The sunny California coast and many inland areas across all price spectrums have become cloudy in terms of home sales. A seven-year high in interest rates, stock market volatility and continued hold-outs from potential buyers hoping to pay less in the near future have all taken a toll on the number of both new and existing homes and condominiums sold statewide in December 2018.

New and existing home sales fell -8.4% in December when compared to November 2018 and an eye-popping -20.2% when compared to December 2017. California home sales have fallen y/y in 6 out of the last 7 months.

As we said up top, all price points across California have been affected. Take a look:

  • below $500,000 – -22.3% y/y
  • above $500,000 – -18.8%
  • above $1M – -16.5%
  • above $2M – -22.1%

The median price paid for California’s new and existing homes in December 2018 was $475,000, dfown-3.1% from November 2018 and +2.0% from December 2017. This y/y gain of +2.0% is the lowest y/y gain in California home sales for any month since March 2012.

CoreLogic points out that this +2.0% y/y gain understates the affordability challenge many California potential buyers face. Compared with December 2017, the monthly principal and interest mortgage payment of the state’s median priced home in December 2018 was up +10.7% due to the nearly 0.7 percentage point gain in mortgage rates over the prior year.

In the 6-county Southern California region, new and existing home sales in December 2018 were down -20.3$ while the median sale price of $515,000 was up +1.1% y/y.

In the 9-county San Francisco Bay area, new and existing home sales were down -21.6% y/y while the median sale price of $785,000 was up +4.6% y/y.

In counties more affordable than those designated in Southern California and the Bay Area, sales looked like this:

  • Shasta – +9.1%
  • Sutter – +8.9%
  • Yuba – +2.7%
  • Merced – -5.3%
  • Fresno – -5.7%
  • Stanislaus – -19.3%
  • San Bernardino – -21.4%
  • Yolo – -21.5%
  • Sacramento – -22.5%

All data sourced from CoreLogic.