California median house price hits all-time high

The California median house price has hit an all-time high of $758,990 with the average cost of an existing single home reaching record levels.

According to figures released by CAR – the California Association of Realtors, the average price has rocketed due to increased demand.

March home sales actually decreased 3.5 per cent from 462,720 in February, but significantly were up 19.7 per cent from a year ago when 373,070 homes were sold on an annualised basis.

The near-20 percent sales gain can be attributed partly to weak home sales a year ago as the Coronavirus outbreak abruptly halted the real estate market and economy.

The California median home price was up nearly 24 percent from a year ago, and also climbed 8.6 per cent on a month-to-month basis to $758,990 in March.

The previous record was set in February when the average figure hit $699,000, a 23.9 per cent increased from the $612,440 recorded last March.

The year-over-year gain was the highest since October 2013 and it was the eighth straight month that California’s median price registered a double-digit gain.

“While intense homebuying interest is the engine that continues to drive housing demand, a shortage of homes for sales is the rocket fuel pushing prices higher across the state,” said CAR President Dave Walsh.

“A lack of homes for sale is creating unprecedented market competition, leading to a record share of homes selling above asking price in March.

“With more of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in the coming months as we move into the spring home buying season, we should see home sales improve as more prospective home sellers feel comfortable listing their homes for sale.”    

CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine added: “The market sentiment is drastically different today compared to a year ago at the onset of the pandemic.

“With the U.S. economy positioned to grow at the fastest pace since the early 1980s and mortgage rates trending down again in the past week, consumer confidence will improve further, so in the coming months, we should continue to see a solid bounceback from last year as the market maintains its momentum.” 

Active listings fell 51.1 per cent in March from last year and the available supply of homes for sale continued to tighten with near record low levels recorded.

The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home hit a record low of just eight days in March, down from 15 days in March 2020.