Median home price hits 15-month high in California

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Home prices in California continue to rise, reaching a 15-month high in August, according to the California Association of Realtors.

The trade association blames the soaring costs on the usual culprits: rising mortgage rates and the state’s ongoing shortage of homes on the market.

Among the biggest takeaways from August, single-family home sales totaled 254,740 — down 5.3% from July and down 19% from last August.

Home prices also jumped 3.3% across the state from July, and were up 3% from last year.

Year-to-date home sales in California were also down 29.2% in August.

C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine said a “re-acceleration” of interest rates and an increasingly tight housing inventory pushed California home sales down to a seven-month low.

Levine argues that, despite the alarming numbers, the market should start improving in the last quarter of the year.

“Mortgage rates should begin to ease, albeit gradually, in the next couple months, and provide a much-needed boost to both the supply and the demand sides of the housing market,” Levine said.

Additional revelations from C.A.R.’s monthly report shows homes are sitting on the market for a shorter amount of time. Last month, homes were listed on the market for only 18 days — five fewer than in August 2022.

The California August 2023 Sales and Price report from the California Association of Realtors
The California August 2023 Sales and Price report from the California Association of Realtors

While the average price of a single-family home in California reached $859,800 in August 2023, the price of a single-family home in Los Angeles came in even higher, around $882,000.

That number gets lower if you expand away from the city of Los Angeles and look at surrounding areas that comprise the L.A. Metro Area. The average home price in Greater Los Angeles was $792,500 in August.

Home prices in Orange County came in around $1,310,000 in August, about $10,000 higher than the previous month.

The most affordable county in Southern California was San Bernardino County with a median home cost of $495,000. Still, that price is up more than 4% from August 2022.

In San Diego, home prices have officially reached seven digits. Median home prices in San Diego for August came in right at $1 million, up 3% from July and more than 14% higher than last year.

The most expensive median home prices in August were located in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County — both among the region that comprises Silicon Valley.

A complete breakdown of the cost of existing single-family homes in California as provided by the California Association of Realtors is below.

Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes

State/Region/County Aug. 2023 July 2023 Aug. 2022 Price
MTM%
Chg
Price
YTY%
Chg
Calif. Single-family home $859,800 $832,400 $834,740 3.3 % 3.0 %
Calif. Condo/Townhome $657,000 $645,000 $620,000 1.9 % 6.0 %
Los Angeles Metro Area $792,500 $790,000 $765,000 0.3 % 3.6 %
Central Coast $950,000 $985,000 $950,000 -3.6 % 0.0 %
Central Valley $485,000 $489,000 $470,000 -0.8 % 3.2 %
Far North $369,000 $375,000 $378,000 -1.6 % -2.4 %
Inland Empire $569,990 $575,000 $565,500 -0.9 % 0.8 %
San Francisco Bay Area $1,260,000 $1,255,000 $1,200,000 0.4 % 5.0 %
Southern California $830,000 $830,000 $795,000 0.0 % 4.4 %
San Francisco Bay Area
Alameda $1,250,000 $1,260,000 $1,220,000 -0.8 % 2.5 %
Contra Costa $844,440 $900,000 $850,000 -6.2 % -0.7 %
Marin $1,475,000 $1,609,500 $1,674,500 -8.4 % -11.9 %
Napa $1,055,000 $927,500 $1,150,000 13.7 % -8.3 %
San Francisco $1,576,000 $1,460,000 $1,635,000 7.9 % -3.6 %
San Mateo $1,950,000 $1,984,000 $1,950,000 -1.7 % 0.0 %
Santa Clara $1,852,500 $1,800,000 $1,650,000 2.9 % 12.3 %
Solano $599,000 $600,560 $610,000 -0.3 % -1.8 %
Sonoma $850,000 $850,960 $834,000 -0.1 % 1.9 %
Southern California
Los Angeles $882,020 $851,540 $854,960 3.6 % 3.2 %
Orange $1,310,000 $1,300,000 $1,200,000 0.8 % 9.2 %
Riverside $618,000 $615,000 $620,000 0.5 % -0.3 %
San Bernardino $495,000 $485,000 $472,750 2.1 % 4.7 %
San Diego $1,000,000 $969,020 $886,250 3.2 % 12.8 %
Ventura $915,000 $920,000 $884,000 -0.5 % 3.5 %
Central Coast
Monterey $897,000 $949,000 $842,500 -5.5 % 6.5 %
San Luis Obispo $868,810 $860,000 $868,500 1.0 % 0.0 %
Santa Barbara $1,295,000 $994,470 $1,112,500 30.2 % 16.4 %
Santa Cruz $1,200,000 $1,300,000 $1,300,000 -7.7 % -7.7 %
Central Valley
Fresno $425,000 $417,500 $405,000 1.8 % 4.9 %
Glenn $321,000 $372,500 $327,500 -13.8 % -2.0 %
Kern $394,500 $395,000 $373,250 -0.1 % 5.7 %
Kings $382,500 $385,000 $321,750 -0.6 % 18.9 %
Madera $453,000 $426,000 $400,000 6.3 % 13.3 %
Merced $385,000 $390,000 $385,000 -1.3 % 0.0 %
Placer $669,000 $660,000 $649,000 1.4 % 3.1 %
Sacramento $535,000 $547,000 $535,000 -2.2 % 0.0 %
San Benito $777,550 $745,000 $755,000 4.4 % 3.0 %
San Joaquin $535,000 $545,000 $550,000 -1.8 % -2.7 %
Stanislaus $465,000 $465,000 $460,000 0.0 % 1.1 %
Tulare $372,000 $370,520 $350,000 0.4 % 6.3 %
Far North
Butte $436,250 $429,000 $441,000 1.7 % -1.1 %
Lassen $225,000 $280,000 $199,000 -19.6 % 13.1 %
Plumas $412,000 $364,050 $380,000 13.2 % 8.4 %
Shasta $365,000 $379,000 $370,000 -3.7 % -1.4 %
Siskiyou $305,500 $296,000 $360,000 3.2 % -15.1 %
Tehama $312,050 $320,000 $301,000 -2.5 % 3.7 %
Trinity $205,000 $320,000 $256,000 -35.9 % -19.9 %
Other CA Counties
Amador $490,000 $442,000 $449,900 10.9 % 8.9 %
Calaveras $475,000 $476,500 $464,950 -0.3 % 2.2 %
Del Norte $382,500 $349,000 $378,960 9.6 % 0.9 %
El Dorado $657,000 $650,000 $627,000 1.1 % 4.8 %
Humboldt $421,920 $465,000 $465,000 -9.3 % -9.3 %
Lake $325,000 $335,000 $330,000 -3.0 % -1.5 %
Mariposa $480,000 $459,000 $450,000 4.6 % 6.7 %
Mendocino $560,000 $540,000 $502,500 3.7 % 11.4 %
Mono $970,000 $785,000 $797,500 23.6 % 21.6 %
Nevada $555,000 $579,900 $580,000 -4.3 % -4.3 %
Sutter $425,000 $402,000 $455,000 5.7 % -6.6 %
Tuolumne $389,500 $463,500 $407,500 -16.0 % -4.4 %
Yolo $622,500 $625,000 $631,000 -0.4 % -1.3 %
Yuba $449,500 $415,000 $425,000 8.3 % 5.8 %

Despite continuing cost increases, C.A.R. officials say home-buying interest remains high.

“As California housing prices continue to stabilize, buyers and sellers on the sidelines will get back into the market once interest rates begin to moderate in the fourth quarter,” said Jennifer Branchini, a Bay Area realtor and the Association’s president.

In recent weeks, California has announced a slew of initiatives to increase housing availability in areas where there is a severe lack of in-fill housing.

In late August, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Strategic Growth Council announced plans to inject $757 million in “jobs-rich” areas to create more affordable housing and clean transit services. That announcement came just days after the Governor revealed the state would be delivering $239 million to accelerate the process of building more than 5,000 green-friendly homes in several regions. 

Both of those initiatives are targeted in neighborhoods that are ideal places to build cleaner, more walkable communities.

As housing affordability and availability continue to be among the biggest challenges in the Golden State, Newsom has indicated plans to cut red tape in order to build more green energy projects, particularly in the housing sector.

California has set ambitious goals to build 2.5 million new homes over the next several years, including 1 million specifically designated as “affordable.”

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