Pleasanton was among the top 10 cities in California with the highest median home prices and also one of nine cities in the state with the greatest median price increases in September, according to a report yesterday by the California Association of Realtors.
At $737,000, the median price in Pleasanton was just under San Ramon, with $750,000, and well below Danville, where the median price in September was $905,000. Topping the list were Los Gatos, $1.2 million; Newport Beach, $1.172,000, and Cupertino, $915,000.
Pleasanton's median home price rose by 1.4 percent last month, ending a downward trend, with Culver City leading the gains at 15.5 percent. Walnut Creek, with a 0.3 percent median price rise, was the only other East Bay city to show a gain in September.
CAR also reported that California home sales increased 96.7 percent in September compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home fell 40.9 percent.
"Statewide sales in September edged past the 500,000 threshold for the first time in more than two years, rising 2.3 percent compared with August and 96.7 percent compared with a year ago," said CAR President William E. Brown. "This dramatic increase in sales owes as much to market weakness a year ago in the early stages of the credit crunch as it does to the growth of sales in September this year. Similar increases occurred in the early 1980s when the market was climbing out of a comparatively steep downturn in sales."
"We expect the market to register significant year-to-year percentage gains in the coming months as current sales are compared against extremely low numbers that prevailed during the fourth quarter of last year," he said.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 502,190 in September at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by CAR from more than 90 local Realtors associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 96.7 percent from the revised 255,340 sales pace recorded in September 2007. Sales in September 2008 increased 2.3 percent compared with the previous month.
The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2008 would be if sales maintained the September pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during September 2008 was $316,480, a 40.9 percent decrease from the revised $535,760 median for September 2007, CAR reported. The September 2008 median price fell 9.6 percent compared with August's $350,140 median price.
"There is still no clear sign that the statewide median price has begun to stabilize, and recent events in the economy and financial system undoubtedly contributed to the steep decline in September, both directly and through weakened consumer confidence," said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "However, individual markets may be faring better than the statewide median at this time.
"The median also will continue to face downward pressure from the large share of distressed sales and a dramatic change in the sales mix," she said. "A year ago, the under $500,000 price range accounted for 46 percent of sales but shifted to 76 percent as of September."
Highlights of C.A.R.'s resale housing figures for last month show that:
- CAR.'s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in September 2008 was 6.5 months, compared with 16 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
- Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 6.04 percent during September 2008, compared with 6.38 percent in September 2007, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 5.14 percent in September 2008, compared with 5.66 percent in September 2007.
- The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 46.1 days in September 2008, compared with 56.7 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.
Statewide, the 10 cities with the highest median home prices in California during September 2008 were: Los Gatos, $1,200,000; Newport Beach, $1,172,000; Cupertino, $915,000; Danville, $905,000; Santa Barbara, $900,000; Santa Monica, $863,000; Redwood City, $805,000; San Ramon, $750,000; Pleasanton, $737,000; and Redondo Beach, $720,000.
Statewide, the cities with the greatest median home price increases in September 2008 compared with the same period a year ago were: Culver City, 15.5 percent; Truckee, 7.6 percent; South Lake Tahoe, 6.5 percent; Redwood City, 6.3 percent; Berkeley 5.4 percent; Santa Monica, 1.6 percent; Pleasanton, 1.4 percent; Fountain Valley, 0.4 percent; and Walnut Creek 0.3 percent.