California home sales and prices both posted gains in December, with the median price posting strong double-digit gains for six straight months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported.
Making sense of the story
- 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.
- 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.
- California’s housing inventory was further constrained in December, with the Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes dropping to 2.6 months, down from 3.1 months in November and a revised 4.3 months in December 2011. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered normal.
- The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home edged up to 38.1 days in December 2012 from 37.5 days in November but was down from 58.7 days for the same period a year ago.