Monday, March 23, 2009

CA Home Sales Surge by 42.5% in February; Avg. House Payment of $967 is Lowest in 20 Years

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Home sales in California rose 42.5% in February from a year earlier as the median home price fell by 39.9%, driven by sales of foreclosed properties, according to an MDA DataQuick report (see chart above).

February was the eighth straight month that California home sales rose from year-earlier levels and was the first time since May 2007 that the median home price did not decline from the prior month, according to MDA DataQuick.

The typical mortgage payment that (California) home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $967. That was down from $969 in January, and down from $1,774 for February a year ago. The typical mortgage payment has not been below $1,000 since May 1999. Adjusted for inflation, last month's mortgage payment was the lowest in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. The payment was 53.4% below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 62.2% below the current cycle's peak in June 2006.

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