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CALIFORNIA EXISTING HOME SALES INCREASE FROM YEAR AGO

 LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Closed escrow sales of existing California detached homes increased from a year ago for the fifth consecutive month in October, despite dipping from September's pace, the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) reported.
 "Historically low interest rates are finally kicking in, pushing year-to-date statewide home sales above last year's level for the first time in 1993," said 1994 C.A.R. President Pat Neal, a West Orange County REALTOR.
 Among elements of C.A.R.'s October resale housing report:
 -- Statewide, 460,870 existing, single-family detached homes closed escrow during October on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis -- down 2.0 percent from a revised annualized rate of 470,400 homes sold in September.
 -- The October sales pace was up 6.6 percent from the October 1992 annualized rate, when 432,250 homes were sold.
 The annualized figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 1993 if sales occurred at the October pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors which influence home sales.
 -- The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold during October was $186,470, down 0.4 percent from a revised $187,220 in September.
 -- The October median price was down 4.0 percent from October 1992, when the median-priced home sold for a revised $194,190.
 -- Fixed mortgage interest rates continued to decline during October, averaging 6.8 percent, compared with 6.9 percent in September and 8.1 percent in October 1992, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Adjustable mortgage interest rates declined to an average of 4.2 percent in October, from 4.3 percent in September and 5.1 percent in October 1992.
 "The effects of the late-August mortgage interest rate drop below 7 percent will continue to be reflected in the November and December closed-escrow sales figures," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.'s vice president of research and economics. "Consumers will still have the homebuying edge, as interest rates are expected to remain favorable throughout next year," said Appleton-Young.
 October's decline in home sales and an increase in listings combined to expand C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index. The Index measures the number of months it would take to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.
 -- The statewide Unsold Inventory Index was 11.1 months in October, up from 9.9 months in September. The Index stood at 13.1 months in October 1992.
 -- Statewide, closed-escrow sales of condominiums declined 7.2 percent from September on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Existing condo sales were down 13.7 percent from October 1992.
 -- The median price of a resale condominium was $136,270 during October, up 0.4 percent from $135,660 in September and down 4.3 percent from $142,350 in October 1992.
 -- The condo Unsold Inventory Index was 15.6 months in October, up from 13.6 months in September. Last month's figure was down from the 15.8 months recorded in October 1992.
 Regional sales and price information are contained in the following charts. (Regional sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors which influence home sales.)
 C.A.R.'s median price and sales data for detached homes are based on reports from 84 Boards of REALTORS around the state. Median condominium price and sales data are based on a survey of 32 Boards. The median price for both detached homes and condominiums is based on closed escrow sales. Sales revisions reflect the re-seasonalization of monthly sales data using seasonal factors calculated with the 1979-1992 sales.
 The California Association of REALTORS is a statewide trade association with 115,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
 OCTOBER 1993 REGIONAL SALES AND PRICE ACTIVITY(a)
 Regional and Condo Sales Data Not Seasonally Adjusted
 Percent Percent Percent Percent
 Change Change Change Change
 in in in Sales in Sales
 Price Price Activity Activity
 Median from from from from
 Price Sept. 93 Oct. 92 Sept. 93 Oct. 92
 Calif. (sf) $186,470 -0.4 -4.0 -2.0 6.6
 Calif. (condo) $136,270 0.4 -4.3 -7.2 -13.7
 Region
 Central Vly. $115,020 -0.5 -2.1 -5.4 2.8
 High Desert(b) $106,620 -0.4 -3.3 -5.4 15.9
 Los Angeles $195,580 -1.1 -4.8 5.6 11.2
 Monterey $217,230 -7.4 -6.2 -17.4 -16.7
 Nor. Calif. $136,770 -0.5 -1.6 -8.4 16.2
 Nor. Wine Co. $187,810 -1.1 -4.1 -4.7 2.4
 Orange Co. $217,380 -1.4 -6.8 -23.0 -2.4
 Palm Springs/
 Lwr. Desert(b)$123,330 14.1 -2.9 0.8 -3.8
 Riverside/S.B. $132,260 -0.3 -2.7 -7.3 6.7
 Sacramento(c) $129,000 3.2 -0.8 -9.2 2.5
 San Diego $182,790 4.8 0.5 -14.9 8.4
 S.F. Bay $247,020 -1.2 -0.9 -4.9 -1.1
 Sta. Barbara(b)$208,550 -8.4 -7.7 -4.9 6.6
 Sta. Clara $242,250 -2.3 -0.5 -3.2 -8.9
 Ventura $208,400 -1.0 -2.7 -9.2 15.0
 (a) Based on closed escrow sales of single-family, detached homes only (no condos). Reported month-to-month changes in sales activity may overstate actual changes because of the small size of individual regional samples. Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as measuring changes in the cost of a standard home. Prices are influenced by changes in cost and changes in the characteristics and size of homes actually sold.
 (b) Due to the small sample size in these areas, prices and activity changes may be overemphasized.
 (c) Source: Sacramento Association of REALTORS
 sf = single-family, detached home
 Source: California Association of REALTORS
 Here is a comparison of median home prices by region for October 1993 and October 1992.
 October October
 1993 1992
 California (sf) $186,470 $194,190
 California (condo) $136,270 $142,350
 Region
 Central Valley $115,020 $117,510
 High Desert $106,620 $110,290
 Los Angeles $195,580 $205,510
 Monterey $217,230 $231,620
 Nor. California $136,770 $138,930
 Nor. Wine Country $187,810 $195,770
 Orange County $217,380 $233,130
 Palm Springs/Lwr. Desert $123,330 $127,000
 Riverside/San Bernardino $132,260 $135,940
 Sacramento $129,000 $130,000
 San Diego $182,790 $181,820
 San Francisco Bay $247,020 $249,370
 Santa Barbara $208,550 $226,040
 Santa Clara $242,250 $243,530
 Ventura $208,400 $214,120
 Source: California Association of REALTORS
 -0- 11/29/93
 /CONTACT: Jeff Hershberger of the California Association of REALTORS, 213-739-8304/


CO: California Association of REALTORS ST: California IN: FIN SU: RLE

MF-EH -- LA023 -- 8330 11/29/93 13:30 EST
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Date:Nov 29, 1993
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