Real estate professionals in California sold slightly fewer homes in April than they did a year ago, according to a report by real estate data company MDA DataQuick. Sales of both new and resale houses and condominiums were down 1.3 percent year-over-year, to an estimated 37,481 units. That a 0.5 percent increase from March, however.

The median price for a home in the Golden State stayed flat month-to-month at $255,000, but was a 15.4 percent increase from April 2009.

Real estate professionals in California sold slightly fewer homes in April than they did a year ago, according to a report by real estate data company MDA DataQuick. Sales of both new and resale houses and condominiums were down 1.3 percent year-over-year, to an estimated 37,481 units. That a 0.5 percent increase from March, however.

The median price for a home in the Golden State stayed flat month-to-month at $255,000, but was a 15.4 percent increase from April 2009.

   


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Foreclosures made up a smaller percentage of resale homes sold in April, 38.1 percent, compared to a revised 40.3 percent in March and 54.6 percent in April 2009. "The all-time high was in February 2009 at 58.8 percent," the report said.

The typical monthly payment for homebuyers taking on mortgages last month was $1,108, an increase from $1,091 in March and $929 in April 2009, the report said.

"Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is off its peaks reached in the past couple of years but remains high in a historical context. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, downpayment sizes are stable, cash and non-owner-occupied buying is up," the report said.

Sales in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area made up 18.7 percent of California’s new and existing-home sales, the company said in a separate report. Sales in the region were down 1.9 percent year-over-year and essentially flat at a 0.2 percent increase from March.

"It’s not clear how many April sales (closings) might have been pushed into May or June by tax credits. The bigger picture is that the housing market will gradually be decoupled from government stimulus and be on its own again," said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick’s president, in a statement.

"For months we’ve seen growing signs of a recovery taking hold. But plenty of challenges remain like high unemployment, the possibility of many more distressed properties hitting the market in a rising interest-rate environment, and a dysfunctional jumbo loan market, which is a big deal in the Bay Area," he said.

The median price of a Bay Area home was higher and rose faster than the state’s median: $370,000, a 21.7 percent increase from April 2009. The median fell 2.6 percent from March. April was the median’s seventh straight monthly year-over-year rise, the report said.

Foreclosure resales made up 29.5 percent of existing-home purchases, down from 46.6 percent in April 2009.

"As less-expensive foreclosures have waned the past year, activity in many mid-to high-priced neighborhoods has picked up, helping to explain the recent double-digit annual gains in the median sale price," the report said.

Investors and some second-home purchasers — who Dataquick calls "absentee buyers" — bought 18.2 percent of homes sold in April, up from 17.3 percent in April 2009. They paid a median $249,500, the report said. Flipping of homes — where a home is re-sold within three weeks to six months — rose to 2.6 percent of homes sold from 1.6 percent at the same time last year.

 

Sales Volume

Median Price

 

Counties

 

Apr-10

% Y-o-y Change

 

Apr-10

% Y-o-y Change

Alameda

 

1319

-9.5%

 

$350,000

21%

Contra Costa

 

1,635

-3.8%

 

$273,000

21.3%

Marin

 

245

40.8%

 

$659,000

12.6%

Napa

 

104

5.1%

 

$335,000

6.3%

Santa Clara

 

1,656

3.1%

 

$489,000

20.7%

San Francisco

 

428

6.5%

 

$692,500

10.2%

San Mateo

 

556

25.2%

 

$580,000

11.5%

Solano

 

591

-17.6%

 

$202,000

12.2%

Sonoma

 

469

-13.3%

 

$318,000

9.7%

Bay Area

 

7,003

-1.9%

 

$370,000

21.7%

(Source: MDA DataQuick Information Systems, www.DQNews.com)

Sales in Southern California made up 54.2 percent of home sales in the state. These include sales in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. Sales in this area were down 1 percent year-over-year and 0.9 percent month-to-month, DataQuick said in another report.

That year-over-year drop was the region’s first in nearly two years, the report said.

The median price in this area was higher than in the state overall at $285,000, though it kept pace with the state median’s year-over-year 15.4 percent rise.

Part of the rise can be attributed to more sales occurring in more expensive coastal areas, the report said. Inland counties San Bernardino and Riverside made up a somewhat smaller share of sales in April — 33.8 percent compared with 37 percent at the same time last year.

"High-end sales would be stronger, and the overall market recovery more robust, if two key forms of financing were easier to obtain: adjustable-rate (ARMs) and ‘jumbo’ loans. Both have become much more difficult to obtain since the August 2007 credit crisis," the report said.

Absentee buyers bought 22.5 percent the Southern California homes sold last month at a median $201,000, the report said. Flipping rose to 3.4 percent from 1.3 percent in April 2009.

 

Sales Volume

Median Price

Counties

 

Apr-10

% Y-o-y Change

 

Apr-10

% Y-o-y Change

Los Angeles

 

6,688

4.1%

 

$329,500

9.8%

Orange

 

2,669

11.6%

 

$430,000

13.2%

Riverside

 

4,117

-7.9%

 

$195,000

8.3%

San Bernardino

 

2,744

-12.3%

 

$150,000

8.3%

San Diego

 

3,292

-2.5%

 

$325,250

12.2%

Ventura

 

789

9%

 

$382,000

12.4%

SoCal

 

20,299

-1 %

 

$285,000

15.4%

(Source: MDA DataQuick Information Systems, www.DQNews.com)

 

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