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CAR on California: "Lower interest rates perk up May home sales"

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The CAR reported: Lower interest rates perk up May home sales as median price reaches another highCalifornia’s median home price edged higher to another peak for the second straight month as lower interest rates helped bolster home sales in May, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 406,960 units in May, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2019 if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home

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The CAR reported: Lower interest rates perk up May home sales as median price reaches another high
California’s median home price edged higher to another peak for the second straight month as lower interest rates helped bolster home sales in May, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 406,960 units in May, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2019 if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

May’s sales figure was up 2.6 percent from the 396,780 level in April and down 0.6 percent from home sales in May 2018 of 409,270. Sales rose above the 400,000 benchmark for the first time since July 2018 and reached the highest level in 11 months, while the year-to-year sales dip was the smallest in 13 months.

“The lowest interest rates in nearly a year and a half, no doubt, have elevated housing demand as monthly mortgage payments have become more manageable to home buyers in general,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “The state’s housing market remains soft, however, as home sales continue to lag behind last year’s level for more than a year now.”
...
Active listings, which have been decelerating since December 2018, continued to climb from the prior year, increasing 7.4 percent from a year ago. It was the 14th consecutive year-over-year increase but also the first single-digit gain since last June.

The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, was lower than April’s level, suggesting that the typical seasonal pattern of rising home sales are beginning to play out this year. The Unsold Inventory Index was 3.2 months in May, down from 3.4 months in April but up from 3.0 months in May 2018. The index measures the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. The jump in the UII from a year ago can be attributed to the mild sales decline and the sharp increase in active listings.
emphasis added
Here is some inventory data from the NAR and CAR (ht Tom Lawler).   Note that the YoY increase has been slowing in both California and Nationally.

YOY % Change, Existing SF Homes for Sale
  NAR
(National)
CAR
(California)
Sep-17-8.4%-11.2%
Oct-17-10.4%-11.5%
Nov-17-9.7%-11.5%
Dec-17-11.5%-12.0%
Jan-18-9.5%-6.6%
Feb-18-8.6%-1.3%
Mar-18-7.2%-1.0%
Apr-18-6.3%1.9%
May-18-5.18.3%
Jun-18-0.5%8.1%
Jul-180.0%11.9%
Aug-182.1%17.2%
Sep-181.1%20.4%
Oct-182.8%28%
Nov-184.2%31%
Dec-184.8%30.6%
Jan-194.6%27%
Feb-193.2%19.2%
Mar-192.4%13.4%
Apr-191.7%10.8%
May-19NA7.4%

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