from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) on Tuesday echoing the
trend if not the absolute numbers of data released last week from DataQuick. Both surveys show home sales falling while prices
continued a more than two-year upward trajectory.
(Read More: California Home Sales Dip, Prices Don't)
said sales in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
391,030 units, 0.6 percent below the April rate of 393,480. DataQuick reported sales on a monthly basis
at 37,988, a decline of 0.7 percent from the month before. C.A.R. said that
this was the seventh consecutive month that annualized sales figures were below
400,000 and the tenth time sales were down year over year, falling this time by
9.5 percent from a revised figure of 432,140 in May 2013. DataQuick put the annual slide at 14.4 percent.
group said that a shortage of homes and housing affordability concerns probably
held back some would-be buyers in Ma, accounting for the slipping sales. Nonetheless, median prices rose for the third
straight month on both a month-over-month and year-to-year basis.
median price was $465,960, a 3.7 percent increase from the April median of
$449,360 and 11.7 percent higher than the $417,140 recorded in May 2013. While
C.A.R. and DataQuick agreed it was the 27th straight month of price
increases and the highest median price since December 2007 they differed
substantially on the median price with DataQuick pegging it at $386,000, a 0.8
percent increase from April and 14.5 percent compared to May 2013. C.A.R. said it
was the 23rd straight month of double-digit annual gains.
"While home price increases have
tempered over the past few months, prices are still nearly 12 percent higher
than a year ago, which is presenting affordability challenges to home buyers,"
said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.
"And though housing inventory is up from last year, it's still half of what is
considered normal, with some of it being overpriced. A tempering in home
price increases and the recent drop in mortgage rates, however, should help
spark the market in the upcoming months."
C.A.R. President Kevin Brown said, "Generally
speaking, buyers are feeling less urgency to buy as affordability has become
more of an issue and lending standards continue to remain tight. However,
a recent surge in mortgage applications, due partially to declining interest
rates, may indicate that higher housing demand can be expected in the coming
Housing inventory was unchanged
in May at 3.6 months. In May 2013 there
was a 2.6 month supply of existing single family homes available. A six to seven month supply is considered
typical. The median number of days it
took to sell a single-family home fell to 31.6 days in May, down from 33.8 days
in April but up from 27.1 days in May 2013.
C.A.R gathers its information from
more than 90 local Realtor associations and Multiple Listing Services and
reflects sales of only single family detached homes.