Home sales looking up

Home sales climbed 89.1 percent in the San Diego area in May, compared to the same period a year ago, while the median home price fell 19.8 percent, according to figures released Thursday.

The median price of an existing single-family home in San Diego was $358,380 in May, compared to $340,190 in April and $446,610 in May 2008, according to the California Association of Realtors.

Statewide, home sales increased 35.2 percent in May, compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home declined 30.4 percent, according to CAR’s report.

“With affordability for first-time buyers at a record high, sales of existing, single-family homes continued to remain above the 500,000 level for the ninth consecutive month,’' said CAR President James Liptak. “Buyers are beginning to realize that the combination of favorable home prices, historically low mortgage rates, and first-time home buyer tax credits, may not align again for many years.

“The sales gains over last year have diminished in recent months,’' he added. “This trend is expected to continue through the end of the year, as limited inventory at the moderate and low end of the market constrains sales activity.’'

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California in May was $267,570, compared to $256,700 the previous month and $384,540 in May of last year, according to CAR.

“The statewide median price rose for the third consecutive month in May, posting the largest monthly increase on record for the month of May, according to statistics dating back to 1979,’' said CAR Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. Nearly all regions in the state reported positive month-to-month changes in median price.’'

Statewide, the 10 cities with the highest median home prices in California during May were:

  • Los Altos, $1,484,000;
  • Palo Alto, $1,400,000;
  • Cupertino, $965,000;
  • Santa Barbara, $870,750;
  • Danville, $785,500;
  • Los Gatos, $769,500;
  • Newport Beach, $767,500;
  • Santa Monica, $740,000;
  • Arcadia, $700,000; and
  • Campbell, $691,000.

Statewide, the cities with the greatest median home price increases in May compared with the same period a year ago were:

  • Poway, 29.7 percent;
  • Auburn, 8.3 percent;
  • Arcadia, 7.5 percent;
  • Atascadero, 6.3 percent;
  • Cypress, 5.0 percent;
  • Palo Alto, 4.9 percent;
  • Campbell, 4.7 percent;
  • Walnut, 2.3 percent; and
  • Torrance, 0.4 percent.