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Friday, February 19, 2021

CAR on California January Housing: Sales up 23% YoY, Active Listings down 53% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 2/19/2021 02:08:00 PM

The CAR reported: California housing market momentum continues into new year, C.A.R. reports

California’s housing market kicked off the year on a positive note, following up on December’s strong showing with double-digit price and sales growth on a yearly basis in January, 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 484,730 in January, 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 January pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

January home sales decreased 4.9 percent from 509,750 in December and were up 22.5 percent from a year ago, when 395,700 homes were sold on an annualized basis. The year-over-year, double-digit sales gain was the sixth consecutive and the third straight month that sales increased more than 20 percent from a year ago.
“Despite an economy that’s slow to recover, the momentum from late last year continued into January, driven by strong growth in California’s core housing markets, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the higher cost areas experienced the most sales growth,” said C.A.R. President Dave Walsh, vice president and manager of the Compass San Jose office. “Home prices continued to power through the traditional slow season in January with the largest annual price gain in nearly seven years.”
Homeowners reluctant to list their homes for sale during the pandemic is contributing to a shortage of active listings. As a result, C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index (UII) remains extremely low at 1.5 months in January and was down sharply from 3.4 months in January 2020. 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 fell 53.4 percent from last year and continued to drop more than 40 percent on a year-over-year basis for the eighth straight month. On a month-to-month basis, for-sale properties dropped 10.7 percent in January.
emphasis added
CR Note: Existing home sales are reported when the transaction closes, so this was mostly for contracts signed in November and December.