Sales of existing single-family detached homes in California rose 1.2% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 477,710 units in June but were 3.6% off the pace of June, 2010, the California Association or Realtors reported Thursday.
Prices also edged up. The statewide median price rose 1.0 percent in June to $295,300 from a revised $292,420 in May. The June, 2011 median, however, remained 5.9% below the $313,890 recorded in June 2010.
"Looking across the state, a number of areas are showing signs of strength, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily because of the strong performing tech industry," said C.A.R. vp and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young.
Prices were mixed by region and within regions. The Los Angeles metro area, for example, saw the median price decline 0.2% sequentially to $276,230 and 5.6% year-over-year, but Los Angeles County's median rose 11% from May while remaining 3.9% behind last June. Orange County dropped 1.8% from May to $534,680, 5.5% below a year earlier.
The median price in San Diego was down 1.2% to $377,550, 5.1% behind last June, but the Bay Area was up 5.4% to %539,880, 2.4% off last year's pace.San Francisco was up 8.5% to $695,910, still 6% below June, 2010.
Prices for condos and townhomes, which are not seasonally adjusted, also inched up 0.7% from May to $236,100 but remained 9.5% below June of last year.
The Inland Empire rose 0.4% from May to $172,800, 6.7% behind last June.Sacramento dropped 1.4% to $165,850, a 15.5% decline year-over-year. Fresno dropped 2% to $138,040, 14.4% off last year's pace.
The Unsold Inventory Index for existing single-family detached homes was 5.0 months in June, down from 5.5 months in May but up compared with 4.6 months in June 2010. Median time on the market rose to 50.3 days in June 2011 from41.5 days for the same period a year earlier.
The Realtor group cautioned that the coming decrease in FHA conforming loan limits is likely to put downward pressure on both sales and prices and urged would-be buyers to act before Sept. 30 when the new limits go into effect.
"As the housing market tries to gain a more solid footing, the decrease in conforming loan limits that is scheduled for later this year could adversely affect the market," said Beth L. Peerce, C.A.R. president. "Potential buyers--especially trade-up buyers--who are looking for a home in the $500,000 to $1 million price range will, no doubt, face higher mortgage rates, larger down payment requirements, and stricter underwriting standards."