Housing demand in California’s housing market cooled even further in July 2022, as the effects of rising interest rates and high home prices dragged down the efforts of would-be homebuyers, according to the latest home sales and price report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Statewide home sales dropped below the annualized 300,000 benchmark for the first time since May 2020.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 295,460 in July, according to information collected 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 July pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
Statewide, the rate of homes sales in July 2022 was down 14.4 percent on a monthly comparison with June 2022, when 344,970 homes were sold, and down 31.1 percent from a year ago in July 2021, when 428,980 homes were sold on an annualized basis.
July 2022 marked the fourth consecutive monthly decline and the 13th straight annual decline.
In San Diego County, home sales dropped 41.1 percent in July 2022, compared to a year ago in July 2021, and 21.4 percent decline in a month-over-month comparison from June 2022. July’s 41 percent year-over-year drop follows a 30.5 percent drop in June 2022, compared to June 2021.
Statewide, the median home price in July 2022 declined 3.5 percent to $833,910 from the $863,790 price recorded in June 2022. The July 2022 price was 2.8 percent higher than the $811,170 recorded in July 2021. The July 2022 price was the smallest year-over-year price gain in more than two years.
The price moderation is largely attributed to a change in the mix of sales in July, as million-dollar home sales plummeted nearly 25 percent from June.
In San Diego County, the median sales price for an existing, single-family detached home in San Diego County declined in July 2022 by $20,000, or 2.1 percent, to $930,000, compared to $950,000 in June 2022. The July 2022 median price was still 8.1 percent higher from the year-ago price of $860,000 in July 2021. The median is the price at which half of the homes sell for more and half for less.
“In the midst of the peak home-buying season, high home prices and rising interest rates depressed housing affordability to the lowest level in nearly 15 years, which in turn dampened home sales,” said C.A.R. President Otto Catrina, a Bay Area real estate broker and REALTOR®. “However, buying opportunities remain in the coming months for those who have been waiting on the sideline as more listings become available, competition continues to cool off and rates begin to stabilize.”
“Home sales have taken a trouncing as the market has shifted in response to the recent surge in interest rates, and pending sales suggest that the market could remain soft in August,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “The pace of sales declines is expected to slow in the coming months, however, as rates continue to stabilize, market volatility begins to subside and supply conditions further normalize.”
Other key points from C.A.R.’s July 2022 resale housing report included:
-- At the regional level, sales continued to decline sharply with three of the five major regions dropping more than 30 percent from last year. The Central Coast region experienced the biggest drop of all regions, with sales plummeting 37.3 percent from a year ago. The San Francisco Bay Area followed closely with the second-largest decline (-37.2 percent). Southern California also recorded a 36.9 percent drop from July 2021.
-- Nearly 80 percent of all California counties continued to record an increase in their median prices on a year-over-year basis. Price growth rates, however, were more moderate compared to a couple of months ago when the state set its new record high.
-- The overall supply conditions in California loosened again, with the statewide unsold inventory index rising from 1.9 months in July 2021 to 3.2 months in July 2022, the highest level since May 2020. The improvement in the index was primarily due to a pullback in demand.
July 2022 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
-- In San Diego, the inventory of available homes for sale in July 2022 was 3.1 months, compared to 2.4 months in June 2022, 1.9 months in May 2022, 1.6 months in April 2022, and 1.4 months in March 2022 and 1.5 months in June 2022. 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.
-- Forty-six of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. registered a year-over-year increase in active listings in July, compared to 44 counties in June.
-- The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home was 14 days in July and 8 days in July 2021.
July 2022 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
-- In San Diego, the median number of days it took to sell an existing, single-family home in July 2022 was 10 days, compared to 8 days in June 2022, 7 days in May 2022, and April 2022. A year ago, in July 2021, the figure was 7 days. The median represents a time when half the homes sell above it and half below it.
-- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 5.41 percent in July, up from 2.87 percent in July 2021, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate averaged 4.29 percent, compared to 2.49 percent in July 2021.