New-home sales dropped 45.6 percent in California while median new-home prices fell 10.8 percent in October compared to October 2007, the California Building Industry Association and Hanley Wood Market Intelligence reported today.

The groups reported 3,292 new-home sales statewide for all new-home types in October, down from 6,047 sales in October 2006, according to the report. The median price across all new-home types was $405,900, down from $455,000 in October 2006.

Single-family new-home sales fell 37 percent, from 4,075 in October 2006 to 2,568 in October 2007, while the median price of single-family new homes fell 12.9 percent, from $461,400 in October 2006 to $401,990 in October 2007.

Among those market areas with more than 100 sales in October, sales for all new-home types fell 75 percent in Sacramento compared to October 2006 and dropped 54.1 percent in Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, 51 percent in San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, 47.6 percent in Bakersfield, 41.4 percent in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, 34.5 percent in Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, 28.6 percent in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario and 10.7 percent in Fresno.

The median price for all new-home types in the Fresno area dropped 14.1 percent year-over-year in October, and fell 12.2 percent in Riverside, 10.7 percent in Bakersfield, 6.3 percent in Sacramento, 1 percent in San Diego, and 0.6 percent in Los Angeles while rising 0.5 percent in Oakland and 13.5 percent in the Santa Ana market area.

New condo sales dropped 70.6 percent in California year-over-year in October, falling from 1,481 in October 2006 to 436 in October 2007. And the median price of new condos in the state dropped 1 percent, from $415,000 in October 2006 to $411,000 in October 2007.

Sales of new townhomes and plexes (duplexes, triplexes, etc.) dropped 41.3 percent, from 491 in October 2006 to 288 in October 2007, while the median price of new townhomes and plexes dropped 11.3 percent, from $469,000 in October 2006 to $415,900 in October 2007.

Jonathan Dienhart, director of published research for Manley Wood Market Intelligence, said in a statement, “There doesn’t currently seem to be an end in sight in regards to the problems in the mortgage industry. The market must once again find equilibrium; that can only happen when more home buyers gain access to credit again, and home prices have relaxed to the point where they can still qualify for a mortgage under more strict lending guidelines.”

He added, “If potential home buyers are convinced it’s a bad time to purchase a house, there is only so much that pricing and credit options are going to help. Consumers need to regain their confidence regarding housing before we will see widespread recovery.”

And Robert Rivinius, president and CEO for the state builders’ group, said in a statement, “As of this week, the latest projections are that the state’s budget next year will be $14 billion in the red — with much of the deficit directly linked to the continued weakness in the housing sector.”

New-home sales and prices, October 2007, all new-home types

Source: California Building Industry Association, Hanley Wood Market Intelligence

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