Monday, June 18, 2012

California home sales surge 17.6% in May

Home sales and prices strengthened throughout the Golden State in May, new reports show, providing the latest evidence housing might be snapping out of its long slumber.

Sales popped 9.3% from April and jumped 17.6% from May 2011 to total 41,790 new and previously-owned houses bought statewide.  The state’s median home price hit $270,000, rising 2.3% from the prior month and up 8.4% from May 2011.

“It’s not exactly a stampede, but people are starting to move off the housing market sidelines in numbers we haven’t seen in quite a while,” DataQuick President John Walsh said. “And it’s not just first-time buyers and investors. There are more move-up buyers in mid- to high-end coastal counties.”

Home sales in the Golden State have posted year-over-year gains for 10 consecutive months and foreclosures have steadily been making up a smaller share of the market. Sales of distressed homes made up just 46.2% of the market, the lowest figure since April 2008.

Just slightly more than 1 in 4 homes sold in the Golden State were foreclosures last month, while just under 1 in f5 homes were short sales, according to the data. In Southern California, the number of homes sold soared 21% compared with a year earlier, while the median price jumped 5.4%. In the Bay Area, sales were up 26.1% from May of last year and the median rose 7.5%.

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