Home Sales, Prices Rise

California’s housing market accelerated in April as the spring home-buying season kicked off with both higher home sales and prices for the third straight month, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R) recently reported.

Home sales rose above the 400,000 mark in April for the first time since October 2013 to post the highest level since August 2013. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 427,620 units in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local Realtor associations and MLSs statewide.

The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The April figure was 9.2 percent higher than the revised 391,440 homes sold in March. Home sales were up 9.3 percent from a revised 391,330 in April a year ago, and the increase was the highest year-over-year change since May 2012.

"It’s encouraging that the spring home-buying season is off to such a strong start," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home increased in April from both the previous month and year for the third consecutive month. The median home price was up 2.8 percent from $468,550 in March to $481,760 in April, the highest level since November 2007. April’s median price was 7.4 percent higher than the revised $448,720 recorded in April 2014. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

C.A.R. also reported that both sales and active listings increased from April 2014. Sales grew at a much faster pace than did active listings. This contributed to a decline in available homes for sale.

Mortgage rates fell in April, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.67 percent, down from 3.77 percent in March and down from 4.34 percent in April 2014, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates were flat in April, averaging 2.46 percent, unchanged from March but up from 2.44 percent in April 2014.

Leading the way in California real estate for more than 100 years, the California Association Of Realtors (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.