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Tight housing inventory tamped down the benefits of the lowest interest rates in years and held back California home sales in December, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. Meanwhile, the median home price recorded the second highest price of the year and its largest year-over-year increase since May 2014.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 398,880 units in December, 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 2019 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
December’s sales total was down 1.0 percent from the 402,880 level in November and marked the first time in six months that sales fell below the 400,000 benchmark. Still, sales were up a solid 7.4 percent from December 2018’s revised 371,410 figure. For the year 2019, annual home sales fell for the second consecutive year to a preliminary 397,910 closed escrow sales in California, down from 2018’s pace of 402,640.