Note: Remember sales were weak in April 2020 due to the pandemic, so the YoY comparison is easy.
Heated market conditions and a shortage of homes for sale continued to put upward pressure on home prices in California, driving the state’s median price above the $800,000 benchmark for the first time ever in April, as home sales soared from last year’s pandemic-level lows, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 458,170 in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2021 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
April home sales increased on a monthly basis for the third consecutive month, rising 2.6 percent from 446,410 in in March and up 65.1 percent from a year ago, when 277,440 homes were sold on an annualized basis. The sharp yearly sales jump was expected as the housing market was hit hard by the pandemic shutdown last year, when home sales dropped more than 30 percent over the previous April.
“California continues to experience one of the hottest housing markets as homes sell at the fastest pace ever, with the share of homes sold above asking price, the price per square foot and the sales-to-list price all at record highs, while active listings remain at historic lows,” said C.A.R. President Dave Walsh, vice president and manager of the Compass San Jose office.
The Unsold Inventory Index (UII) dropped to 1.6 months in April from 1.7 months in March and was down sharply from a year ago, when there was 3.4 months of housing inventory. The index indicates the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.
Active listings continue to fall more than 50 percent in April from last year, recording four straight months that housing supply was cut in half from a year ago. The ongoing decline in inventory is due partly to the surge in demand in the past 10 months, but the lack of new listings is also a contributing factor. While new active listings did experience a robust year-over-year growth from last April due to the pandemic shutdown, the level of newly added supply is still significantly below the pre-pandemic level. On a month-to-month basis, for-sale properties inched up by 7.4 percent in April and should climb further in the coming months if the market follows its typical seasonal pattern.
Note that inventory was up 7.4% from March to April.