• Housing Shortage Causes Sales Decline in August, But Median Price Hits Four-Year High, A.A.R. reports


    Arcadia (Sept. 17) – California home sales declined in August but continued to maintain a strong pace, recording five consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains, while the median price reached a four-year high, the Arcadia Association of Realtors (A.A.R.) reported.

    “A lack of inventory remains an issue, as the housing supply fell more than 30 percent from last year,” said 2012 A.A.R. President Ryan Asao.  “Inventory levels are at the lowest levels we’ve seen in seven years, and we are starting to see the supply shortage conditions having a negative impact on sales in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire, where REO properties are in short supply.”

    August marked the fifth consecutive month that sales were higher than the previous year, with closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaling a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 511,240 units, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  Sales in August were down 3.4 percent from a revised 529,430 in July but up 2.3 percent from a revised 499,880 in August 2011.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the August pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home rose 3 percent to $343,820 in August, up from July’s $333,860 median price.  The August figure was up 15.5 percent from a revised $297,660 recorded in August 2011, marking the sixth consecutive month of both month-to-month and year-to-year price increases.  August’s median price was the highest since August 2008, when the median price was $352,730.  The year-to-year increase was the largest in more than two years.

    “The median price is gaining in part because of a shift in the mix of what is selling. The increasing share of sales in higher-priced coastal markets at the expense of the inventory-scarce distressed markets has been the primary factor in fueling the statewide median price,” said A.A.R. Executive Vice President Andrew Cooper.   “While higher-priced markets with a robust economy are experiencing a strong demand in equity sales and posting double-digit year-over-year price increases, sales in lower-priced markets that rely more on distressed properties were stagnant or even declined, as the inventory of REO properties continues to wane.”

    Representing local Realtors® in the San Gabriel Valley for 88 years, the ARCADIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.TheAAR.com) is one of the oldest trade organizations in CA.  The AAR is dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate and is an advocate for private property rights. A.A.R. is headquartered in Arcadia.

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