California Housing Market Recovers in February, Report Says

California Housing MarketMore reasonable home price appreciation and a wider pool of available houses led to some improvements in the California housing market, according to the latest report from the California Association of Realtors.

With seasonality and annualization of rates taken into account, closed escrow sales of existing single-family detached homes in California were at 368,160 in February 2015. This is a 4.7 percent improvement from January’s revised figure of 351,480, and a 2.4 percent year-over-year improvement from February 2014’s revised figure of 359,600. This also marked the biggest year-over-year jump in home sales since December 2012.

“While February’s statewide improvement in the housing market was moderate, it’s an encouraging sign, nevertheless, as we head into the spring home buying season,” read a statement from CAR President Christopher Kutzkey. “On the supply side, housing inventory improved overall with active listings growing at a faster pace of 5.3 percent when compared to last February.” Kutzkey added that active listings in the Southern California and Central Valley markets experienced a “moderate” increase, though housing supply was down 10 percent in the Bay Area.

As mentioned above, home price appreciation was much more reasonable last month than it was in previous months. The median price of existing single-family detached homes in California was at $428,970 in February, a mild uptick from January’s median price of $426,660. February 2015’s pricing information was 5.5 percent higher than February 2014’s revised median price of $406,460.

In her own statement on the recently-released CAR stats, CAR Vice President and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young said that the California housing market did indeed rebound nicely last month. “At the state level, the market is moving in the right direction as the growth of sales continues its upward trend and home prices start stabilizing,” she said, further underscoring how the Bay Area remains an outlier.

“At the regional level, however, the San Francisco Bay Area continued to be hampered by constrained inventory and low housing affordability.”