California Property Sales Slump in July

Home sales made a predictable slip from June to July and prices were also down for the month, according to DataQuick. Statistics showed an 11% drop for the …

Home sales made a predictable slip from June to July and prices were also down for the month, according to DataQuick. Statistics showed an 11% drop for the month with depressed homes sales making up more than half of California’s real estate transactions. Of the 34,695 sales made, 34.6% were foreclosure sales and 17.3% were short sales – sales that amounted to less than what was owed on the property. Mortgage rates and home prices are low, but foreclosures remain historically high, making it difficult to predict how the market will move, concluded the data research firm. For more on this continue reading the following article from The Street.

An estimated 34,695 new and resale houses and condos were sold in California, down 11.0% from 38,975 in June, and down 1.4% from 35,202 for July 2010.

A decline from June to July is normal for the season. California sales for the month of July have varied from a low of 30,596 in 1995 to a high of 71,186 in 2004, while the average is 46,577. DataQuick’s statistics go back to 1988.

The median price paid for a California home last month was $252,000, down 0.4% from $253,000 in June, and down 6.0% from $268,000 for July a year ago. The state’s median has fallen year-over-year for ten consecutive months. The median’s bottom for the current resale estate cycle was $221,000 in April 2009, while the peak was $484,000 in early 2007.

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Distressed property sales continued to make up more than half of California’s resale market last month.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 34.6% were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from a revised 35.1% in June and down from 35.2% in July a year ago. The all-time high was in February 2009 at 58.5%.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 17.3% of resales last month. That was down from 17.4% in June and down from 18.6% a year earlier. Two years ago short sales made up 14.0% of the resale market.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,027. That was the same as June, and down from $1,094 in July 2010. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s mortgage payment was 54.0% below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 62.7% below the current cycle’s peak in June 2006.

San Diego-based DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity has declined sharply from its peaks in recent years, but remains high by historical standards. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, cash and non-owner occupied buying has eased a bit in recent months but remains relatively high, DataQuick reported.

This article was republished with permission from The Street.

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