January 2016 Sales Jump 3.9 Percent Over Last Year

California single-family home and condominium sales were 24,505 in January 2016, down 29.8 percent from a revised 34,906 in December 2015. The sharp January decline was a typical seasonal fluctuation. On a year-ago basis sales were up 3.9 percent from a revised 23,594 in January 2015. Condominium sales were 19.1 percent of total sales compared to 18.5 percent in January 2015.

“Despite a slowdown in many national economic indicators, California single family home and condominium sales picked up in January 2016,” said Madeline Schnapp, Director of Economic Research for PropertyRadar. “California’s real estate market continues to be resilient. The extreme volatility in the equity markets has precipitated considerable outflows of cash, some of which may be finding its way into California real estate.”

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In January 2016, single-family home sales fell 32.0 percent for the month but were up 3.0 percent from January 2015. Condominium sales were down 31.4 percent for the month but gained 7.4 percent year-over-year.

The January 2016 median price of a California home was $400,000, down 2.4 percent from a revised December 2015 price of $410,000. The median price of a condominium was $385,000, down 3.8 percent for the month. On a year-ago basis, median home prices were up 8.1 percent, while condominium prices gained 6.6 percent. Most of the price increases for both single-family residences and condominiums happened during the first four months of 2015. Since April 2015, prices have been trending mostly sideways.

“Affordability has become a significant issue in many coastal counties throughout the state, particularly in the Bay Area,” said Schnapp. “Recent stock market volatility and growing fears about the national economy may send investors scampering to the perceived safety of real estate, putting additional upward pressure on prices.”

January 2016 single-family home and condominium cash sales fell 25.2 percent from December 2015. On a year-ago basis, cash sales were down 9.3 percent from January 2015. Cash sales were 21.5 percent of total sales in January 2016, in line with the average of 21.3 percent over the past six months.

Of the 26 largest counties in California, the counties with the highest percentage of cash sales were Monterey (27.6 percent), Riverside (24.9 percent), San Luis Obispo (24.7 percent), Santa Barbara (27.7 percent) and Tulare (31.7 percent).

Source: Real Property Report