SACRAMENTO, CA – February 16, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The pace of home sales at California new-home communities was moderately lower than levels seen 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 15 percent below December 2008. While the decline was disappointing, it remains an improvement from most months in 2009 in which year-over-year declines were substantially larger. During December, 1,372 new homes and condominiums were sold in the subdivisions tracked by Costa Mesa-based HWMI, compared to 1,607 in December 2008. Sales of single-family homes were down by 25 percent, while sales of townhomes and “plexes” – duplexes, triplexes, etc. – were off by 5 percent and sales of condominiums were 18 percent higher than a year ago.
Compared with the same period last year, the median base price of homes sold increased slightly, up 2 percent.
Non-seasonally adjusted total new-home sales were 26 percent below levels seen last month, which is not an unusual seasonal trend as home purchase activity tends to slow substantially during the holiday season.
Jonathan Dienhart, Director of Published Research for HWMI, noted the figures for December were a bit disappointing.
“We had been seeing several months of steady improvement in both the pace of sales and the shrinking of price declines across the state,” said Dienhart. “December’s figures represent a bit of a step back, and could be partially owed to the extended federal tax credit removing a sense of urgency for consumers considering a home purchase. Whatever the case, clearly California’s new-home market is not entirely out of the woods, and faces a long uphill climb in 2010.”
Liz Snow, CBIA’s President and CEO, agreed and again encouraged lawmakers to act to bolster the housing industry in order to facilitate a more expeditious economic recovery.
“According to a recent study, California’s economy would have the added benefit of $73 billion in economic output and over 400,000 jobs if the housing industry was operating at healthy levels,” said Snow. “Getting homebuyers back into the marketplace is crucial to the industry’s recovery, and we hope lawmakers recognize these facts when taking up the homebuyer tax credit legislation in the near future. Enacting the credit would help clear out inventory which would lead to more job-generating home construction and help lift our economy out of the doldrums.”
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, www.cbia.org.
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, www.hanleywood.com/hwmi 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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