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California New-Home Sales Rise From February, CBIA Announces

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Still below year-ago levels however

SACRAMENTO, CA – May 13, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The pace of home sales at California new-home communities rose a bit in March from February but continued to be notably 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 13 percent above February, but fell 31 percent below March 2009. During March, 2,189 new homes and condominiums were sold in the subdivisions tracked by Costa Mesa-based HWMI, compared to 1,938 in February and 3,192 in March 2009. Sales of single-family homes were up by 5 percent from the previous month, but down 36 percent from the same month a year ago. Sales of townhomes and “plexes” – duplexes, triplexes, etc. – rose 24 percent from February but were off by 32 percent from March 2009, while sales of condominiums were up 37 percent from the previous month, but were 16 percent lower than a year ago.

Prices continued rise as the base price of units sold was a bit higher than a year ago, and slightly higher than last month. Compared with the same period last year, the median base price of homes sold was 7 percent higher than a year ago.

Jonathan Dienhart, Director of Published Research for HWMI, noted the figures for March reflect the diminished scope of new-home construction in the current economy.

“The current pace of sales is partially a factor of diminished supply in the form of a lower number of actively selling new-home projects,” said Dienhart. “So while sales overall are off 30 percent from a year ago, the number of sales per project was off 10 percent from a year ago; still nothing to celebrate, but better than the 30 percent headline figure.”

Liz Snow, CBIA’s President and CEO, noted that the recently enacted state tax credit for new homebuyers will help boost sales in the coming months.

“We’re highly encouraged by the recent report from the Franchise Tax Board that there were over 400 applications for the first-time homebuyer credit in the first four days that the program was active,” said Snow. “We expect the credit for new-home purchasers to be equally alluring and expect to see some positive activity in the new-home market in the next few months.”

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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.

To subscribe to CBIA press releases and receive them as they are distributed, please visit the newsroom section of our Web site and click on the RSS subscription button.

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

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

Contact:

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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