California pending home sales jumped in March to record three straight month-to-month and year-to-year sales increases, portending a solid upcoming spring homebuying season, according to C.A.R
Pending home sales in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions also posted back-to-back, double-digit monthly gains compared to February.
Pending home sales data:
- California pending home sales propelled higher in March, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* increasing 16.3 percent from a revised 111.9 in February to 130.2, based on signed contracts. The month-to-month increase was essentially unchanged from the long-run average increase of 16.8 percent observed in the last seven years.
- Statewide pending home sales were up 13.8 percent on an annual basis from the 114.4 index recorded in March 2014. The yearly increase was the second largest since April 2009 and was the fourth consecutive annual gain.
- San Francisco Bay Area’s PHSI stood at 146.6 in March, up 17.4 percent from 124.8 in February and up 7.2 percent from 136.7 percent in March 2014.
- Pending home sales in Southern California rose 16.7 percent in March to reach an index of 115.4, up 15 percent from 100.3 in March 2014.
- Central Valley pending sales increased 21.7 percent from February to reach an index of 100.8 in March, up 15.3 percent from 87.5 in March 2014.
Over 60 Percent of Top 100 U.S. Housing Markets Improving
Freddie Mac released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi), which shows that the U.S. housing market continues to stabilize and get back on track heading into the spring homebuying season after a slight stumble last month. The latest release of MiMi now tracks the top 100 metro housing markets across the country. Of the top 100 metro areas, 60 percent are showing an improving three-month trend.
The national MiMi value stands at 74.7, indicating a weak housing market overall and showing a slight improvement (+0.65%) from January to February and a three-month improvement of (+0.30%). On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved (+3.53%). The nation’s all-time MiMi high of 121.7 was April 2006; its low was 57.4 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest. Since that time, the national MiMi value has made a 31 percent rebound.
The most improving states month-over-month were Oregon (+2.19%), Michigan (+1.71%), Florida (+1.52%), California (+1.35%), and Kentucky (+1.19%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+11.40%), Colorado (+9.60%), Florida (9.14%), Oregon (+8.31%), and Rhode Island (+7.97%).
The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Detroit (+2.49), Fresno (+2.16%), Portland (+2.09%), New Orleans (+1.69%), and Milwaukee (+1.67%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Stockton (+14.15%), Las Vegas (+12.28%), Denver (+11.62%), Palm Bay, FL (+11.11%), and Detroit (+10.94%).
Building permits, housing starts rise in March
Building permits for single-family homes rose 2.1 percent in March to a rate of 636,000 compared with 623,000 in February, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Housing starts rose 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 926,000 compared with February’s estimate of 908,000.
- California: $428,970
- Calif. highest median home price by region/county February 2015: San Mateo, $1,200,000
- Calif. lowest median home price by region/county February 2015: Siskiyou County, $148,330
Calif. Pending Home Sales Index:
March 2015: Increased 16.3 percent from 111.9 in February to 130.2 in March.
Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Fourth Quarter 2014: 30 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates: Week ending 4/9/2015 (Source: Freddie Mac)
• 30-yr. fixed: 3.67% fees/points: 0.7%
• 15-yr. fixed: 2.94% fees/points: 0.5%
• 1-yr. adjustable: 2.46% Fees/points: 0.4%