California home sales fell for the fourth consecutive month in November 2018, according to CoreLogic. All price points, all markets, all major regions…down.
The annual growth rate for the state’s median sale price in November was $490,000, a +4.3% annual gain, the second lowest gain for 2018 behind the +4.3% increase in September 2018. Compare this 4.3% median sale price gain in November 2018 to the more than twice median price annual gain of +9.3% in November 2017.
Sales of new and existing homes/condominiums were also down in November 2018…-012.2% from October 2018 and -12.1% from November 2017. Making things even more gloomy, California home sales have fallen six of the last seven months including annual declines of -9.2% in June 2018, -7.0% in August 2018, -17.2% in September 2018 and -6.2% in October 2018.
In nominal terms, California’s median sale price hit an all time high of $500,000 in June 2018 but, when adjusted for inflation, California’s median sale price has not returned to its pre-housing-bust peak in March 2007. In fact, this last November’s median sale price was -15.1% below that 2007 peak.
Keep in mind that the affordability challenge is a tantamount cause and effect factor to these declines in sales. Monthly principle and interest mortgage payments on California’s median price home in November 2018 was +16.6% higher than November 2017. This +16.6% increase is due to the nearly 1% point gain in interest rates over the prior year.
Other November 2018 highlights in California’s housing market include:
- In the 6 county Southern California region, sales volume was down -12.2% y/y and the median sale price of $522,750 was up +3.5% y/y
- In the 9-county San Francisco Bay Area, sales volume was down -15.2% y/y and the median sale price of $815,000 was up +3.8% y/y
- California’s more affordable counties had small sales declines:
- Sacramento -8.9%
- Solano -7.7%
- Riverside -6.4%
- Tulare -3.0%
- Kern -0.8%
- California’s relatively affordable counties had steeper sales declines:
- San Joaquin -11.0%
- Stanislaus -13.5%
- San Bernardino -13.6%