Industry News

Real estate sales drop 24% in California

Market impacted by rising inventory, prices

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California existing-home sales plummeted 24.1 percent in January compared to January 2005, the California Association of Realtors trade group reported today, while the median price of an existing home increased 13.8 percent. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 500,470 in January at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local Realtor associations statewide. The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2006 would be if sales maintained the January pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during January 2006 was $551,300, an increase of 0.5 percent compared with December's $548,640 median price. "The California real estate market is beginning to experience the soft landing that we expect to be the und...