According to the California Association of Realtors, housing demand in California continued to fall sharply as rising interest rates further dampened the state's housing market in November 2022. California's home sales registered the lowest annualized pace since October 2007 and the largest year-over-year sales drop in at least the past four decades.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 237,740 in November, according to information collected by C.A.R.
The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2022 if sales maintained the November pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. November's sales pace was down 13.2 percent on a monthly basis from 274,040 in October and down 47.7 percent from a year ago, when 454,450 homes were sold on an annualized basis. The year-to-year sales decline was the biggest since 1980.
Home sales have been on a downward trend for 17 straight months on a year-over-year basis. It was the fourth time in the last five months that sales dropped more than 30 percent from the year-ago level. The monthly 13.2 percent sales decline was worse than the long-run average of -0.5 percent change recorded between October and November in the past 43 years. Sales in all price segments dropped more than 40 percent year-over-year, with the $2 million plus price segment falling the most at 47.7percent. The most affordable market (sub-$300,000) experienced the smallest sales drop at 41.4 percent.
"While interest rates are higher than year-ago levels, they have been declining since early November from the recent peak of over 7 percent," said C.A.R. President Jennifer Branchini. "With home prices cooling and market competition easing in recent months, some qualified buyers who missed out on the hurried market of the last two years are taking advantage of the shift and finding sellers more willing to negotiate than they have been up to this point."
California's median home price declined for the third straight month, dropping 3.0 percent in November to $777,500 from the $801,190 recorded in October. November's price was 0.6 percent lower than the $782,480 recorded last November and marked the first year-over-year price decline in 30 months. The November 2022 price was also the lowest since February 2022.
"As expected, higher borrowing costs, lower demand, and rising uncertainty finally caused prices to moderate for the first time in more than a decade while home sales dropped further," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. "With mortgage rates rising at the fastest pace in years, sales and price growth will likely remain on a downward trend in the short term. However, pending sales suggest that the pace of declines should moderate in the coming months."
Key Data From California's November 2022 Home Sales Report: