California Market is Speeding Up

California Association of Realtors report for March, 2009, shows a 63% increase in sales and an increase in statewide median price of 2.2% over February, 2009. The unsold inventory index fell to 5 months overall, compared with 12 months one year ago.

"The statewide median price showed the first monthly increase since August 2007, and has remained in the $250,000 range over the past three months," said C.A.R.'s Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "A number of regions around the state also have registered monthly gains for one or more months since the beginning of this year. While these are welcome signs, it remains to be seen whether home prices have stabilized.
"While we still face continued weakness in the general economy and expect continued foreclosures, the increased incidence of multiple offers indicates that first-time home buyers and investors are responding to dramatically improved housing affordability. Low mortgage rates and house prices, coupled with the federal first-time home buyer tax credit, is having a definite impact on the California housing market," Appleton-Young added.

The existence of multiple offers on residential property is reported by numerous local buyers I've talked to in the last few days in the Long Beach area, and the decline in local inventory has been very evident. Properties that are strong in curb appeal, or are staged, are getting the fastest response from buyers.
Another indicator is the number of day on market: statewide, 8 day less that this time last year to sell.

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