published on March 27, 2017 - 6:03 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The number of home sales in California totaled about 400,500 over the past year, a nearly five percent increase over the previous year.

The California Association of Realtors reports that among the six South Valley counties, the total number of existing home sales for the year beginning in February 2016 increased too, at a rate of 3.6 percent, on average, with Merced County having the biggest jump at 16.7 percent.

That was followed by Tulare and Kings counties, with 10.7 percent and 11.4 percent increases, while Fresno county home sales over the past year narrowly exceeded prior year sales by .2 percent.

Meanwhile, Madera, Kings and Kern counties all had declines over the one-year period, with Kern County having the sharpest drop of 14.7 percent.

As for the prices paid for those single-family homes, the median price also went up statewide from February to February by 7.9 percent to $478,790.

“The annual gain was the largest year-over-year increase since January 2016 and was higher than the three-month average of 4.5 percent prior to February 2016,” states a press release from CAR.

In the South Valley, that bump was even higher over the year, at more than 9.9 percent, bringing the median price for homes in the six counties to an average of $228,317 in February of this year.

The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Not surprisingly, February’s highest median home prices in California were in the Bay Area, with homes in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Marin counties hitting the $1.1 to $1.3 million range.

“After starting [2017] on a positive note in January, California home sales and median price backpedaled on a monthly basis in February, but still showed strong gains on a yearly basis,” states the press release.

“Despite a strong sales start for the year, the housing supply shortage in California continues to cast doubt on whether the sales momentum can be carried forward into the spring home buying season,” CAR Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said in a written statement.

“The number of active listings has been on a downward trend for the past 20 months and has shown no signs of improvement. As we move into the spring home buying season, we should see a marginal increase in listings, which will be offset by a pickup in sales. The inventory level is not likely to get better in the upcoming months.

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