California buyers are taking advantage of extremely low interest rates and lower prices, and the results are positive, according to the December sales report from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.). In the first half of the year, prices were higher, but bottomed out in December, boosting sales up 5.9 percent from November.
C.A.R. collected data from over 90 California Realtor associations and found that sales were up from November 2010 but were still lower than the 6.8 percent from December 2009.
“While sales rose in December, the sales pace in the second half of the year was lower than the first half as the housing market weaned itself off home buyer tax credits,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.
Fewer listings and increased sales led to a drop in C.A.R.'s unsold inventory index from 6.2 months in November to 5.0 in December. Furthermore, thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage interest was 4.93 percent in December of 2009 and down to 4.71 in December of 2010. Meanwhile the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home jumped from 35.1 days in 2009 to 57.5 in December 2010.
The report covers 329 cities in the state of California, with statistics generated by C.A.R. from surveys collected from associations of Realtors throughout the state. C.A.R. has more than 100 years of realty experience and is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, serving approximately 160,00 members. C.A.R. headquarters are in Los Angeles.