California’s Housing Market Returning to Normalcy

California’s regional housing markets ended the year with mixed results as statewide home sales inched up from a year ago for the first time in nearly a year and a half, C.A.R. recently reported.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 366,000 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in December were down 2.9 percent from a revised 376,890 in November but up a slight 0.6 percent from a revised 363,740 in December 2013. The negligible year-to-year increase was the first since July 2013.

For 2014 as a whole, a preliminary 383,320 single-family homes closed escrow in California, down 7.6 percent from a revised 2013 figure of 414,900.

Reversing a three-month decline, the median price of an existing, single-family detached California home increased 1.7 percent from November’s median price of $444,830 to $452,570 in December and was up 3.1 percent from the revised $438,790 recorded in December 2013. The statewide median home price has been higher on a year-over-year basis for more than two years, but price gains have narrowed over the past few months.

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