Industry News

California real estate sales hit peak in 2005

Median prices rise nearly 14% from previous year

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The number of newly built homes sold by builders in California last year reached the highest level in at least two decades, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate information service. The company credited strong demand and lower-than-average mortgage interest rates for the sales. The median price paid for a new home was $439,000 last year, up 13.7 percent from $386,000 the year before. Newly built homes were most expensive in San Mateo County where last year's median was $900,000. Homes were least expensive in Madera County where the median was $288,500, DataQuick reported. A total of 136,228 newly built homes were sold statewide in 2005, up 4.4 percent from 130,480 for the year before, DataQuick reported. Sales in the current real estate cycle surpassed the sales levels of the late 1980s in 2003 when 116,803 newly built homes were sold, passing 1989's total of 103,131. Sales fell to 38,454 in 1993 when the state's real estate market was in steep decline, the compa...