Sales of single-family detached homes in California dropped 5.8% from April to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 471,840 units in May, the California Association of Realtors said Wednesday. May home sales were down 14.4% from the same month in 2010.
Prices also were down, with the statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home off 0.7% to $291,760 from a revised $293,800 in April. May's median price was down 10.9% from $327,460 in May 2010.
"May's sales decline was not unexpected because of a sharp decrease in April pending sales and an unusually strong performance last May, when expiring tax credits pushed home sales and prices to extremely high levels," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R. vp and chief economist. "The monthly decline in sales and the median home price reflect the slowdown in the economic recovery over the past couple of months, which has affected virtually all aspects of consumer spending."
"Market demand has been sluggish as would-be home buyers remain concerned about the direction of the economy," said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce. "They may also be weary of delays in the buying process and difficulty in getting a home loan. This, combined with lenders putting distressed properties on the market at a more deliberate pace, is contributing to homes sitting on the market longer."
The Unsold Inventory Index for single-family detached homes was 5.4 months in May, unchanged from April, but up compared with May 2010's 4.5-month supply. The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 51.8 days in May 2011, compared with 37.8 days for the same period a year ago, C.A.R. said.