A seven-year high in California mortgage rates in November may have led to an eight-year low in home sales in December, according to new information supplied by CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. Other contributing factors include more stock market volatility and a continued hold-out by some would-be buyers who are hoping it will pay to wait.
Two of the more affluent sections of the state saw significant declines. According to the CoreLogic research, in the six-county Southern California region, 15,781 new and existing houses and condos sold in December, down 20.3 percent year over year. December’s median sale price was $515,000, up 1.1 percent year over year. In the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, 5,341 new and existing houses and condos sold in December 2018, down 21.6 percent year over year. December’s median sale price was $785,000, up 4.6 percent year over year.
Year-over-year gains in median prices for December were the lowest seen since March 2012. According to CoreLogic, the median price paid for all new and existing houses and condos sold statewide in December 2018 was $475,000, down 3.1 percent from November and up 2.0 percent from December 2017. The 2 percent annual gain in last December’s median was the lowest for any month since March 2012, when it rose 0.4 percent. In December 2017 the state’s median rose 8.4 percent year over year.