Today’s Real Estate Report – California

San Francisco Real EstateAt Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas. If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at [email protected].

Today, in our ongoing series about local real estate markets, we’ll take a look at home sales and trends in California.

SFGate looks at soaring home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area in January:

Tuesday’s S&P/Case-Shiller report underscored the rapid run-up in Bay Area home prices, showing that the San Francisco metro area — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties — saw home prices surge 17.5% in January compared to a year ago. That outpaced the national run-up of 8.1 % and was second only to Phoenix.

Home prices spiked across the Central Valley in Sacramento too – and how much longer will it be before the Bay Areans once again start fleeing high prices to settle in and around the state Capital? The Sacramento Bee reports:

Sacramento housing prices continued their march upward in February, but scarcity of homes for sale defined the market in many neighborhoods. The median price of a house in Sacramento County jumped 22.6 percent in February from the same month of 2012 – from $155,000 to $190,000, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, a real estate tracking firm. Sales went in the opposite direction. The number of homes sold in Sacramento in February 2013 totaled 1,566, an 11.3 percent drop from the 1,766 that changed hands in the earlier period.

Up the hill, the price jump was even higher around Lake Tahoe. Yuba Net reports:

The Lake Tahoe real estate market is off to a strong start in 2013, experiencing a 34 percent increase in median home price and a 53 percent leap in average price. Sales volume around the lake is up 61 percent, primarily due to a 133 percent jump in homes sold for more than $1 million. The figures were part of a quarterly report released by Lake Tahoe-based real estate company Chase International. The median price of a home in Lake Tahoe is $415,000. The median price of a home was up in all areas of Lake Tahoe, with the East Shore seeing the largest increase, 72 percent, to $750,000. The East Shore also had the biggest jump in sales of homes over a million dollars (1,300 percent to 14). Incline Village, however, had the largest overall number of sales in million-dollar homes, 24, up 140 percent from first quarter 2012.

In Monterey on the central coast, the story was different, with both sales and prices down in February, the Monterey Herald reports.

In Southern Calufornia, home sales and prices were down slightly from January, but way up from a year ago. Housing Wire reports:

While the median sales priced inched down slightly from January, it was up nearly 21% from a year earlier, representing the 11th straight month in which the median has shown growth year-over-year, according to DataQuick. Down 0.7% from 16,058 sales in January, total sales in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties reached only 15,945 in February. This was up 1% from 15,780 sales in February 2012. February sales totaled 17,680 units, the highest recorded level since February of 2007. However, sales last month were still 9.9% below the February average of 17,696 sales.

And reports that California’s pending home sales are on the rise, pointing to a stronger spring and summer across the state:

Pending home sales in California were higher in February than January but lower than in February of 2012, while the number of distressed properties on the market is falling, the California Association of Realtors reported today. The association’s Pending Home Sales Index rose 8.7 percent from a revised 101.4 in January to 110.2 in February, based on signed contracts, CAR reported in a statement issued from its Los Angeles headquarters. But it said that pending sales were down 8.2 percent from the 120 index recorded in February 2012.

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