March Home Sales in California Slide Amid Uptick in Mortgage Interest Rates, Says C.A.R.

California’s median home price grew for the first time in seven months in March, increasing 7.6 percent from February’s $735,480 to $791,490. March’s price also was lower on a year-over-year basis for the fifth consecutive month, declining 7.0 percent from the revised $851,130 recorded last March. With home prices rising more sharply than last year’s normal seasonal pattern, the market could see larger year-over-year price drops as it moves through the spring home-buying season.

In March, it took 19 days to sell a single-family home in California, while in March 2022, it took only eight days. The sales-price-to-list-price ratio was 99.1% in March 2023 and 103.9% in March 2022, as reported by C.A.R. Additionally, the average price per square foot for an existing single-family home in the state was $388 in March, down from $418 a year earlier. The 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rate was 6.54% in March, compared to 4.17% in March 2022, according to Freddie Mac.

“While home sales continue to hover below the 300,000-unit annualized pace, the market seems to have weathered more aggressive rate hikes and banking failures quite well in the last few weeks,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “If interest rates stabilize or even improve in the next couple of months, home sales should rise during the spring home-buying season, but tight inventory will prevent a rapid rebound.”

  • Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California in March totaled 281,050 at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate.
  • This represents a 1.0% decrease from February and a 34.2% decrease from a year ago.
  • Sales have remained below the 300,000-unit pace for six consecutive months.