08/04/2021

California sees its first home sales drop in four years

California’s housing market ended 2018 on a down note, with sales for 2018 as a whole down for the first time in four years and home price gains showing signs of leveling off, Realtor economists reported Thursday, Jan. 17.

A volatile stock market and political and economic uncertainty contributed to the market slowdown, according to the California Association of Realtors. But the main culprit was fewer buyers able to afford a home.

“California’s housing market in 2018 was hindered by endlessly rising home prices and interest rate hikes, which combined to erode housing affordability and hamper home sales,” CAR Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said in a statement. “While the statewide median home price surpassed its previous peak and set a new record in 2018, annual home sales fell for the first time in four years.”

In all, 402,705 existing single-family homes changed hands last year, compared with 424,890 in 2017, CAR reported.

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