After a roller coaster year for all aspects of real estate, California closed out 2014 on a high note according to sales data from the California Association of REALTORS®. Statewide home sales gained for the first time in a year and a half, while regional markets showed some interesting but positive trends.
CAR reports the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of home sales reached 366,000 units in December, which was down by 2.9 percent from November. There was a 0.6 percent increase from December 2013, however, which was the first year-over-year increase in sales volume recorded since July 2013.
For the year in total, home sales were down for the state of California according to preliminary data. CAR reported a decrease of about 7.6 percent from a total volume of 414,900 single-family homes in 2013 to 383,320 in 2014. Seasonal factors have yet to be worked into this data however, and a revision of 2014’s values is expected in the coming weeks for a better look at how 2014 fared against 2013.
“2014 saw a return to a near normal housing market, with sales moving at a moderate pace and home price appreciation growing at more sustainable levels,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Home prices have stabilized over the past year, which is positive news for buyers who have been putting off their home search until prices leveled off. And with recent news of an improvement in the job market and the lowest interest rates in a year and a half, buyers may be resuming their home search.”
Southern California Home Sales Heat Up
On a regional basis it seems the state experienced a flip flopping of trends. San Francisco, which had previously been the leader in home sale activity, saw a decrease in home sales, while Southern California home sales gained in December.
“Home sales were down on a statewide basis, with pockets of gains in sales activity, especially in Southern California and the Central Valley, where home sales were higher than the prior month and year,” said 2015 C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “Not so for the San Francisco Bay Area, which saw run-ups in sales and prices throughout the year. This market has tempered from its earlier frenzied pace mostly due to extremely tight inventory.”
Home prices have continued to gain yearly in San Francisco, which has worked many buyers out of the equation. The region saw a reduction in home sales of about 2.6 percent year-over-year.
In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, prices gained at a more reasonable rate of 2.8 percent while sales also increase by 18 percent from November to December and 0.3 percent yearly.
The Inland empire also had an impressive gain in home sales late in the year of 19.2 percent. Like Los Angeles, Inland Empire has seen trouble in getting buyers and sellers to the real estate market, however, it seems that patience has finally paid off.
If you are interested in learning more about Southern California luxury real estate, please contact our team for assistance in finding your dream home today.