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California home sales break record high median price, again

Although the pace of home sales slowed across the Golden State in May, homebuyers paid a record high median price for a home sold in California — for the second straight month.

Officials from the California Association of Realtors pointed higher mortgage rates for the slowdown, while noting low inventory continues to prop up prices — at record levels.

“A persistent shortage of homes for sale, particularly in the more affordable market segments, continued to push up California’s median home price to new record highs over the past couple of months,” association Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine said in a news release. “With mortgage rates coming back down from their recent peaks and market competition heating up, the statewide median price may have more room to grow before the summer ends.”

The statewide median price set another record high in May, climbing 8.7% from $835,280 in May 2023 to $908,040 in May 2024, exceeding the $900,000-benchmark for the second month in a row, the association reported.

California’s median home price was 0.4 percent higher than April’s $904,210. The year-over-year gain was the 11th straight month of annual price increases for the Golden State. Seasonal factors and tight housing supply conditions will continue to put upward pressure on home prices in the coming months.

According to the association, May’s sales pace dipped 1.1% from the revised 275,540 homes sold in April and were down 6.0% from a year ago, when a revised 289,860 homes were sold on an annualized basis. The sales pace remained below the 300,000-threshold for the 20th consecutive month, and year-to-date home sales were flat.

“California home sales stalled in May as mortgage rates reached the highest level in five months and may have contributed to the slowdown in market activity,” said association President Melanie Barker, a Yosemite Realtor. “However, a moderation in interest rates in the past couple of weeks and recent improvements in housing inventory could create an opportunity for motivated buyers to reenter the market before the homebuying season peaks.”

Back home in western Nevada County, as we recently reported, the pace of sales actually picked up in May with a 22.3% increase in units sold over April. And with home listings topping 400 properties for the first time since August 2022.

Click here to read the full statewide report on May 2024 home sales from the California Association of Realtors.

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