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CALIFORNIA EXISTING HOME SALES INCREASE DURING NOVEMBER; CONSUMERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FAVORABLE PRICES AND LOW INTEREST RATES

 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- California existing home sales rose during November, marking the third consecutive month-to- month and second consecutive year-to-year increases in sales, the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) reported.
 "More and more consumers are recognizing that homebuying conditions are the best they've been in recent history," said 1993 C.A.R. President Walt McDonald. "Sales increased from a year ago in virtually every region of California. Clearly, many prospective homebuyers moved to snap up properties at very favorable prices, while simultaneously locking in historically low mortgage interest rates," said McDonald, a Riverside REALTOR.
 Among elements of C.A.R.'s November resale housing report:
 -- Statewide, 426,080 existing, single-family detached homes closed escrow during November on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis -- up 1.9 percent from a revised annualized rate of 418,160 homes sold in October.
 -- The November sales pace was up 8.5 percent from the revised November 1991 annualized rate, when 392,840 homes were sold.
 The annualized figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 1992 if sales occurred at the November 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 November was $194,530, essentially unchanged from a revised $194,630 in October.
 -- The November median price edged up 0.2 percent from November 1991, when the median-priced home sold for a revised $194,190.
 "It's encouraging that the statewide median home price stabilized in November, dropping only a fraction from October and increasing slightly from a year ago -- the first year-to-year increase in this figure since February," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.'s vice president of research and economics. "Median prices also leveled off during November in several regions of the state, including the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Riverside/San Bernardino, and the Central Valley," Appleton-Young said.
 A decrease in non-seasonally adjusted sales outpaced a drop in listings and raised the level of unsold detached homes during November, as measured by C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index. The index indicates 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 14.6 months in November, up from 13.2 months in October, but down from 15.5 months in November 1991.
 -- Average fixed mortgage interest rates edged up during November but remained favorable. According to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., fixed mortgage interest rates averaged 8.31 percent in November, up from 8.13 percent in October. Adjustable mortgage interest rates averaged 5.26 percent in November, up from 5.07 percent in October.
 -- Statewide, closed escrow sales of existing condominiums fell 15.8 percent from October on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Statewide condo sales were down 10.5 percent from November 1991.
 -- The median price of a resale condominium was down 1.4 percent from $146,160 in October to $144,090 in November. The median condo price was down 0.8 percent from $145,230 in November 1991.
 -- The condo Unsold Inventory Index rose from 16.6 months in October to 19.4 months in November. It was up from 17.1 months in November 1991.
 Regional sales and price data 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 1979-1991 sales.
 The California Association of REALTORS is a statewide trade association with 126,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
 November 1992 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 Oct. 92 Nov. 91 Oct. 92 Nov. 91
 Calif. (sf) $194,530 -0.1pct 0.2pct 1.9pct 8.5pct
 Calif. (condo)$144,090 -1.4pct -0.8pct -15.8pct -10.5pct
 Region
 Central Vly. $116,430 -0.9pct 0.7pct -14.1pct 13.5pct
 High Desert(b)$106,610 -4.1pct -2.8pct 1.9pct 14.8pct
 Los Angeles $206,960 0.7pct -1.4pct -7.2pct 0.5pct
 Monterey $215,220 -6.9pct -8.4pct -19.3pct 17.9pct
 Nor. Calif. $142,370 2.5pct 6.0pct -0.3pct 9.5pct
 Nor. Wine Co. $190,410 -2.7pct -0.3pct -17.4pct 3.0pct
 Orange Co. $230,080 -1.1pct -2.9pct -14.8pct 9.4pct
 Palm Springs/
 Lower
 Desert(b) $102,220 -20.6pct -17.8pct -25.6pct -27.7pct
 Riverside/S.B.$136,300 0.3pct 0.8pct -18.2pct -10.6pct
 Sacramento(c) $127,800 -1.7pct -1.7pct -12.9pct 5.1pct
 San Diego $181,790 -0.2pct 0.0pct -10.4pct -0.9pct
 S.F. Bay $248,900 -0.2pct -0.4pct -11.0pct 10.5pct
 Sta.
 Barbara(b) $208,930 -7.1pct -15.5pct -7.1pct 50.4pct
 Sta. Clara $239,620 -1.6pct -2.6pct -15.2pct 5.9pct
 Ventura $224,310 3.5pct -4.2pct -3.7pct 27.6pct
 (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 November 1992 and November 1991.
 November November
 1992 1991
 California (sf) $194,530 $194,190
 California (condo) $144,090 $145,230
 Region
 Central Valley $116,430 $115,660
 High Desert $106,610 $109,710
 Los Angeles $206,960 $209,940
 Monterey $215,220 $235,000
 Nor. California $142,370 $134,350
 Nor. Wine Country $190,410 $191,000
 Orange County $230,080 $236,990
 Palm Springs/Lwr. Desert $102,220 $124,350
 Riverside/San Bernardino $136,300 $135,250
 Sacramento $127,800 $130,000
 San Diego $181,790 $181,870
 San Francisco Bay $248,900 $249,840
 Santa Barbara $208,930 $247,220
 Santa Clara $239,620 $245,980
 Ventura $224,310 $234,180
 Source: California Association of REALTORS
 -0- 12/23/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Hershberger of the California Association of REALTORS, 213-739-8304/


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

BP-LS -- LA002 -- 9503 12/23/92 11:01 EST
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