The California Association of Realtors reported that the statewide median house price increased year-over-year for the first time in 16 months.
Statewide, the figures show:
The median price of an existing California house (that is, not newly built) was $291,080 in March, up 1.6% from $286,550 a year earlier.
The median price of an existing California condo or townhome was $235,760, up 1.5% from $232,270 a year earlier.
The association said: “Tight inventory and robust home sales, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, fueled the substantial increase in the March median home price.”
Prices increased in five out of nine Bay Area counties. By comparison, prices fell in four of six Southern California counties. (Median prices rose 4.9% in Riverside County and 0.7% in San Bernardino County — the only two SoCal counties with a price increase.)
House sales were down 2.3% to an annualized rate of 505,360 total sales. Condo sales were up 0.7%.
The supply of unsold homes was 4.1 months in the state. That is, it would take 4.1 months to sell all the houses on the market at March’s sales pace.
That’s down from 5.4 months in February and March of 2010. A seven-month supply is considered normal.
“Housing inventory remains extremely tight throughout the state and at levels severely under normal market conditions,” observed Leslie Appleton-Young, the state Realtor association’s chief economist.
By Realtor math, the market for Orange County houses last month was the opposite from what took place in the state as a whole: the median price of an existing single-family home fell in March from the same month a year ago but the number of houses sold increased.
Specifically, the Realtor report showed:
The median O.C. house price sold through brokers’ MLS networks was $485,300 in March, compared to $523,610 in March 2010. That’s decrease of 7.3% from year-ago levels.
Orange County sales increased 12% from March 2010 levels and jumped 41.3% from February.
The supply of O.C. homes for sale fell dramatically to 4.9 months.
That’s down from 7.1 months in February and 7 months a year ago.