CAR: Housing sales up in state, Central Valley

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The California Realtors Association recently reported that California’s home sales were up in February this year by 5.4 over the same time last year. The Central Valley market has fared a bit better despite a lack in inventory.

According to CAR, the sales of existing, single-family detached homes in the state was at an annualized rate of 422,910 in February. That number represents what the total number of homes sold for all of 2018 if rates match what was sold in February.

“February’s solid market performance was likely fueled by rising interest rates, which motivated buyers to rush in and close escrow before rates move even higher as they’re anticipated to do in the coming months,” said Steve White, president of CAR, in a statement. “Despite losing ground in January, February’s strong sales gain more than covered the loss, resulting in a 1.1 percent increase so far this year.”

Sales of existing, single-family homes in the Central Valley were up 6.3 percent year-over-year. The San Francisco Bay Area saw the greatest gains with a 7.1 percent increase over February 2017.

Although newer homes continue to be built in the Central Valley region, industry experts have reported a lack of existing inventory, which can lead to more demand and higher prices.

“Home prices across the state continued to grow in general, especially in the Bay Area region, where seven of nine counties posted double-digit annual increases and five of nine counties surpassed their previous peak prices,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR senior vice president and chief economist. “What’s more, with single family home prices rising rapidly out of reach, buyers increasingly turned to condominiums, which pushed the median price of condominiums to a new record high.”

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