The following is a press release issued by the California Association of Realtors:
California's housing market exhibited signs of continuing improvement in June, with home sales showing solid gains and home prices reaching their highest level since August 2010, the California Association of Realtors (CAR) reported Tuesday.
"Although home sales throughout the state continued to improve compared with a year earlier, we did see a modest dip compared with May," said CAR President LeFrancis Arnold in a press release. "Potential home buyers are frustrated by limited number of homes on the market for sale and growing discouraged by signs that the economy is slowing."
Closed escrow sales of existing single-family detached homes in California declined 8.6 percent from May's revised $567,330 to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of $518,460 in June, according to Los Angeles-based CAR.
June sales rose 8.5 percent from June 2011's revised $478,040 pace. The statewide sales figure, which is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales, represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the June pace throughout the year.
Home prices also continued to improve, with the median home price -- $320,540 in June for an existing single-family detached home in California -- posting month-over-month and year-over-year gains for the fourth straight month, according to a CAR statement.
June's price rose 1.3 percent from a revised $316,410 in May and 8.1 percent from a revised $296,410 recorded in June 2011, CAR reported. The June 2012 figure was 30.7 percent higher than the cyclical bottom of $245,230 reached in February 2009. In Los Angeles County, June's price rose to $315,390, up from $282,930 in May.
The median price posted above the $300,000 level in June for the third straight month after remaining below that mark for 15 months, according to CAR.
June's housing inventory down
California’s housing inventory remained flat in June, with the Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes remaining at 3.5 months in June, consistent with the inventory level reported in May. June’s housing inventory was down from a revised 5.1 months in June 2011. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A seven-month supply is considered normal.
"The lack of inventory continued to impact California’s housing market this month," said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Tight supply is putting upward pressure on home prices, but it also is restraining sales demand, especially in lower-price segments. In June, sales below $300,000 declined 4.1 percent from the previous month, while sales of homes priced higher than $500,000 increased 2.3 percent."
Interest rates continued their downward trend in June, with 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaging 3.68 percent, down from 3.80 percent in May and 4.51 percent in June 2011, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 2.76 percent in June, up from 2.74 percent in May but lower than the 3-percent average rate reported in June 2011.
Homes are moving faster on the market with the median number of days it takes to sell a single-family home dropping to 43.4 days in June, down from a revised 45.7 days in May and 50.4 days in June 2011.