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Prices bouncing back for California housing market

Posted: July 18, 2013 1:00 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2013 1:00 p.m.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Home prices across California are surging, but inventory levels remain stubbornly low, according to the latest figures from the real estate tracking firm DataQuick released Thursday.

The median price for homes in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area reached $555,000 in June, an increase of 6.9 percent over the previous month. The median home price in Southern California mirrored that pace, hitting $385,000 — the highest for any month since April 2008, according to DataQuick.

The real estate information service attributed the rise to disappearing distress sales, an improving economy and mortgage rates remaining low.

Inventory remains low as strapped homeowners refused to sell and fewer investors bought, but the surge in prices is expected to boost the number of homes on the market.

"As prices go up, more homes will come on the market. Price pressures will ease. The only element we don't know much about right now is how much pent-up demand there really is out there," said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

The number of homes sold in the San Francisco Bay area dropped 7.5 percent to 7,897 in June. The real estate information service said that last month's sales in the Bay area were 20.9 percent below the June average of 9,993 sales.

In Southern California, sales were down 6.2 percent from May and 2.1 percent from June 2012. That year-over-year decline was the first for any month since September.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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