Housing demand continued to fall as rising interest rates dampened the California housing market in November 2022.
In November 2022, home sales were at their lowest annualized pace since October 2007 and the largest year-over-year sales drop in the past four decades, according to the latest home sales and price report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R).
Overall, home sales have been on a downward trend for 17 straight months on a year-over-year basis. November 2022 was the fourth time in the last five months that sales dropped more than 30 percent from the year-ago level.
November 2022’s monthly 13.2 percent sales decline was worse than the long-run average of -0.5 percent change recorded between October and November in the past 43 years.
Sales in all price segments dropped more than 40 percent year-over-year, with the $2 million plus price segment falling the most at 47.7 percent. The most affordable market (sub-$300,000) experienced the smallest sales drop at 41.4 percent.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 237,740 in November, 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 November pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
November’s sales pace was down 13.2 percent on a monthly basis from 274,040 in October and down 47.7 percent from a year ago when 454,450 homes were sold on an annualized basis. The year-to-year sales decline was the biggest since 1980.
Year-to-date statewide home sales were down 21.2 percent in November 2022.
In San Diego, home sales dropped 44.1 percent in November 2022, compared to a year ago in November 2021, and 11.4 percent lower in a month-over-month comparison with October 2022.
Meanwhile, California’s median home price declined for the third straight month in November 2022, dropping 3.0 percent to $777,500 from the $801,190 recorded in October 2022. November 2022’s price was 0.6 percent lower than the $782,480 recorded a year ago in November 2021. November 2022 also marked the first year-over-year price decline in 30 months. The November 2022 price was also the lowest since February 2022.
November 2022 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
In San Diego, the median sales price for an existing, single-family detached home in San Diego County rose 0.6 percent to $865,000 in November 2022, compared to $860,000 in October 2022. The November 2022 median price was 2 percent higher than the year-ago price of $847,750 in November 2021. The median is the price at which half of the homes sell for more and half for less.
“While interest rates are higher than year-ago levels, they have been declining since early November from the recent peak of over 7 percent,” said C.A.R. President Jennifer Branchini, a Bay Area REALTOR®. “With home prices cooling and market competition easing in recent months, some qualified buyers who missed out on the hurried market of the last two years are taking advantage of the shift and finding sellers more willing to negotiate than they have been up to this point.”
“As expected, higher borrowing costs, lower demand, and rising uncertainty finally caused prices to moderate for the first time in more than a decade while home sales dropped further,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “With mortgage rates rising at the fastest pace in years, sales and price growth will likely remain on a downward trend in the short term. However, pending sales suggest that the pace of declines should moderate in the coming months.”
Other key points from C.A.R.’s November 2022 resale housing report include:
-- At the regional level, Southern California saw the biggest year-over-year sales drop again as all six counties within the region marked sales declines of more than 44 percent in November 2022.
-- Sharp declines in housing demand continued to apply downward pressure on home prices as median prices in three of the five major regions dropped mildly from a year ago. Southern California’s (0.0 percent) median prices were virtually unchanged or flat on a year-over-year basis, despite having the largest sales drops among all regions in November 2022.
-- More counties began to experience negative price growth in November 2022 as 33 counties registered median prices decline, a jump from 22 counties compared to the prior month.
November 2022 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
-- Housing inventory in November 2022 in California continued to rise both month-to-month and year-to-year as the market entered its holiday season and home sellers remained on the sideline. The statewide unsold inventory index was 3.3 months in November 2022 and 3.2 months in October 2022. The November 2022 index was more than double the level of 1.6 months in November 2021.
-- Housing supply in California increased in November 2022 in all price ranges by 88 percent compared to a year ago in November 2021. Unsold inventory in the $1 million+ price range rose the most (128.6 percent), followed by the $500,000-$749,000 price range (113.3 percent), the $750,000- $999,000 (113.3 percent) and the sub-$500,000 (88.9 percent) ranges.
-- In San Diego, the inventory of available homes for sale in November 2022 declined to 2.9 months, compared to 3.0 months in October 2022 and 1.3 months a year ago in November 2021. Other inventory figures in 2022 include 2.7 months in September, 2.5 months in August, 3.1 months in July, 2.4 months in June, 1.9 months in May, 1.6 months in April and 1.4 months in March. 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.
-- The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home was 24 days in November 2022, compared to 23 days in October 2022, 22 days in September 2022, 19 days in August 2022 and 11 November 2021.
-- In San Diego, the median number of days it took to sell an existing, single-family home was 18 days in both November 2022 and October 2022, compared to 19 days in September 2022 and nine days in November 2021. Other days-on-market figures in 2022 include 15 days in August, 10 days in July, eight days in June and seven days in May and April. The median represents a time when half the homes sell above it and half below it.
-- Once again, the statewide, sales-price-to-list-price ratio remained at below 100 percent. It was 96.7 in November 2022, compared to 97.3 percent in October 2022, 97.7 percent in September 2022 and 98.4 percent in August 2022. A year ago in 2021, it was 104 percent in November, 101.5 percent in October, 101.9 percent in September and 102.8 percent in August. The 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.
-- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 6.81 percent in November 2022, up from 3.07 percent in November 2021, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate averaged 6.01 percent, compared to 2.51 percent in November 2021.