Sales of new and existing homes in the
previously superheated California market slid again in May. Sales totaled 37,734 houses and condos
statewide during the month, down 0.7 percent from the 37,988 which sold in April
and 14.4 percent below statewide sales of 44,087 units in May 2013.
DataQuick said that historically May
home sales have ranged from a low of 32,223 in 1995 to 67,958 in 2004. The average for sales in May over the 27
years for which the company has collected data was 46,214 units and the May
2014 figure was 18.3 percent off of that average. DataQuick said that California sales have not
exceeded the average for the relevant month in more than eight years.
On the other hand,
last month was the 27th consecutive one in which the state's median sale
price rose on an annual basis. The median
price in May was $386,000. This was
$3,000 and 0.8 percent higher than the median in April and 13.5 percent higher
than in May 2013. Last month's median
sale price was the highest since December 2007 when it was $402,000. The peak median price in California, reached
in the spring of 2007, was $484,000. Prices
in the state bottomed out from the peak in April 2009 at $221,000.
Distressed sales made up about 13 percent of all sales during May. Properties that had been foreclosed on during
the previous 12 months represented 6.0 percent of sales compared to 11.3
percent a year earlier and a marked departure from the peak of 58.8 percent in
February 2009. Short sales made up 6.9
percent of sales compared to 15.0 percent the previous May.