Thursday, January 15, 2015

DataQuick: California Bay Area "Home buying picked up steam" in December

by Bill McBride on 1/15/2015 02:36:00 PM

From DataQuick: Bay Area Home Sales and Prices Rise in December 2014

Home buying picked up steam late in 2014, with December posting strong month-over-month and year-over-year sales gains. ... A total of 7,456 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area in December 2014. That was up month over month 24.2 percent from 6,003 in November 2014 and up year over year 14.1 percent from 6,532 in December 2013, according to CoreLogic DataQuick data.
“The Bay Area’s residential real estate market ended 2014 on a cautiously optimistic note, with moderate year-over-year increases in both median price and sales counts,” said John Karevoll, CoreLogic DataQuick analyst. “Supply continues to be constrained, and the mortgage market remains difficult. As long-term trends, cash sales and investor purchases are declining slowly, but they are still significant market factors. We know that there is a significant amount of pent-up demand lying in wait, and there is a good chance the market could see a surge this spring and summer as more homes are put up for sale.”
Foreclosure resales accounted for 3.7 percent of all resales in December 2014, up from 2.8 percent in November 2014, and down from 4.6 percent in December 2013. Foreclosure resales in the Bay Area peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009, while the monthly average over the past 17 years is 9.6 percent. Foreclosure resales are purchased homes that have been previously foreclosed upon in the prior 12 months.

Short sales made up an estimated 4.0 percent of Bay Area resales in December 2014, up from a revised 3.9 percent in November 2014 and down from 7.9 percent in December 2013. Short sales are transactions in which the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property.
emphasis added
Last month I noted that it seemed like houses were moving again.  I wrote 'in my area it seems like a large number of homes went "pending" during the last few weeks' - and sure enough the data suggests a pickup in sales in December.