January home resales and the median price dropped in San Diego County -- the result of a seasonal slowdown and a scarcity of homes available, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
Closed escrow resales in January of existing, single-family detached homes in San Diego fell 22.1 percent from December 2012, but were up 16.3 percent from a year ago.
The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in January was $390,890, down 6.6 percent from December but up 11.5 percent from January 2012.
“A rush by home buyers trying to complete sales of higher-priced homes by the end of last year in order to avoid capital gains increases pulled forward sales that might have closed in January instead,” said CAR President Don Faught. “Additionally, the extreme shortage of homes for resale continues to hinder California’s housing market, as demonstrated by the nearly two months’-supply drop compared with last year.”
San Diego’s January Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes rose to 4.1 months in January, up from 3 in December, but down from 7.1 a year ago.
San Diego homes spent less time on the market in January. The median time in January was 37.7 days, down from 43.1 in December 2012 and 62.6 in a year ago.
Closed escrow resales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 491,720 units, according to information collected by CAR from more than 90 local Realtor associations and multiple listing services (MLSs) statewide.
Resales in January were down 6 percent from a revised 523,090 in December, and down 3.9 percent from a revised 511,760 a year ago.
The statewide resales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2013 if sales maintained the January pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The January statewide median price of $337,040 for an existing, single-family detached home fell 8.1 percent from December, but was up 24.1 percent from a revised $271,490 a year ago, marking the 11th consecutive month of annual price increases and the seventh consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.
“The drop in the median price from December to January is in line with the seasonal pattern that we’ve observed in recent years, when the sales share of lower-priced homes usually increases at the start of the year,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR vice president and chief economist. “For example, homes priced under $200,000 made up 28 percent of sales in January, up from 25 percent in December. Conversely, homes priced $500,000 and higher made up nearly 24 percent of sales in January, down from nearly 28 percent in December.”
The available supply of homes for sale loosened in January, primarily as a result of fewer home sales.
The January Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes rose to 3.5 months in January, up from 2.6 in December, but down from a revised 5.8 in January 2012.
The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered normal.
Mortgage rates edged up in January, with the 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.41 percent, up from 3.35 in December 2012 but down from 3.92 a year ago, according to Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC).
Adjustable-mortgage interest rates last month also edged up, averaging 2.58 percent in January, up from 2.54 in December but down from 2.76 in January 2012.
Statewide, homes moved off the market faster in January, with the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home decreasing to 36.6 in January, down from 38.1 in December and down from 59.6 for the same period a year ago.