California home sales rose in November but were down from November 2009, according to data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). The statewide median price declined from both the previous month and the previous year.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 490,950 in November. November's sales were up 9.2% from October's revised pace of 449,480 but were down 8.6% from the revised 536,940 sales pace recorded in November 2009.
The median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California fell below the $300,000 mark for the first time since February. The November 2010 median price was $296,820, down 2.4% from October's $304,220 median price and down 2.5% from the revised $304,550 median price recorded for the same period a year ago. It was the first year-over-year price decline in a year.
In addition, the percentage of short sales of total home sales has increased.
‘We are encouraged by November's sales increase but realize a more sustained recovery is being hampered by the distressed market,’ says CAR President Beth L. Peerce. ‘While we are experiencing a greater share of short sales, these transactions are notoriously difficult to navigate with no guarantee of closure.
"A recent C.A.R. survey indicated that it takes many lenders 90 days or more simply to communicate whether a short sale has been accepted, causing tremendous frustration for buyers and sellers,’ she continues. ‘Moreover, the survey found that more than two out of five short sale transactions never close. The housing market can't fully recover until lenders streamline and improve the short sales process, which would help expedite transactions."