California home sales and prices both posted gains in December, with the median price posting strong double-digit gains for six straight months
“A rush to complete sales of higher-priced homes by the end of the year to avoid an expected increase in capital gains due to the “fiscal cliff” pushed up sales of homes priced $500,000 and above by nearly 42 percent from December 2011,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught.
The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home climbed 5 percent from November’s $349,300 median price to $366,930 in December.
The substantial increase in price was due in large part to a significant increase of higher-priced properties, while inventory constraints continued to constrict sales of lower-priced homes. Price increases are not expected to continue at a high pace into 2013.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 522,510 units, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.
California’s housing inventory was further constrained in December, with the Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes dropping to 2.6 months, down from 3.1 months in November
The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered normal.