No Surprise: Rising Interest Rates, Climbing Home Prices

Posted by Rick Griffin on May 18, 2022 10:30:00 AM


California home sales retreated slightly in April 2022 even as interest rates rose and the statewide median home price set another record, according to the latest home sales and price report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

The statewide median home price in April 2022 was $884,890, up 4.2 percent from the March 2022 price of $849,080 and up 8.7 percent from the April 2021 price of $814,010. The April 2022 statewide median home price set another record, surpassing the previous record set in March 2022.

The year-over-year increase was the smallest since June 2020, but it was strong enough to establish a new peak price for the state. The month-to-month percent change was higher than the long-run average of 2.3 percent recorded between the months of March and April over the last 43 years. 

In San Diego in April 2022, the median home price approached the $1 million mark. The April 2022 median home price was $975,000, a 2.6 percent increase from the $950,000 price in March 2022 and 8.2 percent higher from the year-ago price of $825,120 in April 2021, marking an increase of about $150,000 in one year. The median represents a price where half the homes sell above and half below.

April 2022 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

April 2022 County Sales and Price Activity

Home sales in April 2022 on a statewide basis were down 1.9 percent compared to March 2022, when 426,970 homes were sold, and down 8.5 percent from a year ago in April 2021, when 458,170 homes were sold on an annual basis.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 419,040 in April 2022, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2022 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The month-to-month April sales decline is in line with the long-run change of minus 1.6 percent recorded between March and April. However, the annual statewide sales drop between April 2022 and April 2021 was the biggest decline in the past four months. On a year-to-date basis, home sales were down 7.4 percent in April 2022.

In San Diego, home sales in April 2022 were lower in month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons. San Diego home sales in April 2022 were down 1.3 percent, compared to March 2022, and down 12.6 percent compared to a year ago in April 2021.

“As rates remain on the rise, the sense of urgency to buy is keeping the market highly competitive, especially since housing inventory continues to stay well below pre-pandemic levels,” said C.A.R. President Otto Catrina, a Bay Area real estate broker and REALTOR®. “While we will likely see more listings come on to the market as we move further into the home-buying season, the housing shortage issue will likely persist throughout the rest of the year in major metropolitan areas, such as the Bay Area and the Southern California region.” 

“California’s housing market is moderating from the 12-year-high levels experienced in 2021, as higher mortgage interest rates and soaring home prices are starting to have an adverse impact on housing demand,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “With April pending home sales recording the worst drop in two years, the affordability challenges that buyers have been encountering are materializing in recent sales trends, and further declines in housing demand could continue in the second half of the year.”

A change in the mix of sales continues to play a role in statewide record-setting home prices as sales in high-priced markets remain stronger than their more affordable counterparts. The share of million-dollar home sales increased for the third consecutive month, reaching the highest level on record at 34.7 percent.

Meanwhile, home sales priced below $500,000 dipped again in April and hit the lowest level ever. Sales dropped by double-digits for price segments $750,000 and below, while sales above $2 million remained on the rise on a year-over-year basis. The shift in the mix of sales toward high-end homes is expected to persist in the upcoming months. 

Other key points from C.A.R.’s April 2022 resale housing report included:

-- At the regional level, home sales in all major California regions declined from a year ago, with three of the five regions falling by double-digits on a year-over-year basis. The San Francisco Bay Area (-18.1 percent) and Southern California (-16.0 percent) were two major regions with sales declines exceeding 10 percent from a year ago.

-- Home prices in all major regions in the state surged from last year by double digits. The San Francisco Bay Area recorded the highest year-over-year price growth with an increase of 15.9 percent, followed by the Central Valley (14.9 percent), the Central Coast (13.4 percent) and Southern California (11.7 percent).

-- At the county level, home prices continued to rise across the state, with 26 counties in California setting new record median highs in April 2022.

-- California’s unsold inventory of homes improved slightly in April 2022 at 1.8 months, compared to 1.7 months in March 2022 and 1.6 months in April 2021. The number of active listings surged more than 20 percent on a year-over-year basis and recorded the highest yearly growth in properties for sale since January 2019. Active listings in April climbed to the highest level in seven months.

-- In San Diego, the inventory of available homes for sales in April 2022 was 1.6 months, compared to 1.4 months in March 2022, 1.5 months in February 2022 and January 2022 and 1.5 months in April 2021. Inventory levels from previous months in 2021 included: December, 1.0; November, 1.3; October, 1.5; September, 1.6; August, 1.7; July, 1.7. Inventory levels indicate the number of months it would take for the available supply of homes on the market to sell-out given the current rate of sales.

April 2022 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

April 2022 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market

-- The median number of days it took to sell an existing, single-family home in San Diego County in April 2022 was 7 days, compared to 7 days in March and February 2022, 9 days in January 2022 and 6 days in April 2021. Numbers from previous months in 2021 included: December, 8; November, 9; October, 9; September, 9; August, 8; July, 7; June, 6; May, 7; April, 6. The median represents a time when half the homes sell above it and half below it.

-- Statewide, the median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home in April 2022 was 8 days, compared to 8 days in March 2022, 9 days in February 2022, 12 days in January 2022 and 7 days in April 2021. Numbers from previous months in 2021 included: December, 12; November, 11; October, 11; September, 10.

-- The statewide median sales-price-to-list-price ratio remained above 100 percent at 104.2 percent in April 2022, compared to 103.3 percent in March 2022, 102.6 percent in February 2022 and 103.3 percent in April 2021. Sales-to-list-price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and sellers under current market conditions. The ratio, expressed as a percentage, is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price. A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, while a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

-- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 4.98 percent in April, up from 3.06 percent in April 2021, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate averaged 3.70 percent, compared to 2.81 percent in April 2021.

Topics: Brokers/Managers, Market Information