California house sales up, prices down

California home sales posted an increase both on a monthly and annual basis in November, marking the fifth consecutive month of year-to-year sales increases, according to figures released today from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).  Meanwhile, the statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California rose 1 percent compared with October, but declined 5.2 percent compared with a year earlier.

Making sense of the story

  • Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California rose to a seasonally adjusted 503,570 units in November, up 2.1 percent from a revised 493,140 in October, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.

     

  • November home sales also were up 2.3 percent from the revised 492,040 units sold during the like period a year ago.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2011 if sales maintained the November pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

  • The November statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California was $280,960, up 1 percent from $278,060 in October but down 5.2 percent from the $296,480 median price recorded for November 2010.

  • The Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes was 5 months in November, down from 5.3 months in October and down from a 6.2-month supply in November 2010.  The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

California home sales, median price rise in November

California home sales posted an increase both on a monthly and annual basis in November, marking the fifth consecutive month of year-to-year sales increases, according to figures released by C.A.R.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California rose to a seasonally adjusted 503,570 units in November, up 2.1 percent from a revised 493,140 in October, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.

The November statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California was $280,960, up 1.0 percent from $278,060 in October but down 5.2 percent from the $296,480 median price recorded for November 2010.

California consumer sentiment slides

The California Composite Index of Consumer Confidence declined approximately 10 points to 78.6 in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the third quarter’s revised reading of 88.2, according to the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University.  An index level below 100 reflects a higher percentage of pessimistic consumers versus those who are optimistic. In contrast, the survey of consumer confidence at the national level conducted by the University of Michigan showed a reading of 64.1 in the month of November increasing from the August reading of 55.7.

The California Composite Index is generated based on three indices: Consumers’ outlook on current and future economic conditions, and an index measuring consumers’ spending plan. All three components of the composite index declined over the last three months.

Continued high unemployment rate in California, currently at 11.7 percent, and volatile stock market may be the main factors explaining why the consumer assessment of the current economic conditions has deteriorated so sharply. This index declined to a reading of 60.8 in November of 2011 from 67.1 in August of 2011. The index measuring future economic conditions also decreased to a reading of 95.8 in November from a reading of 106.8 in August 2011. Moreover, the index measuring consumers’ planned spending on big-ticket items decreased significantly from the August reading of 93.4. The reading of 79.8 suggests consumers’ spending in the early part of 2012 may decline sharply from the current strong pace reported by the retailers.

Weekly Fraud Alert: C.A.R. releases consumer alert

C.A.R. has issued a consumer alert warning homeowners about the potential for scammers and fraudulent activity during the holiday season.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, these offenders review foreclosure notices in newspapers, the Internet and public files to identify potential victims.

California ranks No. 1 for mortgage fraud

by KERRI PANCHUK
 
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011, 10:55 am

Mortgage fraud activity slowed overall in the third quarter, but California ranks first in home loan fraud, with the state seeing as much as $204.2 million in losses on deceptive mortgage activity.

That’s according to a new report from MortgageDaily, which found that lenders victimized by fraud faced inflated appraisals and fraudulent documentation.

California was followed by New York, which experienced $199.6 million in losses from nefarious activities in mortgage finance.

New York was followed by Florida, South Carolina and Minnesota in terms of fraudulent activity.

The total loss value of all mortgage activity in the third quarter hit $1.3 billion.

In the third quarter, the Mortgage Fraud Index maintained by MortgageDaily noted that the index score hit 1,173 in the third quarter.

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