Thursday, November 15, 2018

California Existing Homes in October: Sales Down 7.9% YoY, Inventory Up 28%

by Bill McBride on 11/15/2018 02:53:00 PM

The CAR reported: Homebuyers continue to wait it out in October as market uncertainties linger

As market uncertainties continue to linger, California home sales declined for the sixth straight month in October and remained below the 400,000-level sales benchmark for the third consecutive month, 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 397,060 units in October, 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 2018 if sales maintained the October pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

October’s sales figure was up 3.8 percent from the revised 382,550 level in September and down 7.9 percent compared with home sales in October 2017 of 431,070. October marked the third month in a row that sales were below 400,000, which hasn’t occurred since February 2015.

“Homebuyers continued to put their homeownership plans on hold in October and wait out the market,” said 2019 C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “With mortgage rates at seven-year highs making homeownership more expensive and home prices beginning to flatten, this phenomenon will likely continue for the near term as buyers wait for further price adjustments and for interest rates to stabilize.”
...
Statewide active listings rose for the seventh consecutive month after nearly three straight years of declines, increasing 28 percent from the previous year. October’s listings increase was the largest in four years.
emphasis added
Here is some inventory data from the NAR and CAR (ht Tom Lawler).  Notice inventory is really increasing year-over-year in California.

YOY % Change, Existing SF Homes for Sale
  NAR
(National)
CAR
(California)
Sep-17-8.4%-11.2%
Oct-17-10.4%-11.5%
Nov-17-9.7%-11.5%
Dec-17-11.5%-12.0%
Jan-18-9.5%-6.6%
Feb-18-8.6%-1.3%
Mar-18-7.2%-1.0%
Apr-18-6.3%1.9%
May-18-5.18.3%
Jun-18-0.5%8.1%
Jul-180.0%11.9%
Aug-182.1%17.2%
Sep-181.1%20.4%
Oct-18---28.0%