California Real Estate Sales Up In January
It was a mixed bag in California real estate during January 2012. Sales were up but median home prices were down on a state-wide basis. The factors that contributed to increased sales included an increase in the sale of distressed homes in the San Francisco region and a pick-up of activity by real estate investors in Southern California, especially in San Diego County. As a matter of fact, San Diego homes for sale equaled 2,358, compared to 2,248 in January of last year.
The median home price in California was $236,000 in January, which reflected a 1.1 percent decrease from a year earlier. California has now experienced 16 straight months of year-on-year median home price declines. Southern California saw median prices decline to $260,000, representing a 3.7 percent drop. Houses in the Bay Area were only marginally better, with median prices registering at $326,000, a 3.6 percent decline.
Statewide, California experienced a sixth straight month of year-to-year home sale gains in January. The January 2012 gain of 1.5 percent over a year earlier has to be seen in the context of a whopping sales drop from December 2011 of 25.5 percent. Southern California saw a 0.4 percent increase from January 2011. The Bay Area had a handsome leap of 10.3 percent from a year earlier.
Why was San Diego County the one bright spot in Southern California in January? There are no-doubt several factors, but no can deny the positive draw of the county’s magnificent climate – rated Number 2 by the Weather Channel for summer climate. The county actually boasts two predominant climates: Mediterranean in the north and Semi-arid in the south. Dry summers and mild winters continually draw new residents who want to partake of the natural beauty all year long. Rainfall is most prevalent in winter, but snow is very rare. New residents drawn to San Diego’s climate are frequently purchasers of detached single-family homes. However, well-heeled retirees are apt to purchase a magnificent mansion in one of the more affluent neighborhoods. There have been four houses sold in 2011 costing at least $10 million. No matter what the state of the economy, there will always be wealthy families who demand nothing but the best in all aspects of their lifestyles, and are willing to pay handsomely for it. No wonder San Diego is perennially a strong real estate market.