California home sales pop in October

A home in Palo Alto with a sale pending.
(Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

Home sales in California jumped 15.4% in October, indicating the state’s housing recovery continued into the typically slower fall season.

California’s housing market has been on an upward swing this year. The rebound stems from more people chasing fewer homes as interest rates remain low and inventory sinks.

As well as rising from September’s level, home sales were up 15.2% from October 2011, according to real estate firm DataQuick. The statewide median price was $285,000 last month, a 0.7% decline from the prior month but up 18.8% from October 2011.


“We’re definitely seeing less distress and foreclosure activity, and more mid- to up-market sales,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in a statement. “Supply is limited, and getting through the mortgage process is still rough.”

The group estimated that about 39,254 newly built and previously owned homes sold across the state in October. In the resale market, 17.4% of homes sold last month were foreclosures. That was down from a revised 18% in September and 34% in October 2011.

In the Bay Area and in Southern California, sales in cheaper neighborhoods fell but took off in so-called move-up and pricier areas. Foreclosed homes made up a little more than 1 in 5 homes in Southern California and a little over 1 in 10 homes in the Bay Area.


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