Wednesday, July 17, 2019

CAR on California: "California home sales retreat in June"

by Calculated Risk on 7/17/2019 03:09:00 PM

The CAR reported: California home sales retreat in June, but 2019 housing market outlook revised upward, C.A.R. reports

After rebounding in May, California home sales fell below the benchmark 400,000 level in June as sales declined from both the previous month and year, 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 389,690 units in June, 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 2019 if sales maintained the June pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

June’s sales figure was down 4.2 percent from the 406,960 level in May and down 5.1 percent from home sales in June 2018 of 410,800. Sales fell below the 400,000 benchmark again after rebounding in May. Sales have been under the benchmark for 10 of the past 11 months.

“With softer price growth and interest rates at the lowest levels in nearly three years, monthly mortgage payments on a median-priced home have fallen for four straight months. This allows homebuyers to save hundreds of dollars a month on the same home or to potentially consider a slightly more expensive home for the same monthly cost,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “Combined with the long-term benefits of homeownership on personal wealth and quality of life, 2019 is a good time to purchase a home for the long haul.”
...
Active listings, which have been decelerating since December 2018, grew 2.4 percent from a year ago — the smallest increase since April 2018.

The number of homes available for sale has moderated significantly, suggesting that market is getting back toward being more balanced between supply and demand — but inventory remains relatively tight from a historical perspective. The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, was 3.4 months in June, up from 3.2 months in May and up from 3.0 months in June 2018. The index measures the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
emphasis added
Here is some inventory data from the NAR and CAR (ht Tom Lawler).   Note that the YoY increase has been slowing 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-182.8%28%
Nov-184.2%31%
Dec-184.8%30.6%
Jan-194.6%27%
Feb-193.2%19.2%
Mar-191.8%13.4%
Apr-191.7%10.8%
May-192.7%7.4%
Jun-19NA2.4%