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President’s Corner California home sales up in September, Lodi’s median home price rises

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Melanie Pennino

Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2010 8:08 am

California home sales posted their second consecutive monthly gain in September, but were down from the same period a year ago, according to data from the California Association of Realtors.

“We’ve seen a gradual improvement in the market over the past few months as we moved away from the influence of the tax credits, which pulled sales forward to the first part of the year,” said C.A.R. President Steve Goddard.  “Additionally, the current mortgage moratoria, which weren’t announced until the end of September, wouldn’t have affected September sales.”

Statewide home resale activity rose 3.8 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 466,580, up from August’s revised pace of 449,290, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide.  The September pace was down 12.2 percent from the revised 531,180 sales pace recorded in September 2009. 

The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2010 if sales maintained the September pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California during September was $309,900, down 2.7 percent from August’s $318,660 median price.  However, September’s median price was up 4.5 percent from the $296,610 median price recorded for the same period a year ago, marking 11 consecutive months of year-over-year price gains. 

Here are other highlights of C.A.R.’s resale housing report for September 2010 along with local statistics supplied by Metrolist MLS Trendvision data:

• Contrary to the national picture, the housing supply in California has been below normal throughout 2010.  C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes remained relatively unchanged in September at 6.2 months but was up from the 4.5 months recorded in September 2009.  The index was 6.1 months in August.  The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.  Inventory of listings in Lodi and the surrounding area is up from 1.6 months in September 2009 to 3.8 months in 2010.

• Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.35 percent during September 2010, compared with 5.06 percent in September 2009, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 3.46 percent in September 2010, compared with 4.59 percent in September 2009.

• The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 52.5 days in September 2010 compared with 33.5 days for the same period a year ago. Average days on the market for our local area are 75 days compared to 54 days in a year ago.

• Lodi was among the top cities statewide with the greatest median home price increase in September 2010 compared with the same period a year ago.  The median home price in Lodi is noted to have increased 29 percent.  Other cities were: San Bernardino, 37 percent; Ridgecrest, 35 percent; Fairfield, 30 percent; Salinas, 30 percent; Sonoma, 27 percent; Pomona, 27 percent; Escondido, 26 percent; Placentia, 24 percent; and Compton, 21 percent.

While the report seems to have both good and not as good news, local Realtors continue to assist clients in the sale and purchase of well priced homes.  Local Realtors have the most up to date information on the current trends in our area and would be happy to share it with you.

Melanie Pennino is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors.  You can reach her at