California Home Sales Statistics - featured image

16 Shocking California Home Sales Statistics

By Blog

California is one of the biggest residential real estate markets in the United States. Period!

What’s more:

The Golden State is generous in offering warm weather, natural beauty, and a thriving economy.

Mostly the last one, though.

Especially as it has to do with our topic today.

The thing is:

We are going to discuss California’s housing situation with the help of the latest California home sales statistics. 

Let’s dive right in.

Key California Housing Sales Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • The median price of a home in the San Francisco Bay Area is $940,000.
  • There’s 9.4% sales change for condos and townhouses.
  • Mortgage rates have declined to 3.9% in 2019.
  • In October 2019, 47% of home sales in California occurred in Southern California.
  • The median home price is forecast to increase by 2.5% in 2020.

California Home Sales

If you’re considering buying a home somewhere in California, it is important to understand the many regions of the state and the different home prices. Looking at a median for the state as a whole won’t tell you as much as looking specifically at regions and counties. 

1. The California median home price was $559,000 in October 2019.

(source: CAR) 

However, there are many different regions with varying home sales prices. This would be on the lower end of home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, as the cheapest region in the area, Solano, had a median home price of $470,000.

In contrast:

Spending this money in the Central Valley or Inland Empire regions would have you on the higher end of the spectrum, with the most expensive median home price in the Central Valley region in San Benito at $604,940.

Clearly, there is an incredible difference in the regions and counties of California.

Just look at this:

2. The median price of a home in the San Francisco Bay Area was $940,000 in October 2019.

(source: CAR)

This is the most expensive county in the Golden State based on the median home prices in October of 2019, according to California home sales statistics. When it comes to regions in the area, San Francisco is the most expensive place to buy a house, with a median home sale price in October 2019 coming in at a whopping $1.65 million.

Want to know the craziest part?

Year to year percent sales change for the Bay Area is only 1.4%, and the year to year percent price change is -2.0%. So, the prices are going down but the sales are staying fairly consistent.

Does this have something to do with housing demand? Keep reading to find out.

3. The Central Valley was the least expensive region to buy a home in October 2019.

(source: CAR)

Home sales statistics show that the median price of home sales in the Central Valley region was $380,000. Interestingly, however, prices and sales have gone up in the last year.

According to California home sales statistics, the year to year percent sales change is 7.8%, and the year to year percent price change is 7.1%.

But the Central Valley region wasn’t home to the cheapest home in California.   

4. $162,000 was the lowest median home price in October 2019.

(source: CAR)

This amount of money bought a home in Lassen, California. For comparison, the highest median price of a home in California was $1.65 million, in San Francisco.

That is a massive price range!

Another way to look at home price values in California is by determining the price per square foot.

5. 2018 ended with 442,000 home sales in California.

(source: first tuesday journal)

This was 19,900 fewer sales than took place in 2017, amounting to a decrease of 4.3%. 

According to the California home sales volume 2019 year-to-date, as of September, 326,300 homes had been sold since September 2018. From September 2017 to September 2018, the figure stood at 340,800. 

In terms of monthly home sales, 36,600 were sold in September 2019 across the entire state. This number is a few thousand more than in September 2018, when 33,500 homes were sold.

California Home Sales Statistics - houses

Types of Home Sales

Due to the skyrocketing rent prices and the varying price differences across the regions, there is a great variety in the types of homes that are bought.

6. The median price of a condo/townhouse in October 2019 was $473,000.

(source: CAR)

This California housing price rise is a slight increase from $470,000 in 2018. Keep in mind that this is a median price for California as a whole.

What’s more:

The year-to-year percent sales change is 9.4% for condos and townhouses. So it is clear that more and more people are choosing to live in condos.

What does this all mean for the mortgage rates and future trends for California housing sales? Keep reading to find out.

California Home Mortgage Rate

Because of the high prices in California, people need to have a mortgage on their home. This is normal for home buyers everywhere, but in California, there have been interesting trends over the past year.

7. Mortgage payment amounts declined for the eighth consecutive month in September 2019

(source: CAR)

Even though house sale prices have risen, mortgage rates declined to 3.9% in 2019, which is down from 4.83% in September 2018.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate increased slightly to 3.73% in the week ending November 15, 2019. Additionally, the 15-year FRM rate increased slightly to 3.16%. While FRM rates went up considerably in 2018, they dipped in 2019.

According to Bay Area home sale statistics, the highest median monthly mortgage payment in October 2019 was $3,457.08. This is down from October 2018 when the median payment was $4,038.31.

In comparison, the cheapest median monthly mortgage payment in California was in the Central Valley region, coming in at $1,268.82. This is also down from the previous year when the median payment was $1,347.79.

The percent of delinquent mortgages in California is 0.6%, which is lower than the national value of 1.1%

8. In 2018, 52% of buyers put down less than 20% on their new home, California housing sales statistics reveal.

(source: CAR)

Median downpayment amounts all increased in the last year (October 2018 – October 2019), except for the Bay Area, which decreased slightly. The median payment there was $188,000, down from $191,760 in October 2018.

The cheapest median downpayment in California was in the Central Valley region, at $69,000, up from the previous year’s median of $64,000, Central Valley home sale stats tell us.

Typically, you have to put between 3% and 20% of the homes sale price in order to qualify for a conventional loan – a 30-year fixed mortgage.

9. October 2019 saw 98.5% sales price-to-list price ratio.

(source: Zillow)

Sales price-to-list price ratio marked the largest yearly gain in 19 months.

Until September 30, 2019, 10.4% of listings sold below the previous home sale price, which means that 10.4% of resales (when someone sells their home), sold for less than what the previous buyer paid. This number is slightly higher than in 2017 but is much lower than the numbers from 2008-2015.

What’s more: 

17.3% of listings on the market have experienced a price cut. 

California Home Sales Statistics - mortgage

California Real Estate Market

The California Real Estate Market currently favors home buyers, which can influence many different California real estate stats and the future trends of the state. 

But even if it is a buyer’s market, do people think it is a good time to buy a home? 

10. 52% of survey respondents thought October 2019 was a good time to sell a home.

(source: Gord Collins)

What’s more, 22% thought it was a good idea to buy a home (300 participants). But, according to Zillow, it is currently more of a buyer’s market.

11. In October 2019, 47% of home sales in California occurred in Southern California.

(source: CAR)

That is almost half of all the monthly sales. The rest are fairly spread out, with 22% occurring in the Central Valley region, 19% in the Bay Area, 4% in the Central Coast region, and 8% were in other countries.

12. 1 in every 2613 homes in California is foreclosed.

(source: Realtytrac)

In October, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in CA was 28% higher than the previous month and 7% lower than the same time last year.

What do these California real estate stats mean for future trends? Is the market a bubble risk?

California Home Sales Statistics - San Francisco

Future Trends for the California Real Estate Market

13. The California median home price is forecast to increase by 2.5% in 2020.

(source: CAR)

This number was released by the California Association of Realtors and would make the median home price around $607,900.

14. California home values may rise 1.7% within the next year.

(source: CAR)

This prediction is based on the fact that home values have gone up 1.0% over the past year. 

15. Interest rates will dip to 3.7% in 2020.

(source: CAR)

This is an average for 30-year, fixed mortgage down from 3.9% in 2019 and 4.5% in 2018 and will remain low by historical standards.

16. Los Angeles was the 13th most unpredictable region among 24 cities tracked, while San Francisco was the 10th.

(source: OCR)

While not reported as a bubble risk, the California housing sales statistics show that the market is consistently overvalued. Demand is expected to decrease in 2020, but unless there is a recession, a decline in housing prices seems unlikely. 

Wrap-up

So what does all of this mean? 

Well, people definitely want to live in California, for one thing. 

But the most recent California home sales statistics also reveal that, while it might technically be a good time to buy a home, the Golden State is unpredictable in terms of a market crash. 

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