An estimated 39,051 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in California in April. That was up 3.4 percent from 37,764 in March, and up 2.1 percent from 38,241 sales in April 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. Last month's sales count was the strongest for an April since 48,894 homes were sold in April 2006. California April sales have varied from a low of 27,625 in 1995 to a high of 71,638 in 2004. Last month's sales were 11.1 percent below the average of 43,920 sales for all the months of April since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin.
The median price paid for a home in California last month was $324,000, which is the highest for any month since the median was $328,000 in June 2008. Last month's median was up 3.5 percent from $313,000 in March and up 22.7 percent from $264,000 in April 2012. April was the 14th 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. The post-peak trough was $221,000 in April 2009.
Of the existing homes sold last month, 13.5 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year--the lowest level since foreclosure resales were 12.6 percent of the resale market in September 2007. Last month’s figure was down from a revised 15.0 percent in March and 30.3 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent in February 2009.
Short sales--transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property--made up an estimated 17.7 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was down from a revised estimate of 19.7 percent the month before and 23.9 percent a year earlier.
The typical mortgage payment that homebuyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,157. That was up from $1,134 in March and up from $1,010 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month's typical payment was 49.8 percent below the 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle, and 59.3 percent below the 2006 peak of the current cycle.
Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and peak levels reached several years ago. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, while down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.