Just how crazy is California’s homebuying market?
Well, my trusty spreadsheet’s analysis of California Association of Realtors’ sales data for May shows the median selling price of an existing single-family home at $818,260 median, up $230,190 in a year. That translates to an increase equal to $26.28 every hour over the past 12 months.
Cheap mortgage rates have fueled the buying frenzy out of a pandemic-chilled economy. Last month’s statewide homebuying pace was up 87% from May 2020’s depressed and locked-down market.
Quick purchases and some owners’ reluctance to sell has limited house hunters’ options. Inventory in May was equal to 1.8 months of home sales vs. 4.3 in May 2020. It took just 7 days on the market for a home to go from new listing to escrow vs. 17 in May 2020.
Here’s how the purchasing binge broke down in key California regions …
Southern California: $752,250 median; up $187,250 in a year or $21.38 every hour. Sales pace up 80% in a year. Inventory? 1.8 months vs. 4.5 a year earlier with 7 days on market vs. 18 in 2020.
Bay Area: $1.34 million median; up $375,000 in a year or $42.81 every hour. Sales pace up 105% in a year. Inventory? 1.5 months vs. 3.8 a year earlier with 8 days on market vs. 17 in 2020.
Central Coast: $900,000 median; up $221,500 in a year or $25.29 every hour. Sales pace up 112% in a year. Inventory? 2 months vs. 6.4 a year earlier with 9 days on market vs. 17 in 2020.
Central Valley: $445,000 median; up $95,000 in a year or $10.84 every hour. Sales pace up 44% in a year. Inventory? 1.6 months vs. 3.3 a year earlier with 6 days on market vs. 13 in 2020.
Far North: $365,000 median; up $66,000 in a year or $7.53 every hour. Sales pace up 59% in a year. Inventory? 2.5 months vs. 5.7 a year earlier with 11 days on market vs. 27.5 in 2020.
At the county level, of the 51 tracked by the Realtors’ group, here’s the highs and lows …
Median price: No. 1 was San Mateo at $2.08 million then San Francisco at $1.9 million. Low? Lassen at $247,450 then Siskiyou at $289,000.
One-year price gain, in dollars: Biggest was Santa Barbara at $661,500 and Mono at $619,850. Low? Kern at $47,000 and Lassen at $52,450.
One-year price gain, in percentage points: Largest was Mono up 119% and Santa Barbara at 104%. Low? Marin at 9% and Sonoma at 16%.
Dollar gain, per hour: High was Santa Barbara at $75.51 and Mono at $70.76. Low? Kern at $5.37 then Lassen at $5.99.
One-year sales gain? Top was Mono at 400% then Plumas at 260%. Low? Del Norte, off at 59%; Glenn, off 8%.
Jonathan Lansner is business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com
Source: Orange County Register