Fresno home sales and prices have declined in May. File photo

published on June 23, 2022 - 11:00 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The housing market that for two years seemed to only go in one direction showed its first cracks in May, indicating an anticipated slowdown might be here.

The median home price for Fresno County dropped $5,000 to $420,000 from April to May, but still showed a 16.2% increase compared to May 2021, according to the latest data from the California Association of Realtors. The number of sales dropped month-over-month 4.4% and year-over-year 8.6%

In Tulare County, month-over-month values flatlined, retaining the $370,000 median home price. Year-over-year, median home values were up 14.1%. Sales dropped 20% month-over-month and 14.2% year-over-year.

Kings County home prices continued to rise last month, growing 6% to $381,500 and 21.1% year-over-year. Sales still declined 10.9% month-over-month and 18% year-over-year.

Madera County home prices for May increased 2.9% to $430,000, representing a 19.4% year-over-year jump. The number of sales dropped 4% month-over-month and 5.6% year-over-year.

Related story – Curb your exuberance: Dallas Fed warns of brewing housing bubble

The California Association of Realtors attributes the drop in demand to increases in the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage, which surpassed 5% for the first time since April 2010.

A separate study from nationwide property data firm ATTOM identified Inland California — among other real estate markets — as being most at-risk for declines based on home affordability and unemployment.

The Irvine-based ATTOM identified the 50 most at-risk markets in the United States using the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, portion with mortgage balances that exceeded estimated property values, the percentage of wages required to pay for major home ownership expenses as well as local unemployment rates.

Ten counties in California were identified — including Fresno, Madera and Kings counties.

Eight counties in Chicago and surrounding suburbs were identified, six in New York City metro area, three in Philadelphia and others in New Jersey, Delaware and Ohio.

Of the 50 most at-risk counties, 22 had at least 10% of their residential mortgages underwater. In Kings County, 19.9% of mortgages were underwater. Kings County also ranked among the 50 counties at-risk with unemployment exceeding 5%. Kings County unemployment was at 7.6% at the time of the study.

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