California home sales pushed higher in August than any time in the past five months, as homebuyers took advantage of a brief retreat in mortgage rates, according to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).

August existing, single-family home sales totaled 313,540 on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 6.1% from July but down 24.4% from August 2021. 

The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2022 if sales maintained the August pace throughout the year, the C.A.R. said. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. 

August’s monthly sales increase was higher than the long-run average of 0.4% for a July-August period in the past 43 years and marked the first monthly sales increase in five months.

California home prices also stabilized in August as the statewide median price increased on both a monthly basis and yearly basis but at a less-than-2% growth pace. The statewide median price was up 0.7% in August to $839,460 from the $833,910 recorded in July and was up 1.4% from the $827,940 recorded last August. The year-over-year price gain was the smallest in more than two years, the C.A.R. said. 

Regionally, sales are still falling from last year, but the declines in August weren’t as severe as the prior month. 

Three of the five major regions dropped by more than 25% from last year: 

  • Central Coast region (-30.6 percent year-over-year) 
  • San Francisco Bay Area (-29.1 percent) 
  • Southern California (-28.8 percent)
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