Median Home Prices on the Rise

Joyce Rey is the leader in Beverly Hills Luxury Real EstateGood news, realtors. On Monday, the California Association of Realtors® reported the first gain for California prices in 16 months.  The median price for an existing, single-family home in California rose 1.6 percent in March compared with the year before, marking the first year-over-year increase in 16 months!

Read the full report:

Making sense of the story

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home jumped 9.2 percent to $291,080 in March from February’s $266,660 median price and was up 1.6 percent from a revised $286,550 recorded in March 2011. The month-to-month increase was the largest since March 2004.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 505,360 units in March, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in March were down 4.5 percent month-over-month and 2.3 percent year-to-year.

The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the March pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“Housing inventory remains extremely tight throughout the state and at levels severely under normal market conditions,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “In areas, such as Los Angeles and Riverside counties, where the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) wants to implement the REO bulk sale pilot program, inventory is running at levels well below the long-run average. These low inventory levels demonstrate that the pilot program is not necessary in California.”

The pilot program calls for the sale of more than 600 Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed homes in Los Angeles and Riverside counties to institutional investors.

In other news …

Yahoo! Real Estate reports signals start of broad-based housing recovery. Signaling that housing may be in recovery mode, median list prices for resale homes jumped about 5.6 percent to $189,900 from a year ago, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. http://on.car.org/HWh0Bi

Los Angeles Times

Qualifying for a mortgage has gotten much tougher

A new statistical analysis, based on a large sample of all mortgage applications approved and denied in recent months, offers valuable benchmakers for anyone thinking about refinancing a home purchase or refinancing an exisiting loan. http://on.car.org/J6caSj