Written by The Business Journal Staff
Despite tight inventory in parts of the state, the California housing market maintained its momentum in May, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).
Statewide, median home prices continued to climb, coming in above $500,000 for second straight month.
Existing, single-family home sales totaled 410,090 in May on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 0.6 percent from April but down 3.2 percent from May 2015.
May’s statewide median home price was $518,760, up 1.8 percent from April and 6.3 percent from May 2015.
“While May home sales edged up slightly, we are seeing a moderation, driven by tight housing inventory and reduced affordability,” said C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “Affordable areas, such as the Inland Empire and Central Valley, where housing supply is relatively more abundant, are outperforming the San Francisco Bay Area, where thin housing availability is hampering home sales. In fact, eight of that region’s nine counties experienced a sales decline from the previous year.”
Over the past year, according to C.A.R., Central Valley home prices have increased substantially, with Fresno County registering a 7.5 percent gain, Tulare County up 18.8 percent, Madera County higher by 30.9 percent and Kings County up a whopping 35.5 percent.
Kings County has seen the biggest recent gains, with the median sold price of an existing single-family home in the Hanford-Corcoran area coming in at $216,410 in May, compared to $208,750 in April.
The median sold price in May in Fresno County was $231,370, compared to $230,590 in April.
Tulare and Madera counties both saw slight decreases in median sold prices during May, with Madera’s median home price at $214,280, compared to $215,480 in April and Tulare’s May sold price registering $205,260, compared to April’s median price of $205,740.
“The California housing market is growing modestly so far this year, with home sales running 2 percent higher year to date,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Fundamental drivers, such as household formation and economic growth will continue to move housing demand forward. However, constrained inventory, low affordability, and regional disparities will be a drag on this year’s market outlook, which is forecast to see a 1.3 percent growth in sales and a 5 percent increase in the median home price.”