An estimated 42,293 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in California last month. That was up 8.3 percent from 39,051 in April, and up 1.2 percent from 41,790 sales in May 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. Last month's sales count was the strongest for a May since 54,099 homes were sold in May 2006. California May sales have varied from a low of 32,223 in 1995 to a high of 67,078 in 2005. Last month's sales were nine percent below the average of 46,471 sales for all the months of May since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin.
The median price paid for a home in California last month was $340,000--the highest for any month since the median was $354,000 in April 2008. Last month’s median rose 4.9 percent from $324,000 in April and rose 25.9 percent from $270,000 in May 2012. May marked the 15th consecutive month in which the state's median sale price has risen 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, 11.4 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year--the lowest level since foreclosure resales were 9.4 percent of the resale market in August 2007. Last month’s figure was down from 13.5 percent in April and from 28.5 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 the same as in April and down from an estimated 23.7 percent a year earlier.
The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,227. That was up from $1,157 in April and up from $1,006 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month's typical payment was 46.7 percent below the 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle, and 56.8 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.