Housing demand in California tempered for the fourth consecutive month in August as home sales returned to precrisis levels. Still, the statewide median home price set another record high, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (C.A.R.).

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 414,860 in August, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR associations and MLSs statewide. 

The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2021 if sales maintained the August pace throughout the year.

August’s sales pace was down 3.3% on a monthly basis from 428,980 in July and down 10.9% from a year ago, when 465,400 homes were sold on an annualized basis. August’s sales level was the lowest in 14 months. 

Despite the monthly and annual sales drop, California home sales remained strong by pre-pandemic standards, maintaining a solid year-to-date increase of 21.3%.

“The normalizing market and modestly improving housing inventory in the past few months have created an opportunity for homebuyers who sat out the highly competitive housing market seen over much of the past year,” said Dave Walsh, president of C.A.R. “With the highest level of active listings in nearly a year, interest rates expected to stay consistently low, and a dip in multiple offers, now is a good time for discouraged buyers to get back into the game.”

After taking a breather in July, California’s median home price set a record in August at $827,940 — the fifth record set in six months. 

The August price was 2.1% higher than the $811,170 recorded in July and 17.1% higher than the $706,900 recorded last August. The median price in California remained above the $800,000 bench mark for the fifth consecutive month.

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