For all the talk of “will the last person leaving California please turn out the lights,” the Golden State’s real-estate market seems to be doing just fine.
Homes that sold in February garnered a median $338 per square foot, the highest rate since 2007 and up more than 19 percent from the $283 recorded in February 2020, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
As with the national market, though, the real-estate trajectory in the largest state faces increasing headwinds.
“The housing market has been cruising at a robust pace since the second half of 2020 but has encountered some speed bumps recently, as [interest] rates began to rise,” said CAR president Dave Walsh, vice president and manager of the Compass San Jose office.
“While higher rates may slow growth in home sales temporarily, the major roadblock in the long run is a shortage of homes for sale,” Walsh said. “With inventory dropping more than half from a year ago, the market will soften in the second half of 2021 if we don’t see enough homes come on the market to meet demand.”
California’s median home-sales price was essentially unchanged from January but registered another 20-percent gain from a year ago, recording the first back-to-back 20-percent yearly increase since February 2014. The statewide median home price dipped 0.1 percent on a month-to-month basis to $699,000 in February, down from January’s $699,920.
All major regions recorded double-digit increases from last year, with the San Francisco Bay Area growing the strongest at 26.5 percent – a new record high.
The Central Valley region had the second highest price-growth rate of all regions, with its median price increasing 19.1 percent year-over-year in February, followed by Southern California (16.4 percent), the Central Coast (15.9 percent) and the Far North (11.7 percent).
All major regions, except for the Central Valley, experienced a surge in sales from a year ago.