California home sales reached a multi-year high in August and home prices remained roughly flat from a month earlier, according to a new report.
The median sales price dropped 0.6% from July to reach $361,000 in August, real estate firm DataQuick said Friday. Buyers purchased an estimated 42,546 homes in the state last month — the highest for an August since 2006.
The housing market has rebounded sharply this year, sending prices soaring upward and affordability down. The state’s median price in August was 28.5% higher than last year.
But recently the red-hot market has shown some signs of cooling as many areas see more homes for sale and interest rates have risen. In Southern California, the median price has remained at $385,000 for three consecutive months.
In the Bay Area, the median fell back 3.9% from July to $540,000 in August, although DataQuick said a drop was to be expected because seasonal sales shifts tend to be more pronounced in that region. Prices in that tech-flush market are 31.7% higher than last year.
The median is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Therefore, it is influenced not only by rising or falling home values, but also the mix of homes selling at a given point.
Across the state, sales rose 3.1% from last year, but were 1.9% lower than July. Homes that were foreclosed on within the last year continued to make up a declining percentage of existing home sales, reaching the lowest level since July 2007.
DataQuick said despite strong sales in August, sales are 11% below their average level for that month since 1988, when the firm’s statistics begin. August’s median is about $120,000 below its bubble peak.