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CALIFORNIA DETACHED HOME SALES DIP DURING MAY; STATEWIDE MEDIAN HOME PRICE EDGES UPWARD

 CALIFORNIA DETACHED HOME SALES DIP DURING MAY;
 STATEWIDE MEDIAN HOME PRICE EDGES UPWARD
 LOS ANGELES, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Existing detached home sales in California dipped during May, compared with April, and were down from a year ago when sales peaked during the post-Gulf War homebuying rally, the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) reported.
 "California's housing market is maintaining a steady sales pace, despite the slight decline in May home sales," said C.A.R. President Chuck Lamb. "Even when factoring in last year's post-war sales boom, home sales activity in the first five months of this year was still 3 percent higher than during the first five months of 1991," said Lamb, a San Fernando Valley REALTOR.
 Among highlights of C.A.R.'s May resale housing report:
 Statewide, 459,330 existing, single-family detached homes closed escrow during May on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis -- down 0.4 percent from a revised annual rate of 460,970 in April.
 The May sales pace was down 10.4 percent from the revised May 1991 annualized rate, when 512,670 homes were sold.
 The annualized figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 1992 if sales occurred at the May pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors which influence home sales.
 The median sales price of a California home rose 1.4 percent from a revised $196,500 in April to $199,240 in May.
 Last month's median home price was down 4.1 percent from May 1991, when the median-priced home sold for a revised $207,830.
 The decline in home sales coupled with a decline in listings led to an increase in C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index in May. The Index, which measures the number of months it would take to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales, rose from 11.9 months in April to 12.9 months in May. The Index was 9.8 months in May 1991.
 "Last year's housing market peaked in May, when post-Gulf War euphoria significantly boosted housing sales. This contributed to the marked year-over-year decline in sales activity this May," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.'s vice president of research and economics. "So far this year, the housing market has been expanding more gradually, as the economic recovery struggles for a foothold in California," said Appleton-Young.
 Mortgage interest rates declined further during May. According to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., fixed mortgage interest rates averaged 8.63 percent in May, down from 8.85 percent in April. Adjustable mortgage rates declined from an average of 6.14 percent in April to 5.97 percent in May.
 Statewide, closed escrow sales of existing condominiums fell 13.3 percent from April on a non-seasonally adjusted basis and were down 23.4 percent from May 1991.
 The median price of a resale condominium slipped 1.8 percent from $149,190 in April to $146,540 in May. The median condo price was down 0.6 percent from $147,440 in May 1991.
 The decline in condo sales expanded the inventory of unsold condominiums for sale during May. The condo Unsold Inventory Index was 13.6 months in May, up from 11.7 months in April and 9.0 months in May 1991.
 Regionally, detached home sales and median prices increased from April in the state's coastal areas, including Los Angeles, Orange County and Santa Barbara. The inland areas of Riverside/San Bernardino and Palm Springs/Lower Desert also posted a sales gain, compared with April. (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 83 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 1979-1991 sales.
 The California Association of REALTORS is a statewide trade association with 130,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
 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 April 92 May 91 April 92 May 91
 Calif. (sf) $199,240 1.4 pct -4.1 pct -0.4 pct -10.4 pct
 Calif. (condo) $146,540 -1.8 pct -0.6 pct -13.3 pct -23.4 pct
 Region
 Central Vly. $117,930 -2.9 pct -4.1 pct -4.9 pct -10.4 pct
 High Desert(b) $107,430 -6.1 pct -0.4 pct -10.4 pct -17.1 pct
 Los Angeles $214,590 1.1 pct -3.9 pct 6.3 pct -24.1 pct
 Monterey $227,920 -5.4 pct -4.7 pct 3.7 pct 7.9 pct
 Nor. Calif. $146,150 6.5 pct 6.4 pct -10.8 pct 9.9 pct
 Nor. Wine Co. $197,010 1.9 pct 8.6 pct -8.1 pct -7.6 pct
 Orange Co. $241,590 2.6 pct 0.5 pct 10.1 pct -9.9 pct
 Palm Springs/
 Lower Desert(b)$132,500 1.6 pct 3.1 pct 8.6 pct -6.9 pct
 Riverside/S.B. $135,480 -1.7 pct 0.4 pct 5.7 pct -20.5 pct
 Sacramento(c) $132,500 -1.9 pct -4.7 pct -13.0 pct -26.5 pct
 San Diego $189,530 3.4 pct -0.1 pct -4.0 pct -10.8 pct
 S.F. Bay $255,540 1.2 pct -4.5 pct -1.9 pct -15.5 pct
 Sta. Barbara(b)$226,470 3.6 pct 1.3 pct 1.0 pct -7.9 pct
 Sta. Clara $272,980 4.9 pct -0.9 pct -5.4 pct -18.3 pct
 Ventura $227,450 -1.5 pct -1.8 pct -0.4 pct -22.6 pct
 (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) Because of 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
 A Comparison of Median Home Prices by Region for
 May 1992 and May 1991.
 May May
 1992 1991
 California (sf) $199,240 $207,830
 California (condo) $146,540 $147,440
 Region
 Central Valley $117,930 $123,010
 High Desert $107,430 $107,890
 Los Angeles $214,590 $223,360
 Monterey $227,920 $239,220
 Nor. California $146,150 $137,410
 Nor. Wine Country $197,010 $181,450
 Orange County $241,590 $240,390
 Palm Springs/Lwr. Desert $132,500 $128,500
 Riverside/San Bernardino $135,480 $134,920
 Sacramento $132,500 $139,000
 San Diego $189,530 $189,760
 San Francisco Bay $255,540 $267,490
 Santa Barbara $226,470 $223,570
 Santa Clara $272,980 $275,320
 Ventura $227,450 $231,560
 Source: California Association of REALTORS
 -0- 6/25/92 R
 /CONTACT: Lotus Lou or Jeff Hershberger of the California Association of REALTORS, 213-739-8304/ CO: California Association of REALTORS ST: California IN: FIN SU:


GK -- LA006R -- 3738 06/25/92 11:36 EDT
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