May 18, 2020
California home sales dropped sharply in April from both the previous month and year, as the housing market began to feel the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the state’s stay-at-home order, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) reported. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 277,440 units in April.
April’s sales total was down 25.6% from the 373,070 level in March and down 30.1% from a year ago. It was the first time home sales dropped below the 300,000 level since March 2008. The month-to-month drop was the largest since at least 1979, when C.A.R. began tracking this data. Additionally, the year-over-year decline was the first double-digit loss in 15 months and the largest decrease since December 2007.
2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick says, “As expected, California home sales experienced the worst month-to-month sales decline in more than four decades as the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, which kept both buyers and sellers on the sidelines.”
At the regional level, all major regions dipped in sales by more than 25% from last year, with the Bay Area dropping the most at -37.4%, followed by the Central Coast (-31.6%), Southern California (-30.2%), and the Central Valley (-26.1%).
Forty-seven of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. recorded a year-over-year sales loss in April, with Mono declining the most from last year at -62.5%, followed by Marin (-60.6%), and San Francisco (-52.8%). Counties that experienced a sales decline from last year averaged a loss of 29.1% from the previous year.
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