Like much of the nation, California saw existing-home sales slow once again last month. According to the California Association of Realtors, sales were down 5.4 percent in September and were down 21.5 percent from September 2022.
Undeterred, though, were home prices across the Golden State. Last month’s statewide median home price was $843,340, down 1.9 percent from August and up 3.2 percent from September 2022. This also marks the statewide median price’s largest year-over-year gain in 15 months.
The San Francisco Bay Area’s median price improved on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive month and was the region with the biggest annual gain last month. Five out of nine counties within the region recorded an annual gain, with Santa Clara registering the highest growth of 9 percent from the prior year. Southern California, the Central Valley, Central Coast and the Far North region also posted mild annual increases.
“As mortgage rates surge to new highs not seen in more than two decades, home sales are being tested and are likely to remain tepid for the next few months,” said CAR Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “With the Fed planning on holding rates higher for longer, the cost of borrowing will remain elevated and may not come down much in the near term. Housing affordability will continue to hinder sales activity for the rest of the year, especially in the low- and mid-price ranges.”
At the regional level, all major regions experienced a sales decrease in September on a year-over-year basis, with all five major regions dropping more than 20 percent. The San Francisco Bay Area region recorded the biggest annual sales decline, down 23.7 percent, followed by the Central Valley, the Far North, Southern California and the Central Coast.