Median California Home Prices for February

 

Moderating home price appreciation and improving housing inventory combined to spur California’s housing market in February as existing home sales increased from both the previous month and year, according to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).

After accelerating for five straight months, the median price of an existing, single-family detached California home fell 4.7 percent in February to $446,460 from $468,330 in January. February’s median price was 3.8 percent higher than the revised $429,930 recorded in February 2015. 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.

“February’s home price increase was the slowest rate of growth in six months, reflecting a shift in sales toward lower-priced, inland areas as buyers feeling the affordability crunch and tight supplies move away from urban cores to find affordable housing,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Home buyers in the Bay Area are seeking to buy in Contra Costa, Solano, or Sonoma counties, rather than San Francisco, and Southern California home buyers are moving inland to Riverside, San Bernardino, or Central Valley areas, where housing inventory is more abundant and affordable.”

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 393,360 units in February, 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 2016 if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The February figure was up 2.6 percent from the revised 383,480 level in January and up 6.4 percent compared with home sales in February 2015 of a revised 369,630. February’s sales level was below the 400,000 level for the second straight month.

“While it’s encouraging that home sales were higher from both the previous month and year, it’s important to remember that sales were unusually low in the first quarter of 2015, when the housing market got off to a slow start,” said C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “Market activity continues to be dampened by low housing inventory as baby boomers stay in their homes longer and new home construction, while improving, falls below needed supplies.”

Other key points from C.A.R.’s February 2016 resale housing report include:

  • The number of active listings increased for the second consecutive month after declining for five straight months. Active listings increased 4.1 percent from January on a statewide basis. At the regional level, total active listings in February increased from the previous month in Southern California (2.7 percent) and the Bay Area (27.7 percent) but dipped slightly in the Central Valley (-0.4 percent).
  • C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index rose to 4.6 months in February from 4.3 months in January, primarily due to slower sales and an increase in active listings. The index stood at 4.9 months in February 2015. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home declined in February to 41.6 days, compared with 44.5 days in January and 44.1 days in February 2015.
  • According to C.A.R.’s sales-to-list price ratio*, properties are generally selling below the list price, except in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a lack of homes for sale is pushing sales prices higher than original asking prices.  The statewide measure suggests that homes sold at a median of 98.2 percent of the list price in February, up slightly from 97.9 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling above original list prices due to constrained supply with a ratio of 101.6 percent in February, essentially unchanged from 101.5 percent a year ago.
  • The average price per square foot** for an existing, single-family home was $222 in February 2016, down from $227 in January and up from $219 in February 2015.
  • San Francisco continued to have the highest price per square foot in February at $810/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($768/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($567/sq. ft.).  The three counties with the lowest price per square foot in February were Siskiyou ($109/sq. ft.), Madera ($116/sq. ft.), and Yuba ($117/sq. ft.).
  • Mortgage rates dropped in February, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.66 percent, down from 3.87 percent in January and 3.71 percent in February 2015, according to Freddie Mac.  Adjustable-mortgage interest rates also declined, averaging 2.83 percent in February, down from 2.98 percent in January and 2.97 percent in February 2015.

Note:  The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only.  County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales.  Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home.  The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed by a relatively small share of transactions at either the lower-end or the upper-end. Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold.  The change in median prices should not be construed as actual price changes in specific homes.

*Sales-to-list price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions.  The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage.  A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

**Price per square foot is a measure commonly used by real estate agents and brokers to determine how much a square foot of space a buyer will pay for a property.  It is calculated as the sale price of the home divided by the number of finished square feet.  C.A.R. currently tracks price-per-square foot statistics for 38 counties.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
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February 2016 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

February-16 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
State/Region/County Feb-16 Jan-16   Feb-15   MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
CA SFH (SAAR) $446,460 $468,330 $429,930 r -4.7% 3.8% 2.6% 6.4%
CA Condo/Townhomes $388,000 $380,710 $367,480 r 1.9% 5.6% 7.1% 3.9%
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area $428,090 $432,080 $409,810 -0.9% 4.5% -3.6% 2.2%
Inland Empire $290,270 $291,920 $282,400 -0.6% 2.8% -0.9% 6.6%
S.F. Bay Area $696,430 $703,150 $669,800 r -1.0% 4.0% -2.9% -5.5%
S.F. Bay Area                  
Alameda $712,990 $711,900 $651,950 r 0.2% 9.4% -9.7% -6.7%
Contra-Costa $538,650 $499,550 $476,340 r 7.8% 13.1% 0.4% -8.9%
Marin $1,113,640 $955,360 $1,023,440 16.6% 8.8% 4.4% -12.1%
Napa $664,470 $610,000 $544,120 8.9% 22.1% -29.5% -21.4%
San Francisco $1,437,500 $1,173,610 $1,154,760 22.5% 24.5% -2.0% -18.9%
San Mateo $1,200,000 $1,077,500 $1,200,000 11.4% 0.0% -7.4% -6.1%
Santa Clara $942,500 $895,000 $915,130 5.3% 3.0% -7.8% -10.6%
Solano $365,620 $361,670 $337,500 1.1% 8.3% 21.7% 19.0%
Sonoma $554,610 $593,750 $489,330 -6.6% 13.3% -3.2% 4.7%
Southern California
Los Angeles $445,030 $480,950 $419,260 -7.5% 6.1% -5.5% -0.3%
Orange $712,560 $704,950 $680,290 1.1% 4.7% -2.3% 1.5%
Riverside $334,440 $333,370 $323,220 0.3% 3.5% 4.0% 7.5%
San Bernardino $226,870 $234,460 $213,930 -3.2% 6.0% -8.4% 5.1%
San Diego $537,580 $542,150 $499,000 -0.8% 7.7% 6.3% -4.7%
Ventura $610,820 $638,590 $568,840 -4.3% 7.4% -9.8% -4.9%
Central Coast
Monterey $497,980 $500,000 $500,000 -0.4% -0.4% 13.6% 18.7%
San Luis Obispo $527,080 $525,000 $491,670 0.4% 7.2% -13.9% -11.5%
Santa Barbara $701,390 $712,960 $556,820 -1.6% 26.0% -16.9% -5.4%
Santa Cruz $794,500 $694,500 $675,000 14.4% 17.7% -2.1% -14.5%
Central Valley
Fresno $210,370 $213,510 $210,320 -1.5% 0.0% 5.6% 14.8%
Glenn $200,000 $160,000 $220,000 25.0% -9.1% 0.0% 28.6%
Kern (Bakersfield) $221,500 $215,000 $217,500 r 3.0% 1.8% 2.2% 16.5%
Kings $202,500 $194,280 $196,000 4.2% 3.3% 59.1% 52.2%
Madera $215,380 $222,730 $217,500 -3.3% -1.0% 0.0% 58.6%
Merced $197,780 $192,000 $168,750 3.0% 17.2% -12.2% -13.3%
Placer $418,130 $410,000 $375,380 2.0% 11.4% 0.6% -3.6%
Sacramento $297,980 $282,280 $283,960 5.6% 4.9% 12.5% -1.6%
San Benito $464,500 $480,000 $450,000 -3.2% 3.2% -20.8% -11.6%
San Joaquin $292,960 $293,840 $270,750 -0.3% 8.2% -11.1% 9.2%
Stanislaus $253,350 $244,550 $237,680 3.6% 6.6% 6.8% 11.9%
Tulare $189,200 $193,750 $172,140 -2.3% 9.9% 25.0% 7.9%
Other Counties in California
Amador $267,860 $225,000 $271,430 19.0% -1.3% 3.3% 3.3%
Butte $270,830 $260,580 $247,320 3.9% 9.5% 9.2% 5.7%
Calaveras $265,620 $255,560 $230,000 r 3.9% 15.5% 76.0% 57.1%
Del Norte $180,000 $156,670 $200,000 r 14.9% -10.0% 36.8% 116.7%
El Dorado $424,320 $408,330 $384,880 3.9% 10.2% 2.8% -1.6%
Humboldt $269,440 $248,080 $250,000 8.6% 7.8% 23.9% 4.8%
Lake $193,330 $236,760 $184,290 -18.3% 4.9% 9.8% 24.4%
Mariposa $275,000 $287,500 $250,000 -4.3% 10.0% -20.0% 50.0%
Mendocino $371,430 $354,170 $309,090 4.9% 20.2% 24.1% 5.9%
Nevada $298,150 $350,000 $320,000 r -14.8% -6.8% 35.5% 20.0%
Plumas $266,670 $337,500 $180,000 r -21.0% 48.2% -36.8% -40.0%
Shasta $213,410 $229,310 $225,860 -6.9% -5.5% 25.7% 33.3%
Siskiyou $175,000 $197,500 $148,330 -11.4% 18.0% 25.8% 85.7%
Sutter $232,890 $217,860 $213,330 6.9% 9.2% -1.9% -12.1%
Tehama $175,000 $190,000 $150,000 -7.9% 16.7% 15.8% 15.8%
Tuolumne $272,500 $211,670 $195,000 28.7% 39.7% -31.6% -15.2%
Yolo $387,930 $360,420 $372,860 7.6% 4.0% 4.2% 0.0%
Yuba $221,150 $207,350 $215,220 6.7% 2.8% 3.2% 16.1%

r = revised