
Short sales - transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property - made up an estimated 22.5 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was down from an estimated 23.6 percent the month before and 26.5 percent a year earlier.
The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,042. That was up from $1,030 in January and up from $901 a year earlier. Last month's typical payment was 54.3 percent below the 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle, and 63.0 percent below the 2006 peak of the current cycle.
Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below peak levels reached several years ago. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, while down payment sizes are stable.