California’s housing market surges in April

Buyers and real estate agents look over a 1920s California bungalow for sale in Highland Park in 2012.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

California’s housing market surged last month as prices jumped from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The state’s median home price in April ticked up 3.5% from the previous month and soared 22.7% from the same month a year ago. The median hit $324,000 in April, which is the highest for any month since June 2008, real estate firm DataQuick reported.


In the Southland, homes sold at their fastest clip for an April in seven years, with regular buyers and investors snapping up more than 21,000 homes in the six-county region. In the Bay Area, the median home price rose above the $500,000 mark for the first time since June 2008.

PHOTOS: Expensive homes | Southern California sales get outrageous

“There’s somewhat of a perfect storm here, statistically speaking,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in a news release Wednesday announcing the Bay Area statistics. “The pent-up demand, the economy, interest rates, investor buying.”

Statewide, last month’s median -- the price at which half the homes sold for more and half for less -- was up 3.5% from March and 22.7% from April 2012. April was the 14th month in a row in which the state’s median home price rose year-over-year.


A big contributor to the increase in the median is the decline in foreclosed homes on the market. Of the previously owned homes sold last month 13.5% were foreclosures, compared with 30.3% in the previous April. Statewide, home sales last month were the strongest for an April in seven years with nearly 49,000 units sold.

The housing market is boosting confidence among builders. On Wednesday the National Assn. of Home Builders said its index of confidence in the housing market gained three points to 44 from a downwardly revised 41 in April.


The increase reflected improvements in sales conditions and sales expectations and rising numbers of prospective buyers touring model homes. But the index still depicts tepidness in the market: Any reading below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than view them as good.



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