California homes had annual price gains for the eighth month in a row in October, the California Association of Realtors said Thursday. The year-over-year increase was the largest since May 2010.
The median price for an existing, single-family detached home was $341,370, up 23 percent from October 2011. The price dipped slightly from September's $345,000, reflecting a common seasonal drop in the fall.
October marked the fourth consecutive month of double-digit annual price gains, the Realtors' group said.
Sales were up 10 percent from last October and 12.5 percent from September. They have been up six of the past seven months, the association's data shows.
"Sales surged to the highest level since May, with demand continuing to be strong across all parts of the state," said Don Faught, incoming association president. "Sales were particularly robust in the coastal markets, but they also rose significantly in many non-metropolitan areas, as confidence toward the housing market continued to improve.
"Most counties in the Northern California region, for example, posted double-digit year-over-year sales gains in October," he said.
California's housing inventory tightened in October, at a 3.1 month supply, down from 3.7 months in September and 5.5 months in October 2011. The figure represents how long it would take to sell all existing, detached single-family homes in California at the current sales pace. In a normal market, supply is at six to seven months.
"The year-over-year price gain ... has been accelerating since early 2012, as sales of higher-priced homes continue to improve," said Leslie Appleton-Young, the association's vice president and chief economist. "With the supply shortage, especially of lower-priced homes, expected to remain an issue in the near future, we will likely see solid year-over-year price gains through the first quarter of next year, as sales of higher-priced homes grow."
In Orange County, the median price in October was at $558,680, up 15 percent from $484,390 a year ago, but down 0.6 percent from September. Sales were up 36 percent year over year and 16.5 percent from September.
DataQuick, which measures all home sales -- not just existing, detached, single family homes -- reported this week that the median price for an Orange County home was $455,000, up 12 percent from October 2011. County officials recorded 3,148 homes sold, up 40.5 percent from a year ago and the highest number for an October in seven years.
(c)2012 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
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