California Home Sales, Median Price Rise in December

California home sales rose in December, posting their highest level since May, according to data from the California Association of Realtors, C.A.R..  The statewide median price increased from November, but was down from a year ago.

“December’s sales increase reflects buyers taking advantage of rock bottom interest rates and improved affordability since the first half of the year, when prices were higher,” said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce.  “Most of December’s sales opened escrow in October and November.  Rates hit their absolute lowest in October but began edging higher in November, prompting buyers to get off the fence,” she said.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 520,680 in December.  December’s sales were up 5.9 percent from November’s revised pace of 491,590 but were down 6.8 percent from the revised 558,840 sales pace recorded in December 2009.

Following three consecutive monthly declines, the median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California increased 1.7 percent from a revised $296,690 in November but was down 1.6 percent from the revised $306,860 median price recorded for the same period a year ago.