Real estate: Homebuyers keep to the sidelines in October

For the sixth consecutive month, California home sales declined in October. Realtor officials say this is a sign that homebuyers, worried about market uncertainties, are continuing to wait it out.

According to information collected by the California Association of Realtors from local Realtor associations and MLSs statewide, existing, single-family home sales totaled 397,060 in October, up 3.8 percent from September and down 7.9 percent from October 2017. Home sales remained below the 400,000-level sales benchmark for the third consecutive month.

“Homebuyers continued to put their homeownership plans on hold in October and wait out the market,” said C.A.R. president Jared Martin. “With mortgage rates at seven-year highs making homeownership more expensive and home prices beginning to flatten, this phenomenon will likely continue for the near term as buyers wait for further price adjustments and for interest rates to stabilize.”

The statewide median home price fell to $572,000 in October, down 1.2 percent from $578,850 in September and up 4.7 percent from a revised $546,430 in October 2017.

“The continued pullback in sales suggests the market will continue to slow and likely soften further into 2019,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, the state Realtor group’s senior vice president and chief economist. “Likewise, as home sales continue to soften, the median price, which was the lowest since March 2018, will also ease up.

The Southern California region continued to lead the state’s sales decline, falling 7.8 percent from a year ago, followed by the Inland Empire whose an annual sales dropped 6.4 percent, and the Central Valley, where sales decreased 3.3 percent from a year ago.

Sales for the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole decreased 3 percent from a year ago, while five of nine counties recorded annual sales increases. Napa and Sonoma counties had strong year-over-year sales gains, primarily because sales fell significantly after the October 2017 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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