• For release:
    January 8, 2015

    California REALTORS® applaud lowering of FHA mortgage insurance premium

    LOS ANGELES (Jan. 8) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's upcoming announcement to cut the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points.

    "Reducing FHA mortgage insurance premiums will make it easier for hundreds of thousands of home buyers to get a mortgage and provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups and credit worthy families," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Moreover, this shift in policy will also increase the volume of borrowers using FHA-backed loans, while continuing to contribute to the solvency of FHA's Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund and making the dream of homeownership a reality for millions more Americans."

    The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) estimates that in 2013, nearly 400,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market because of high FHA insurance premiums. Over the past four years, the share of first-time home buyers using FHA-backed loans shrank from 56 percent to 39 percent.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer has been named one of the 200 most powerful people in residential real estate, ranking No. 32, according to the 2015 edition of Swanepoel Power 200.

    "The SP200 serves to identify those leaders that impact and lead the residential real estate brokerage industry," said Rob Hahn, executive editor of the Swanepoel Power 200. "We acknowledge their enormous influence and contribution to our industry by detailing their role in improving the overall home buying transaction and the real estate business in particular.

    Swanepoel states, "These are the leaders of our industry. They are the drivers! They are the ones making the biggest difference!...There is no pay-to-play, no old boys club, and no favors for friends."

    See the full list.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • Northern California REALTOR® Chris Kutzkey was installed as the new C.A.R President by Gov. Jerry Brown during the C.A.R. Directors meetings in Indian Wells over the weekend.

    The governor also addressed C.A.R. directors before the installation dinner, commending the directors on their political involvement and thanking them for their daily efforts to help strengthen California's economy through the promotion of homeownership.

    Gov. Brown also noted it will be important to work together to find a solution to the state's housing affordability crisis.


    Feb. 2, 2015

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    November 24, 2014

    HUD Secretary Julián Castro stresses need for expanding credit and reforming housing finance system at C.A.R.'s inaugural Real Estate Summit

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 24) – An audience of nearly 300 real estate executives and practitioners, industry stakeholders, economists, and policymakers gathered this month in Los Angeles for the inaugural Real Estate Summit: Partnering for Change in California, which featured a keynote speech from U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro. Convened by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.), Secretary Castro, along with other industry thought leaders, exchanged ideas and solutions about housing affordability, California's infrastructure, consumer trends, and foreign investment challenges.

    Notably, Secretary Castro's speech signaled a shift in tone at HUD about opening the doors of homeownership to every American who's responsible and ready to buy following a period of constrained access in response to the financial crisis. Castro and other speakers at the invitation-only event directly addressed a variety of pressing issues related to real estate, homeownership, and the state's economy.

    "While we are considered the 'golden state,' our state of affairs is facing many challenges," expressed C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Having Secretary Castro shed light on the U.S. housing situation created a forum that allowed the top economists in our state, along with policy makers and CEOs to share ideas, exchange viewpoints, and challenge possible solutions with the goal of moving the needle to solving some of these issues."

    Castro's remarks were the centerpiece of a variety of viewpoints offered by dozens of influential policymakers, business leaders, and top real estate economists from partner institutions, including the UC Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, UC Irvine Center for Real Estate, UCLA Anderson Forecast, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, and Stanford Professionals in Real Estate.

    Castro addressed the need for housing finance reform and expanding access to credit, particularly for communities of color because lending to minorities is at a 14-year low after they were the hardest hit by the economic crisis. He added that it's time to remove the stigma from promoting homeownership and wants to make helping responsible people buy their first home one of his top priorities. "The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and now we've got to move the market back to a point that balances opportunity with responsibility," Castro said.

    "When I talk about helping more responsible borrowers access credit, it doesn't mean returning to the lending abuses of the past. We are talking about helping families who are recovering from the great recession—and doing everything right—rebuild the American dream."

    "One of the factors holding back the market is that many folks are feeling unsure about their financial security," said Castro. "Young people today are using their money to pay off loans rather than save for a down payment. If we help them prosper, our housing market will prosper."

    Castro continued to emphasize the challenges and possible solutions in lending practices toward minorities, President Obama's housing agenda, the Federal Housing Administration, and housing finance reform.

    C.A.R. Chief Executive Officer Joel Singer set the stage for the day with a brief discussion about the state of California's housing market, saying that in 1976, California was more affordable than the nation as whole, but in the past 20 years, affordability has dropped more steeply than the nation. "The housing market has slowed down in areas where we saw a strong recovery, and even with interest rates around 4 percent, the demand for housing is less than we anticipated due to diminished housing affordability," said Singer.

    In four separate panel discussions, top real estate leaders and economists also addressed four key subjects, including housing financing and homeownership; the impact of foreign investment on the state's economy; changing demographics; and the state's aging infrastructure.
    Key to the homeownership discussion was the impact of the younger millennial generation – members of which are delaying marriage, preferring the flexibility of renting and who no longer see homeownership as a primary aspiration. "We have to offer a cautionary note about homeownership," Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA's Ziman Center for Real Estate said. "We have a lot of recent evidence that low down payment mortgages won't work well. We want mortgages and a housing finance system that performs."

    Foreign investment panel discussants agreed that the influx of foreign capital is one the strongest drivers of real estate. "While many of us here see our market as soft, from an international perspective, we have a very strong marketplace. As a result, international investors – such as those from Canada a year ago and more recently Chinese investors, who in the past year have invested $22 billion into our housing market – see the U.S. as a strong, stable, and in fact, undervalued market," said Richard Green, director of USC's Lusk Center for Real Estate. "As a result, they see it as a safe place to invest their money."

    To view video of Castro's full remarks as well as each of the day's four panels, visit the Real Estate Summit website.

    Leading the way® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with nearly 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    # # #

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    December 9, 2014

    C.A.R. applauds Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's 3 percent down payment option

    LOS ANGELES (Dec. 9) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's move to lower down payments to as little as 3 percent for first-time home buyers and permit refinancing borrowers to reduce equity to 3 percent to cover closing costs.

    "C.A.R. commends Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for expanding access to credit for well-qualified first-time buyers struggling to enter the housing market," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Saving enough money for a down payment is the biggest hurdle for most first-time home buyers, but this program will help remove that barrier, and at the same time, lenders can be assured they are providing a safe, affordable loan to creditworthy borrowers."

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    December 22, 2014

    Baby boomers still play active role in housing market, C.A.R. survey finds

    Previous homeowners twice as likely to buy again as non-owners

    LOS ANGELES (Dec. 22) – As the wealthiest generation and the first to drive the housing market, baby boomers will continue to be a pillar of the housing market, according to a 2014 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) survey of California baby boomers* (born between 1946 and 1964).

    While nearly half (46 percent) of baby boomer renters who previously owned a home sold it primarily due to financial reasons, the vast majority still have a strong desire to purchase a home.

    The survey found that 63 percent of boomer renters would be motivated to buy a home if they saw an improvement in their finances, affordable home prices, or other reasons. Moreover, 22 percent said they expect to buy a home in the next five years.

    "Baby boomers are in their peak earning years and will continue to wield great influence on the housing market," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Even those who went through financial difficulties during the economic crisis recognize the benefits of homeownership and would rather buy another home than rent."

    Baby boomer renters who previously owned a home are also in a better financial position to purchase a home, having a higher average annual household income ($78,570) than those boomers who have never owned a home ($39,825).

    Nearly half (45 percent) of boomer renters have previously owned a home and are more likely to buy again than those who have not owned before by about a two-to-one margin (31 percent vs. 17 percent).

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s "2014 Baby Boomer Survey" include:

    • Nearly all homeowners (92 percent) have equity in their home, but 77 percent said they don't plan to use the home equity for income during retirement.
    • More than half of homeowner boomers (59 percent) don't plan to sell their home when they retire, with 78 percent of them indicating they won't sell because they like their current home.
    • Out of the 10 percent of current homeowners who plan on selling their home when they retire, nearly half (47 percent) plan to downsize to a smaller home, and 44 percent plan to move out of California.
    • Despite the recent economic recession, only one in four baby boomers had to postpone retirement. On average, they plan to retire in nine years, with 67 percent saying they plan to retire within 10 years.
    • Three in 10 baby boomers live with their children, with 2 percent saying they moved in with their children; 8 percent of them saying their children moved back in with them; and 21 percent saying their children never moved out. The majority of those living with their children live with adult children mainly due to their children's financial troubles. Baby boomers pay for a majority of living expenses, with their children only contributing a median of $325 monthly for living expenses.
    • Improved affordability would motivate boomer renters to buy a home, but 37 percent said they don't want to buy.
    • Less than half of boomer renters (47 percent) have debt that would prevent them from buying a home.

    California Baby Boomer Survey Slides (click links to open):

    Majority of boomer renters want to buy a home
    Boomer renters expect to buy within 5 years
    Boomers living with their children

    *Approximately 8.6 million baby boomers currently reside in California. (U.S. Census Bureau)

    C.A.R.'s "2014 California Baby Boomer Survey" was conducted in September 2014 in an effort to learn more about baby boomers' attitudes toward home buying and homeownership. The online survey polled 623 California residents age 50-68. For complete survey results, visit

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    March 19, 2015

    C.A.R. statement on Legislative Analyst's Office housing report

    LOS ANGELES (March 19) The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement on a report titled, "California's High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences," released this week by California's Legislative Analyst's Office:

    "The Legislative Analyst's Office report on housing is completely on target. California's high cost of housing is putting the squeeze on the state's residents and making it difficult to attain the American Dream or just keep a roof over their heads," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Providing safe and affordable access to capital and revising outdated underwriting methods will help increase homeownership opportunities. Moreover, to improve housing supply, thoughtful upzoning is one of the best things we can do to get better land use."

    The report found that California's high housing costs make the state a less attractive place to call home, making it more difficult for companies to hire and retain qualified employees, likely preventing the state's economy from meeting its full potential. Housing has long been more expensive than most of the rest of the country – about 2 ½ times the average national home price, while California's average monthly rent, $1,240, is about 50 percent higher than the average U.S. rent, according to the report.

    The higher cost is primarily driven by less housing being built in the state's major coastal markets, where demand for homes is highest and prices are bid up. For example, between 1980 and 2010, new home construction in the state's coastal metro areas increased 32 percent, compared with 54 percent nationally, the report said. Home building was even slower in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the supply of new housing grew only around 20 percent.

    The California Environmental Quality Act is a significant factor in inhibiting developers from increasing the supply of housing and building higher density housing, according to the report. Local governments must conduct a detailed review of the potential environmental effects of new housing construction prior to approving it.

    The report urges the legislature to pass laws that would promote more density in urban areas. It also advises the legislature to consider changes to the state's environmental review process for new development, as well as changes to local land use and authority.

    View the full report.

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    March 23, 2015

    California pending home sales climb in February to post biggest annual increase in nearly six years

    Pending sales data for San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions now included

    LOS ANGELES (March 23) – Pending home sales in California soared in February to record the first double-digit annual gain in nearly three years and the third straight year-to-year increase, suggesting improved market conditions and more closed transactions in the coming months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Additionally, C.A.R. this month is now reporting pending home sales data for the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions.

    Pending home sales data:

    • California pending home sales jumped in February, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* increasing 24.8 percent from a revised 89.9 in January to 112.2, based on signed contracts. The month-to-month increase easily topped the long-run average increase of 17.9 percent observed in the last seven years.

    • Statewide pending home sales were up 15.6 percent on an annual basis from the 97.1 index recorded in February 2014. The yearly increase was the largest since April 2009 and was the first double-digit gain since April 2012.

    • San Francisco Bay Area's PHSI stood at 124.8 in February, up 23.3 percent from 101.2 in January and 13.1 percent from 110.3 percent in February 2014.

    • Pending home sales in Southern California jumped 25 percent in February to reach an index of 98.9, up 15.2 percent from 85.8 in February 2014.

    • Central Valley pending sales soared 57.1 percent from January to reach an index of 83.7 in February, up 15 percent from 72.8 in February 2014.

    Equity and distressed housing market data:

    • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – grew slightly as a share of the market after declining for three straight months. Equity sales made up more than 89 percent of all home sales in February, up from 88.1 percent in January and 85 percent in February 2014. Equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales since July 2013 and have risen to or near 90 percent since mid-2014.

    • Meanwhile, the combined share of all distressed property sales fell in February, down from 11.9 percent in January to 10.9 percent in February. Distressed sales made up 15 percent of total sales a year ago. Seventeen of the 43 counties that C.A.R. reported show month-to-month decreases in their distressed sales shares, with Amador and Mariposa having the smallest share of distressed sales at 0 percent, followed by San Mateo (2 percent) and Marin (3 percent). Glenn County had the highest share of distressed sales at 36 percent, followed by Yuba (25 percent) and Siskiyou (24 percent).

    February REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

    In a separate report, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.'s February Market Pulse Survey saw fewer multiple offers but an increase in open house traffic, compared to a year ago. The Market Pulse Survey is a new monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

    • In a sign of a less competitive housing market, about one in five homes (21 percent) sold above asking price, down from its peak of 40 percent in March 2014 and from 34 percent a year ago. The share rose slightly from the lowest point of 16 percent in January. Nearly half of homes (49 percent) closed below asking price, down from 55 percent in January.

    • In February, homes that sold above asking price sold for 10 percent above asking price, down from 12 percent in January, but up from 6.8 percent in February 2014.

    • Homes that sold below asking price sold for 11 percent below asking price, unchanged from January. The number of homes that had listing price reductions has remained steady at 31 percent since December 2014.

    • Sixty-one percent of properties received multiple offers in February, up from 58 percent in January but down from 71 percent a year ago.

    • The average number of offers per property in February was 2.6, essentially unchanged from 2.5 in January but down from 2.9 a year ago.

    • Floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic were down from January, but responding REALTORS® indicated open house traffic and off-MLS listings were up from February a year ago.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    Pending home sales by region.
    Transactions closing below asking price.
    Properties receiving multiple offers.
    Listing price reductions.

    Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales

    Type of Sale Feb-15 Jan-15 Feb-14
    Equity Sales 89.1% 88.1% 85.0%
    Total Distressed Sales 10.9% 11.9% 15.0%
    REOs 6.0% 5.8% 6.4%
    Short Sales 4.5% 5.5% 8.1%
    Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 0.5% 0.6% 0.6%
    All Sales 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

    Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties

    (Percent of total sales)

    County Feb-15 Jan-15 Feb-14
    Alameda 6% 5% 9%
    Amador 0% 9% 19%
    Butte 15% 13% 17%
    Calaveras 13% 22% NA
    Contra Costa 7% 9% 10%
    El Dorado 13% 12% 17%
    Fresno 16% 19% 29%
    Glenn 36% 33% 25%
    Humboldt 14% 9% 15%
    Kern 13% 14% 18%
    Kings 22% 25% 36%
    Lake 18% 21% 36%
    Los Angeles 10% 10% 14%
    Madera 14% 12% 22%
    Marin 3% 6% 7%
    Mariposa 0% 0% 17%
    Mendocino 17% 19% 24%
    Merced 17% 11% 16%
    Monterey 9% 2% 14%
    Napa 8% 15% 15%
    Orange 6% 8% 8%
    Placer 8% 12% 16%
    Plumas 16% 30% 27%
    Riverside 13% 15% 18%
    Sacramento 15% 18% 19%
    San Benito 7% 6% 5%
    San Bernardino 15% 17% 23%
    San Diego 7% 8% 5%
    San Francisco 4% 1% 4%
    San Joaquin 13% 13% 25%
    San Luis Obispo 8% 6% 10%
    San Mateo 2% 2% 7%
    Santa Clara 4% 3% 8%
    Santa Cruz 9% 2% 12%
    Shasta 19% 20% 19%
    Siskiyou 24% 26% 34%
    Solano 15% 11% 22%
    Sonoma 8% 6% 11%
    Stanislaus 15% 12% 25%
    Sutter 15% 20% 17%
    Tulare 22% 16% 20%
    Yolo 14% 10% 13%
    Yuba 25% 22% 24%
    California 11% 12% 15%

    *Note: C.A.R.'s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market. A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property. The majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later. The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

    **C.A.R.'s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • DSnews: GSEs' HAMP modifications perform better than non-HAMP mods
    By Brian Honea
    The number of delinquent mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were modified through the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is in many cases less than half the delinquency rate of GSE loans not modified through HAMP, according to the Q4 2014 Foreclosure Prevention Report released late last week.

    Los Angeles Times: Orange County housing shortage could drive out workers, hurt economy
    By Tim Logan
    In a report out Tuesday, the Orange County Business Council projects that the county's housing shortfall will deepen sharply unless communities there build more apartments and houses at a greater density.

    The New York Times: Foreclosure to home free, as 5-year clock expires
    By Michael Corkery
    In a growing number of foreclosure cases filed when home prices collapsed during the financial crisis, lenders may never be able to seize the homes because the state statutes of limitations have been exceeded, according to interviews with housing lawyers and a review of state and federal court decisions.


    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    February 12, 2015

    California housing affordability inches up from third quarter, slips from year ago.

    Nineteen regions see improvement, with Santa Barbara, Contra Costa, Napa, and Los Angeles counties leading the way

    LOS ANGELES (Feb. 12) – California housing affordability improved from third-quarter 2014 but dipped when compared to a year ago, as lower interest rates failed to offset higher home prices, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California in fourth-quarter 2014 edged up to 31 percent from the 30 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2014 but was down from a revised 32 percent in fourth-quarter 2013, according to C.A.R.'s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI). This is the seventh consecutive quarter that the index was below 40 percent and is near the mid-2008 level of 29 percent. California's housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

    C.A.R.'s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. C.A.R. also reports affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for home buyers in the state.

    Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $91,550 to qualify for the purchase of a $452,140 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2014. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, would be $2,290, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.2 percent. The effective composite interest rate in third-quarter 2014 was 4.23 percent and 4.43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

    The median home price was $467,280 in third-quarter 2014, and an annual income of $94,880 was needed to purchase a home at that price.

    Key points from the fourth-quarter 2014 Housing Affordability report include:

    • Compared to affordability in third-quarter 2014, 19 regions saw an improvement in housing affordability, three saw declines, and nine were unchanged.
    • Only San Francisco, Madera, and Merced counties saw a drop in affordability due to price increases from the previous quarter.
    • Santa Barbara, Contra Costa, Napa, and Los Angeles counties saw the greatest quarter-to-quarter improvement in housing affordability due to price declines.
    • During the fourth quarter of 2014, the five most affordable counties in California were Kings (64 percent), San Bernardino (57 percent), Tulare (56 percent), Madera (56 percent), Merced (53 percent), and Fresno (53 percent). • San Francisco (14 percent), San Mateo (15 percent), Marin (15 percent), and Santa Cruz (17 percent) counties were the least affordable areas of the state.

    Housing Affordability slides (click link to open)

    Affordability peak versus current*
    Annual income peak versus current*
    PITI peak versus current

    Traditional Housing Affordability Index

    C.A.R. Region Housing
    Affordability Index
    Median Home
    Monthly Payment Including Taxes & Insurance Minimum
    Qualifying Income
    CA SFH 31 $ 452,140 $ 2,290 $ 91,550
    CA Condo/Townhomes 39 $ 369,240 $ 1,870 $ 74,770
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 34 $ 414,040 $ 2,100 $ 83,840
    Inland Empire 47 $ 277,730 $ 1,410 $ 56,240
    S.F. Bay Area 21 $ 742,880 $ 3,760 $ 150,420
    US 59 $ 208,700 $ 1,060 $ 42,260
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 20 $ 703,370 $ 3,560 $ 142,420
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 23 $ 698,300 $ 3,530 $ 141,400
    Marin 15 $ 1,009,610 $ 5,110 $ 204,430
    Napa 24 $ 581,040 $ 2,940 $ 117,650
    San Francisco 14 $ 962,390 $ 4,870 $ 194,870
    San Mateo 15 $ 1,050,000 $ 5,320 $ 212,610
    Santa Clara 22 $ 855,000 $ 4,330 $ 173,130
    Solano 50 $ 327,590 $ 1,660 $ 66,330
    Sonoma 29 $ 494,440 $ 2,500 $ 100,120
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 28 $ 450,880 $ 2,280 $ 91,300
    Orange County 21 $ 688,450 $ 3,490 $ 139,400
    Riverside County 41 $ 321,610 $ 1,630 $ 65,120
    San Bernardino 57 $ 212,310 $ 1,070 $ 42,990
    San Diego 27 $ 493,110 $ 2,500 $ 99,850
    Ventura 29 $ 569,190 $ 2,880 $ 115,250
    Central Coast
    Monterey 27 $ 451,550 $ 2,290 $ 91,430
    San Luis Obispo 26 $ 468,000 $ 2,370 $ 94,760
    Santa Barbara 21 $ 626,370 $ 3,170 $ 126,830
    Santa Cruz 17 $ 700,050 $ 3,540 $ 141,750
    Central Valley
    Fresno 53 $ 201,840 $ 1,020 $ 40,870
    Kings County 64 $ 181,050 $ 920 $ 36,660
    Madera 56 $ 191,250 $ 970 $ 38,730
    Merced 53 $ 182,960 $ 930 $ 37,050
    Placer County 45 $ 380,040 $ 1,920 $ 76,950
    Sacramento 49 $ 268,660 $ 1,360 $ 54,400
    Tulare 56 $ 180,950 $ 920 $ 36,640

    Traditional Housing Affordability Index

    STATE/REGION/COUNTY Q4 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2013
    CA SFH 31 30 32
    CA Condo/Townhomes 39 39 41
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 34 32 34
    Inland Empire 47 47 49
    S.F. Bay Area 21 21 23
    US 59 57 58
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 20 19 23
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 23 19 24 r
    Marin 15 15 19 r
    Napa 24 21 29
    San Francisco 14 15 16
    San Mateo 15 15 16
    Santa Clara 22 21 23
    Solano 50 49 56
    Sonoma 29 29 30 r
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 28 25 r 30
    Orange County 21 20 20
    Riverside County 41 41 43
    San Bernardino 57 57 62
    San Diego 27 25 28
    Ventura 29 27 31
    Central Coast
    Monterey 27 27 29
    San Luis Obispo 26 24 24
    Santa Barbara 21 14 18
    Santa Cruz 17 17 17
    Central Valley
    Fresno 53 53 55
    Kings County 64 64 63 r
    Madera 56 58 67
    Merced 53 55 60
    Placer County 45 44 47 r
    Sacramento 49 48 51
    Tulare 56 56 60

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    February 17, 2015

    International home-buying activity remains strong in California, C.A.R. survey finds
    China, Canada, and Mexico were top countries of origin of international buyers

    LOS ANGELES (Feb. 17) – Despite a slowing in the California housing market and appreciation of the U.S. dollar in 2014, international home-buying activity continued its momentum, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2014 International Home Buyers Survey." The survey showed that one of six (14 percent) participating REALTORS® closed a transaction with an international client, unchanged from the previous year.

    More than one in three international buyers (36 percent) were from China and their purchases remained very cash-strong. Two-thirds (66 percent) of international buyers paid all cash, down slightly from 69 percent in 2013. Those who purchased homes below $500,000 had the greatest tendency to pay all cash (66 percent), compared to those who purchased homes costing $500,000 to $1 million (57 percent).

    Being more affluent than the average California home buyer, overseas buyers purchased more expensive homes at a median price of $490,000, compared to 2014's single-family median home price of $447,000.

    Those who purchased homes below $500,000 had the highest percentage of investment purchases (40 percent), compared to those who purchased homes between $500,000 and $1 million (17 percent for investment) or those who purchased homes over $1 million (34 percent for investment reasons).

    Other findings from C.A.R.'s 2014 International Home Buyers Survey include:

    • Thirty-six percent of international buyers in California were from China, 11 percent were from Canada, and 9.1 percent were from Mexico. The United Kingdom and India round out the top five countries of origin, with both under 5 percent.
    • Nearly half of overseas buyers purchased a home in the suburbs. The percentage who purchased in a city center or urban area declined from 38 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2014, while purchases in small towns/rural areas increased from 9 percent to 10 percent over the same period.
    • Of international buyers who obtained financing in the U.S., 85 percent said the source of their down payment came from their personal savings; 11 percent cited proceeds from a sale of a previous property; 7 percent received a gift; and 5 percent from the sale of personal assets, excluding real property.
    • Two-thirds (67 percent) of international buyers bought single-family detached homes, and 23 percent purchased a condominium or townhome.
    • International buyers in 2014 intend to keep their property for a median of 7 years, compared to 5 years in 2013.
    • The percentage of first-time international buyers in the U.S. declined from 59 percent in 2013 to 54 percent in 2014.
    • Three-fourths (75 percent) of overseas buyers said they only considered buying in the U.S., primarily to be closer to family and friends, for investment and tax reasons, or because of a child attending college in the U.S.
    • Those who purchased homes over $1 million bought primarily for investment/tax advantages, because they have a business in the U.S., or because they have children in school here. Those who purchased homes under $1 million bought primarily to be closer to family and friends.

    International Home Buyers Survey slides (click to open):

    Cash buyers by price range
    International cash buyers
    Why the U.S.?
    International buyers' countries of origin

    The International Home Buyers Survey was conducted via email to a random sample of California REALTORS® statewide who worked with international home buyers (one who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.). Eligible respondents all closed escrow on their homes within the 12 months prior to November 2014. Access the full report on the survey findings here: and view the webinar presentation here:

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM
  • For release:
    March 16, 2015

    California housing market bounces back in February after slow start to year

    LOS ANGELES (March 16) – Slowing home price appreciation and improving inventory combined to boost California's housing market in February as existing home sales and median home prices increased from both the previous month and year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 368,160 units in February, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in February were up 4.7 percent from a revised 351,480 in January and up 2.4 percent from a revised 359,600 in February 2014. The year-over-year increase was the largest observed since December 2012. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    "While February's statewide improvement in the housing market was moderate, it's an encouraging sign, nevertheless, as we head into the spring home-buying season," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "On the supply side, housing inventory improved overall with active listings growing at a faster pace of 5.3 percent when compared to last February. Regionally, both active listings in Southern California and Central Valley increased moderately from last year, while housing supply declined 10 percent in the Bay Area."

    The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home was essentially flat from January's median price, inching up from $426,660 in January to $428,970 in February. February's median price was 5.5 percent higher than the revised $406,460 recorded in February 2014. While the statewide median home price is higher than a year ago, the rate of increase has narrowed significantly since early 2014. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

    "The California housing market regained some traction in February as sales activity improved on a year-over-year basis for the second time in three months," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "At the state level, the market is moving in the right direction as the growth of sales continues its upward trend and home prices start stabilizing. At the regional level, however, the San Francisco Bay Area continued to be hampered by constrained inventory and low housing affordability."

    Other key facts from C.A.R.'s February 2015 resale housing report include:

    • The available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale statewide in February was unchanged from the 5 months reported in January. The index was 4.7 months in February 2014. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.

    • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home shortened in February, down from a 52.4 days in January to 47 days in February but up from 40.1 days in February 2014.

    • According to C.A.R.'s newest housing market indicator measuring sales-to-list price ratio*, properties are again generally selling below the list price, except in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a lack of homes for sale is keeping sales prices in line with original asking prices. The statewide measure suggests that homes are selling at a median of 97.7 percent of the list price, down slightly from a ratio of 98.2 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling above original list prices due to constrained supply with a ratio of 104.2 percent.

    • The average California price per square foot** for an existing single-family home was $210 in February 2015, an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous month and a 4.1 percent increase from February 2014. Price per square foot at the state level has been showing an upward trend since early 2012, and has been rising on a year-over-year basis for 37 consecutive months. In recent months, however, the growth rate in price per square foot has slowed down significantly as home prices leveled off. San Francisco County had the highest price per square foot in February at $754/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($689/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($552/sq. ft.). The three counties with the lowest price per square foot in February were Siskiyou ($102/sq. ft.), Tehama ($107/sq. ft.), and Madera ($110/sq. ft.).

    • Mortgage rates edged up in February, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.71 percent, up from 3.67 percent in January but down from 4.3 percent in February 2014, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates also rose in February, averaging 2.43 percent, up from 2.38 percent in January but down from 2.54 percent in February 2014.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    February sales at-a-glance infographic.
    Unsold Inventory by price range.
    Year-over-year 6-month moving sales average.
    Share of sales by price range.
    Sales to list ratio.
    Price per square foot.

    Note: The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only. County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed by a relatively small share of transactions at either the lower-end or the upper-end. Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold. Due to the low sales volume in some areas, median price changes in February exhibit unusual fluctuation. The change in median prices should not be construed as actual price changes in specific homes.

    *Sales-to-list price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions. The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage. A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

    **Price per square foot is a measure commonly used by real estate agents and brokers to determine how much a square foot of space a buyer will pay for a property. It is calculated as the sale price of the home divided by the number of finished square feet. C.A.R. currently tracks price-per-square foot statistics for 33 counties.

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    # # #

    February 2015 County Sales and Price Activity
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    February-15 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County Feb-15 Jan-15 Feb-14 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    CA SFH (SAAR) $428,970 $426,660 r $406,460 r 0.5% 5.5% 4.7% 2.4%
    CA Condo/Townhomes $367,180 $352,590 r $345,250 r 4.1% 6.4% 3.7% -7.4%
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area $409,810 $395,200 $383,080 3.7% 7.0% 1.3% -1.9%
    Inland Empire $282,400 $267,070 $260,360 r 5.7% 8.5% -0.6% -5.2%
    S.F. Bay Area $740,270 $668,520 r $673,410 r 10.7% 9.9% 11.6% -4.5%
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda $697,160 $640,330 $627,550 8.9% 11.1% 2.1% -8.6%
    Contra-Costa (Central County) $738,090 $723,960 $629,570 2.0% 17.2% 7.4% -13.4%
    Marin $1,023,440 $982,140 $983,690 r 4.2% 4.0% 25.9% -8.5%
    Napa $544,120 $400,000 $466,670 36.0% 16.6% 6.1% 6.1%
    San Francisco $1,154,760 $986,610 r $1,062,500 r 17.0% 8.7% 28.4% -22.3%
    San Mateo $1,200,000 $1,012,500 $970,000 r 18.5% 23.7% 23.3% -3.2%
    Santa Clara $915,130 $815,000 $805,000 r 12.3% 13.7% 13.0% 0.9%
    Solano $337,500 $326,510 $288,300 3.4% 17.1% 8.3% 17.7%
    Sonoma $489,330 $468,180 $467,860 4.5% 4.6% 8.9% -10.1%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $419,260 $441,610 $389,080 -5.1% 7.8% -0.3% -3.2%
    Orange County $680,290 $674,340 $677,700 0.9% 0.4% 10.9% 6.3%
    Riverside County $323,220 $306,060 $302,370 5.6% 6.9% 4.3% -7.7%
    San Bernardino $213,930 $206,660 $186,440 r 3.5% 14.7% -7.8% -0.6%
    San Diego $499,000 $496,380 $476,780 0.5% 4.7% 14.8% 5.7%
    Ventura $568,840 $582,630 $558,490 -2.4% 1.9% -1.7% 6.4%
    Central Coast
    Monterey $500,000 $420,000 $500,000 19.0% 0.0% -7.7% 6.2%
    San Luis Obispo $491,670 $478,720 $480,680 2.7% 2.3% -5.2% 6.4%
    Santa Barbara $556,820 $690,220 $661,760 -19.3% -15.9% 5.7% 12.1%
    Santa Cruz $675,000 $665,000 $600,000 1.5% 12.5% 15.8% 0.9%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $210,320 $211,470 $182,270 -0.5% 15.4% 10.0% 5.8%
    Glenn $220,000 $162,500 $200,000 35.4% 10.0% -33.3% 75.0%
    Kern (Bakersfield) $215,000 $195,000 r $195,000 10.3% 10.3% -6.9% -10.2%
    Kings County $196,000 $172,500 $182,500 13.6% 7.4% 4.5% -19.3%
    Madera $217,500 $245,000 $172,860 r -11.2% 25.8% -21.6% -43.1%
    Merced $168,750 $168,750 $181,670 0.0% -7.1% 31.7% 10.7%
    Placer County $375,380 $375,980 $370,090 -0.2% 1.4% 16.6% 9.1%
    Sacramento $283,960 $256,670 $260,330 10.6% 9.1% 19.6% 11.5%
    San Benito $450,000 $435,000 $399,000 3.4% 12.8% 22.9% 10.3%
    San Joaquin $270,750 $263,360 $234,930 2.8% 15.2% 7.4% -1.8%
    Stanislaus $237,680 $230,790 $215,380 3.0% 10.4% -4.0% -2.5%
    Tulare $172,140 $173,330 $163,330 -0.7% 5.4% 23.4% 15.9%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $271,430 $210,710 $206,250 28.8% 31.6% 30.4% -18.9%
    Butte County $247,320 $231,730 $217,650 r 6.7% 13.6% 10.8% 33.7%
    Calaveras $232,500 $223,000 $225,500 4.3% 3.1% 1.8% -5.1%
    Del Norte $189,000 $152,260 $220,000 24.1% -14.1% -33.3% 71.4%
    El Dorado County $384,880 $375,000 $332,050 2.6% 15.9% 19.1% 16.1%
    Humboldt $250,000 $263,890 $218,750 -5.3% 14.3% 31.3% 55.6%
    Lake County $184,290 $163,330 $170,000 12.8% 8.4% -6.3% -18.2%
    Mariposa $250,000 $268,750 $225,000 -7.0% 11.1% -11.1% -33.3%
    Mendocino $309,090 $258,330 $272,220 19.6% 13.5% 17.2% 6.3%
    Nevada $334,000 $340,000 $305,000 -1.8% 9.5% -13.7% 16.7%
    Plumas $192,500 $276,000 $118,000 -30.3% 63.1% 100.0% 81.8%
    Shasta $225,860 $216,130 $186,000 4.5% 21.4% -2.9% -3.6%
    Siskiyou County $148,330 $195,000 $130,000 -23.9% 14.1% -16.0% 16.7%
    Sutter $213,330 $227,080 $188,000 -6.1% 13.5% 9.4% 7.4%
    Tehama $150,000 $162,860 $237,500 -7.9% -36.8% -36.7% 26.7%
    Tuolumne $195,000 $236,360 $222,730 -17.5% -12.5% 0.0% 0.0%
    Yolo $372,860 $307,500 $333,330 21.3% 11.9% 39.4% 17.9%
    Yuba $215,220 $204,170 $200,000 r 5.4% 7.6% 27.3% 55.6%

    r = revised

    February 2015 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    February-15 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County Feb-15 Jan-15 Feb-14 Feb-15 Jan-15 Feb-14
    CA SFH (SAAR) 5.0 5.0 4.7 47.0 52.4 40.1
    CA Condo/Townhomes 4.3 4.3 3.9 43.2 52.4 r 40.0 r
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 5.8 5.5 5.0 58.7 63.0 48.0
    Inland Empire 6.7 6.4 5.4 r 67.6 67.5 48.0
    S.F. Bay Area 3.2 3.1 3.3 r 37.7 48.6 36.4 r
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 2.8 2.6 3.1 48.8 56.1 48.7
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 3.3 2.8 3.0 53.3 68.1 49.2
    Marin 3.9 4.0 4.1 39.4 51.9 29.8
    Napa 5.6 5.4 5.9 87.9 73.1 51.5
    San Francisco 2.5 2.6 r 4.2 r 20.7 29.1 r 25.5 r
    San Mateo 2.8 2.5 2.9 19.1 22.5 20.8
    Santa Clara 2.6 2.3 2.5 21.3 25.4 19.8
    Solano 4.2 4.2 3.5 47.8 50.5 37.7
    Sonoma 4.1 3.9 3.8 52.1 63.8 50.6
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 5.2 4.9 4.6 51.1 54.8 43.6
    Orange County 5.1 5.1 5.1 65.1 71.9 56.6
    Riverside County 7.0 7.1 5.6 72.3 70.0 49.0
    San Bernardino 6.2 5.4 5.0 58.1 63.5 45.8 r
    San Diego 4.6 5.0 5.0 28.6 35.0 29.9
    Ventura 5.8 5.2 5.2 66.5 72.6 58.3
    Central Coast
    Monterey 5.3 4.7 5.5 34.2 42.0 40.2
    San Luis Obispo 5.6 5.0 5.9 39.9 37.9 47.2
    Santa Barbara 5.8 5.4 6.3 46.6 54.9 28.1 r
    Santa Cruz 3.5 3.9 3.7 28.5 46.0 49.9
    Central Valley
    Fresno 5.7 6.1 5.8 34.5 42.4 31.8
    Glenn 4.0 2.7 9.5 70.7 82.8 98.3
    Kern (Bakersfield) 5.0 4.5 r 3.7 r 33.0 37.0 30.0 r
    Kings County 6.8 6.6 4.3 51.3 50.3 54.4
    Madera 12.9 9.5 2.5 94.6 58.2 58.6 r
    Merced 4.9 6.6 4.6 58.7 48.6 29.6
    Placer County 4.5 4.7 4.2 39.5 42.7 26.5
    Sacramento 3.4 3.9 3.8 27.8 34.2 25.7
    San Benito 2.9 3.8 3.3 41.0 52.2 41.9
    San Joaquin 4.4 4.6 3.8 35.5 39.3 25.4
    Stanislaus 4.5 4.1 3.9 29.8 32.9 26.1
    Tulare 5.4 6.3 5.9 49.5 49.7 40.4
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 6.4 7.4 4.7 110.3 115.2 36.8
    Butte County 4.4 4.7 6.4 r 55.2 50.5 49.6 r
    Calaveras 8.6 8.4 7.2 93.0 47.0 75.0 r
    Del Norte 12.2 8.4 20.9 127.0 160.0 159.0 r
    El Dorado County 5.5 6.0 6.1 62.7 79.9 46.4
    Humboldt 5.9 7.5 9.3 77.1 56.8 52.8
    Lake County 8.2 6.9 6.5 109.6 103.4 84.0 r
    Mariposa 13.5 12.0 3.7 135.5 68.3 105.5
    Mendocino 8.9 10.2 9.0 100.7 123.7 70.7
    Nevada 7.3 6.0 7.7 52.0 60.0 46.5
    Plumas 14.0 25.3 24.1 192.5 155.0 106.0
    Shasta 7.9 7.4 7.1 64.2 71.2 55.2
    Siskiyou County 15.2 12.8 16.7 56.4 122.1 110.3
    Sutter 4.3 4.4 3.6 r 49.5 78.7 25.5 r
    Tehama 10.0 5.7 12.9 45.5 53.8 70.7
    Tuolumne 6.7 7.2 7.8 57.1 50.3 86.4
    Yolo 3.4 4.3 4.2 29.1 45.5 28.1
    Yuba 3.7 4.9 6.0 r 29.0 37.2 38.3 r

    r = revised

    Created: 3/31/2015 8:08:56 PM