Home sales up in Feburary, prices vary
- Published on 03/15/2012 - 3:08 pm
- Written by Business Journal staff
California home sales picked up in February while even greater gains were experienced in the Central Valley, according to data by the California Association of Realtors.
Sales of single-family detached homes were up 2.1 percent from January to 528,010. That's an increase of 5.5 percent from February 2010 when 517,120 home sold.
The median price of a home dipped 0.6 percent in the month to $266,280, down from $271,370 the year before. However, it was the smallest year-over-year decline since December 2010.
"Recent encouraging signs in the GDP, employment picture, and consumer confidence suggest that a growing economy is in the making," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "All this, combined with continued-low mortgage rates, lays out a good foundation for the housing market to continue to grow as we enter the spring home buying season."
In Fresno County, home sales were up 8.5 percent in February and 7.9 percent from February 2011. The median home price of $142,300 reflected an increase of 8.6 percent from January and 0.7 percent from the year before.
In Kings County, sales improved 12.5 percent in the month and 26.3 percent over the last year. The median price, meanwhile, slipped 0.9 percent in the month and 6.2 percent over the year to $144,440.
Sales in Madera County dropped 41.4 percent from the year before but climbed by an impressive 32.3 percent in the month. The county's median home price, however, was down 9.2 percent in the month and 30.8 percent year-over-year.
In Tulare County, sales were down 0.8 percent in February but up 15.3 percent over last year. The median home price of $199.330 was 2.3 percent more than January but 0.8 percent less than a year ago.
California's unsold inventory index, or the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes at the current sales rate, decreased to 5.3 months in February, down from 5.7 months in January and down from 7.5 months a year ago.
The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home fell to 58.9 days in the month, down from 61.9 days a month before and 64.7 days last year.
According to C.A.R., the areas where home sales improved the most include Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco, all logging double-digit gains from the year before.