Monday, May 18, 2020

CAR on California April Housing: Sales down 30% YoY, Listing down 25% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 5/18/2020 11:52:00 AM

The CAR reported: California housing market feels full brunt of coronavirus outbreak in April, C.A.R. reports

alifornia home sales dropped sharply in April from both the previous month and year as the housing market began to feel the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the state’s stay-at-home order, 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 277,440 units 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 2020 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

April’s sales total was down 25.6 percent from the 373,070 level in March and down 30.1 percent from a year ago. It was the first time home sales dropped below the 300,000 level since March 2008, and the month-to-month drop was the largest since at least 1979, when C.A.R. began tracking this data. Additionally, the year-over-year decline was the first double-digit loss in 15 months and the largest decrease since December 2007.

“As expected, California home sales experienced the worst month-to-month sales decline in more than four decades as the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, which kept both buyers and sellers on the sidelines,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “While some economic activity will resume as the state gradually reopens, the housing market is expected to remain sluggish for the next couple of months as potential market participants deal with the impact of stay-in-place restrictions.”
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C.A.R.’s Unsold inventory Index jumped to 3.4 months in April from 2.7 months in March and was unchanged from last April. 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.

Total active listings continued to decline on a year-over-year basis for the 10th consecutive month, and the 25 percent decrease in listings was consistent with what has been observed before the shutdown.
emphasis added
CR Note: Existing home sales are reported when the transaction closes, so this was mostly for contracts signed in February and March.