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California March Housing: Sales up 20% YoY, Active Listings down 51% YoY

Summary:
The CAR reported: California median home price reaches new all-time high in March as nearly two-thirds of homes sell above asking price, C.A.R. reportsFierce competition drove California’s median home price to reach a new record high in March, while the state’s housing market continued its momentum with sales remaining solid heading into the spring homebuying season, 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 462,720 in February, 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 2021 if

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The CAR reported: California median home price reaches new all-time high in March as nearly two-thirds of homes sell above asking price, C.A.R. reports
Fierce competition drove California’s median home price to reach a new record high in March, while the state’s housing market continued its momentum with sales remaining solid heading into the spring homebuying season, 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 462,720 in February, 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 2021 if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 446,410 in March, 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 2021 if sales maintained the March pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

March home sales decreased 3.5 percent from 462,720 in February and were up 19.7 percent from a year ago, when 373,070 homes were sold on an annualized basis. While still solid, the monthly sales decline was the third in a row, and the sales pace was the lowest since last July. The near-20 percent sales gain can be attributed partly to weak home sales a year ago as the Coronavirus outbreak abruptly halted the real estate market and economy.

“While intense homebuying interest is the engine that continues to drive housing demand, a shortage of homes for sales is the rocket fuel pushing prices higher across the state. A lack of homes for sale is creating unprecedented market competition, leading to a record share of homes selling above asking price in March,” said C.A.R. President Dave Walsh, vice president and manager of the Compass San Jose office. “With more of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in the coming months as we move into the spring home buying season, we should see home sales improve as more prospective home sellers feel comfortable listing their homes for sale.”
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The Unsold Inventory Index (UII) dropped to 1.6 months in March from 2.0 months in February and was down sharply from a year ago, when there was 2.7 months of housing inventory. The index indicates the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.

Active listings fell 51.1 percent in March from last year — the third consecutive month that listings declined more than 50 percent. On a month-to-month basis, for-sale properties inched up by 5.3 percent in March and should climb further in the coming months as the market moves into the spring homebuying season, while the economy continues to improve.
emphasis added
CR Note: Existing home sales are reported when the transaction closes, so this was mostly for contracts signed in January and February.

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