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California Home Sales Higher in July; Price Gains Continue Strong but Tapering

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“A constrained supply of homes over the past year has fueled robust home price increases, particularly in the coastal regions,” says C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Looking ahead, we should continue to see strong price growth but at a less accelerated pace than what we’ve experienced over the past year. Inventory levels are starting to build in some areas as price gains free up previously underwater homes and encourage homeowners reluctant to list because of the scarcity of homes to purchase.”

Other key facts of C.A.R.’s July 2013 resale housing report include:

The available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale held steady in July at 2.9 months, unchanged from June’s Unsold Inventory Index. The index was 3.5 months in July 2012. 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 also held fairly steady at 27.8 days in July, compared to 27.7 days in June but was down from a revised 43.2 days in July 2012.

Mortgage rates ticked up in July, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4.37 percent, up from 4.07 percent in June 2013 and up from 3.55 percent in July 2012, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in July averaged 2.66 percent, up from 2.60 in June but down from 2.69 percent in July 2012.

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