California New-Home Market Begins 2010 Still in the Red, CBIA Announces


SACRAMENTO, CA – March 17, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The pace of home sales at California new-home communities in January continued at moderately lower levels when compared to the same period a year ago, the California Building Industry Association reported today.

The monthly CBIA/Hanley Wood Market Intelligence (HWMI) New-Home Sales and Pricing Report showed that sales in new-home communities of 10 units or more were 12 percent below January 2009. This was a slight improvement from the 15 percent year-over-year decline in December, but was still a lackluster pace. During January, 1,886 new homes and condominiums were sold in the subdivisions tracked by Costa Mesa-based HWMI, compared to 2,137 in January 2009. Sales of single-family homes were down by 17 percent, while sales of townhomes and “plexes” – duplexes, triplexes, etc. – rose by 8 percent and sales of condominiums were 4 percent lower than a year ago.

While sales were still down, pricing performed better than it has in recent months. Compared with the same period last year, the median base price of homes sold was 6 percent higher than a year ago.

Non-seasonally adjusted total new home sales were 38 percent above levels seen last month, which is not an unusual seasonal trend as December is typically a very slow month.

Jonathan Dienhart, Director of Published Research for HWMI, noted the figures for January showed little in the way of improvement.

“The last several months have bent the trend of improvement back toward one of volatile uncertainty,” said Dienhart. “As California’s broader economy still struggles with a myriad of challenges, it is unlikely we will see any dramatic recovery in coming months. Nevertheless, as we head into the spring selling season we expect to see incremental improvements and an end to year-over-year sales volume declines.”

Liz Snow, CBIA’s President and CEO, commented that the numbers should represent to lawmakers a clear sense of urgency about California’s economy.

“These numbers represent a clear indication for the need of a new state homebuyer tax credit for 2010, which will help push more prospective buyers off the fence, clear out inventory, and reinvigorate job-generating home construction,” said Snow. “While some legislators are considering shifting focus from the economy to government reform, job creation and improving the economy should continue to remain the primary focus in Sacramento.”


The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association representing thousands of homebuilders, remodelers, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers, and other industry professionals. More information is available on the Association’s Web site,

Hanley Wood Market Intelligence is the housing industry’s leading provider of rich data and consulting services on residential real estate development and new-home construction and is a division of Hanley Wood, LLC, the premier media company serving housing and construction. More information is available on the company’s Web site, or by calling 1-800-639-3777.

Hanley Wood Market Intelligence (HWMI) collects data from new for-sale production subdivisions of 10 units or more on a monthly basis. HWMI Net Sales represent sales contracts signed during the period indicated minus any reported cancellations. Median and Average Prices are based upon the minimum asking price of the plans sold during the period and do not include the cost of any lot/view premiums or upgrades. Because this data is collected monthly and based upon sales contracts that represent future closings, HWMI data is the most forward-looking data source available for new home information in the state of California.

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Media Contact:

Michael Castillo
Communications Manager
(916) 443-7933 ext. 346
mcastillo (at) cbia (dot) org


The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) is a statewide trade association representing thousands of homebuilders, remodelers, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers, and other industry professionals.


California Building Industry Association
1215 K Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 443-7933
Fax: (916) 443-1960

Michael Castillo
Communications Specialist
(916) 443-7933 ext. 346

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