California September 2020 Statistics
- Existing, single-family home sales totaled 489,590 in September on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 5.2 percent from August and up 21.2 percent from September 2019.
- September’s statewide median home price was $712,430 up 0.8 percent from August and up 17.6 percent from September 2019.
- More than nine out of ten counties (47 of 51) tracked by C.A.R. experienced a year-over-year gain in closed sales, with Plumas increasing the most from last year at 130.3 percent, followed by Amador (122.4%) and Mono (118.8%). Counties with an increase from last year averaged a gain of 39.2 percent. Sales fell in four counties, with Merced declining the most at 20.8 percent from last year.
- Sales in resort communities remained hot in September as housing demand in those areas continued to surge from last year. South Lake Tahoe home sales continued to increase year-over-year by triple-digits (105.4%) for the second consecutive month, while Rim O’ the World and Tahoe Sierra surged from a year ago by 107.6 percent and 73.6 percent, respectively. The flexibility to work from home and the desire to move away from metropolitan areas continued to motivate home buyers to flock to resort communities where they can get more home for their money.
- At the regional level, all major regions posted double-digit price increases from last year. The Central Coast had the highest increase in median price, rising 20.6 percent from last year, followed by the San Francisco Bay Area (20.5%), the Far North (19.0%), Southern California (15.2%), and the Central Valley (14.6%). All regions except the San Francisco Bay Area set a new high in median price in September.
- All but one of 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. reported a year-over-year price gain, with 39 of them growing 10 percent or more. Lassen had the highest price increase, gaining 51.4 percent year-over-year. Humboldt was the only county where the median price was flat from a year ago, and no counties experienced an annual price decline.
- For-sale properties continued to be added to the market at a pace slower than normal, and housing supply remained significantly below last year’s level. The year-over-year decline of 48.4 percent in September was the fourth consecutive month with active listings falling more than 40 percent from the prior year.
- With sales remaining robust and the growth in active listing continuing its declining trend, C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index (UII) dipped to the lowest level since November 2004. The UII fell sharply from 3.6 months in September 2019 to 2.0 months this September.
- Active listings continued to decline significantly in all major regions. The Central Coast had the biggest drop (-60.3%) from last September, followed by the Central Valley (-51.5%), Southern California (-49.9%), the Far North (-43.9%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (-31.9%). Forty-nine of the 51 counties reported by C.A.R. experienced a year-over-year decline in active listings in September. Santa Barbara had the biggest drop from last year (83.7%), followed by San Bernardino (65.8%) and Merced (65.7%). Twenty-five counties had less than half the active listings they had in September 2019. San Francisco (47.2%) and San Mateo (2.6%) continued to be the only counties in California with an increase in active listings from the prior year.
- Housing inventory tightened by double-digits in all price segments, but the constraint was more pronounced in the affordable markets. Active listings in every price range continued to decline sharply from last year, with for-sale properties priced below $1 million falling 56 percent on a year-over-year basis. Compared to a year ago, the supply for homes priced between $1 million and $3 million declined 30.4 percent, and homes priced at or above the $3 million benchmark declined 19.4 percent.
- The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home was 11 days in September, down from 24 in September 2019. The September 2020 figure was the lowest ever recorded.
- C.A.R.’s statewide sales-price-to-list-price ratio* was 100 percent in September 2020 and 98.5 percent in September 2019.
- The statewide average price per square foot** for an existing single-family home was $321 in September 2020 and $287 in September 2019.
- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 2.89 percent in September, down from 3.61 percent in September 2019, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate was an average of 2.98 percent, compared to 3.38 percent in September 2019.
“As motivated buyers continue to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in history, home sales will be elevated in the next couple of months, and the housing market should remain a bright spot in a broader economy that continues to struggle,” said C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “And with many employers allowing the flexibility of working remotely, homebuyers now also have the option of searching in less expensive areas where homes are more affordable and buyers can get more home for their money.”
Reflecting the rise in home prices, consumers continue to say it is a good time to sell, according to C.A.R.’s monthly Consumer Housing Sentiment Index. Conducted in early October, the poll found that 56 percent of consumers said it is a good time to sell, down from 58 percent a month ago, but up from 52 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, low interest rates continue to fuel the optimism for homebuying; 28 percent of the consumers who responded to the poll believed that now is a good time to buy a home, up from last year, when 22 percent said it was a good time to buy a home.