California home sales and prices both posted gains in December, with the median price posting strong double-digit gains for six straight months, C.A.R. reported.

 

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 522,510 units, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in December were up 0.8 percent from a revised 518,460 in November and up 0.9 percent from a revised 517,730 in December 2011. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

 

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home climbed 5 percent from November’s $349,300 median price to $366,930 in December. December’s price was up 27 percent from a revised $288,950 recorded in December 2011, marking the tenth consecutive month of annual price increases and the sixth consecutive month of double-digit annual gains. The substantial increase in price was due in large part to a significant increase of higher-priced properties, while inventory constraints continued to constrict sales of lower-priced homes. Price increases are not expected to continue at a high pace into 2013.