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Median price increases 19.1% in July to record $383,320.   Sales increase 10.2%, C.A.R. reports

LOS ANGELES (August 25, 2003) - The median price of an existing home in California in July increased 19.1 percent and sales increased 10.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

"Concerns about rising mortgage interest rates helped propel potential buyers who were on the fence into the housing market last month," said C.A.R. President Toby Bradley. "As a result, sales in July hit their highest level this year. The median price of a home in California reached its greatest year-to year increase in July, posting a 19.1 percent gain to a record $383,320."

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 595,860 in July at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 10.2 percent from the 540,800 sales pace recorded in July 2002.

The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2003 would be if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during July 2003 was $383,320, a 19.1 percent increase over the revised $321,900 median for July 2002, C.A.R. reported. The July 2003 median price increased 2.1 percent compared to a revised June 2003 $375,610 median price.

Highlights of C.A.R.s resale housing figures for July 2003:

  • C.A.R.s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in July 2003 was 2.4 months, compared to 2.6 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

  • Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates averaged 5.73 percent during July 2003, down from 6.49 percent in July 2002, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable mortgage interest rates averaged 3.59 percent in July 2003 compared to 4.51 percent in July 2002.

  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 27 days in July 2003, compared to a revised 23 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.

Regional MLS sales and price information is contained in the tables that accompany this press release. Regional sales data is not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. The MLS median price and sales data for detached homes is generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS throughout the state. MLS median price and sales data for condominiums is based on a survey of more than 60 associations. The median price for both detached homes and condominiums represents closed escrow sales.

Note: Large changes in local median home prices typically indicate both local home price appreciation, and often, large shifts in the composition of housing market activity. Some of the variations in median home prices may be exaggerated due to compositional changes in housing demand.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during July 2003. as reported by the California Association of Realtors, were:

Malibu $1,190,000
Beverly Hills $1,120,000
Palos Verdes Estates $1,035,000
Manhattan Beach $1,015,000
Burlingame $931,500
Laguna Beach $893,000
Calabasas $880,500
Mill Valley $870,000
Del Mar $868,000
La Canada-Flintridge $835,000

These statistics for highest median home price as reported by the California Association of Realtors are very suspect. In fact, they do not even approach reality.  The statistics below show the ten highest median prices for the counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Diego and Orange County only. Everyone of these counties had higher prices than the highest priced city reported by C.A.R.  Further investigation is in order. 

Rancho Santa Fe $2,150,000
Hillsborough $1,993,750
Woodside $1,960,000
Los Altos Hills $1,950,000
Monte Sereno $1,372,500
Portola Valley $1,300,000
Kentfield $1,300,000
La Jolla $1,250,000
Tiburon $1,245,000
Corona del Mar $1,225,000

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the greatest median home price increases in July 2003 compared to the same period a year ago were:

Malibu 79.0%
Beverly Hills 58.1%
San Juan Capistrano 44.1%
Desert Hot Springs 43.9%
Lake Forest 41.1%
Redlands 40.0%
Mira Loma 39.1%
Perris 39.0%
La Habra 37.2%
Ripon 36.2%

JULY 2003 REGIONAL SALES AND PRICE ACTIVITY*

Regional Sales Data and Condo Sales Data Not Seasonally Adjusted

July 2003 Median Price Percent Change in Price from Prior Month Percent Change in Price from Prior Year Percent Change in Sales from Prior Month Percent Change in Sales from Prior Year
  3-Jul 3-Jun 2-Jul 3-Jun 2-Jul

Statewide

       
Calif. (sf) $383,320 2.10% 19.10% 4.10% 10.20%
Calif. (condo) $286,670 1.50% 15.20% 6.50% 11.80%
         

C.A.R. REGION

       
Central Valley $229,370 1.20% 20.00% 3.10% 8.00%
High Desert $156,740 1.90% 19.60% 5.60% 0.20%
Los Angeles $358,710 5.80% 25.40% 7.10% 19.10%
Monterey Region na na na na na
Monterey County na na na na na
Santa Cruz County na na na na na
Northern California $291,280 1.50% 21.50% 9.70% 13.60%
Northern Wine Country $431,060 -0.70% 12.70% 6.40% 2.10%
Orange County $496,370 3.50% 14.70% 5.60% 19.30%
Palm Springs/Lower Desert $261,790 -1.20% 18.30% -1.00% 9.50%
Riverside/San Bernardino $231,300 4.00% 27.70% 5.70% 7.80%
Sacramento $247,900 -1.90% 15.60% -3.10% 4.10%
San Diego $430,470 2.70% 14.40% 17.40% 21.50%
San Francisco Bay na na na na na
San Luis Obispo $391,360 3.70% 23.90% 11.60% -9.80%
Santa Barbara County $486,360 24.90% 23.60% 9.20% 8.70%
Santa Barbara South Coast $810,000 -1.50% 1.40% 12.90% 18.80%
North Santa Barbara County $318,750 8.60% 23.70% -1.60% 3.40%
Santa Clara na na na na na
Ventura $458,600 0.70% 15.90% 12.10% 1.50%

* Based on closed escrow sales of singlefamily, detached homes only (no condos).  Reported monthtomonth changes in sales activity may overstate actual changes because of the small size of individual regional samples.  Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as measuring changes in the cost of a standard home.  Prices are influenced by changes in cost and changes in the characteristics and size of homes actually sold.

Median Prices By Region - Current Month vs. Year Ago

  3-Jul 3-Jun   2-Jul

Statewide

       
Calif. (sf) $383,320 $375,610 r $321,900 r
Calif. (condo) $286,670 $282,470 r $248,890 r
         

C.A.R REGION

       
Central Valley $229,370 $226,760 r $191,220
High Desert $156,740 $153,840   $131,020
Los Angeles $358,710 $339,100   $286,070
Monterey Region na na   na
Monterey County na na   na
Santa Cruz County na na   na
Northern California $291,280 $286,930   $239,650
Northern Wine Country $431,060 $433,980   $382,480
Orange County $496,370 $479,410   $432,630
Palm Springs/Lower Desert $261,790 $265,000   $221,360
Riverside/San Bernardino $231,300 $222,340   $181,150
Sacramento $247,900 $252,620 r $214,480
San Diego $430,470 $419,320   $376,250
San Francisco Bay na na   na
San Luis Obispo $391,360 $377,540   $315,790
Santa Barbara County $486,360 $389,530   $393,480 r
Santa Barbara South Coast $810,000 $822,500 r $799,000 r
North Santa Barbara County $318,750 $293,530   $257,580
Santa Clara na na   na
Ventura $458,600 $455,420   $395,710

r - revised
na - not available

Source: California Association of REALTORS®

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