An estimated 42,546 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in California in August. That was down 1.9 percent from a revised 43,381 in July, and up 3.1 percent from 41,280 sales in August 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The sales count was the highest for any August since 51,054 homes sold in August 2006. August sales have varied from a low of 29,764 in 1992 to a high of 73,285 in 2005. Last month's sales were 11.1 percent below the average of 47,849 sales for all the months of August since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin.
The median price paid for a home in California last month was $361,000, down 0.6 percent from $363,000 in July and up 28.5 percent from $281,000 in August 2012. August was the 18th 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, 7.8 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year—the lowest level since foreclosure resales were 7.6 percent of the resale market in July 2007. Last month’s figure was down from a revised 8.3 percent in July and 20.0 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 13.2 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was down from an estimated 14.4 percent the month before and 26.4 percent a year earlier.
The typical monthly mortgage payment that California buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,456. Adjusted for inflation, last month's payment was 37.0 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 48.9 percent below the current cycle's peak in June 2006. It was 58.0 percent above the January 2012 bottom of the current cycle.
DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.
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.