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CALIFORNIA EXISTING HOME SALES RISE MODERATELY DURING MAY

 LOS ANGELES, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Closed-escrow sales of existing, single-family homes in California rose moderately during May, the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) reported.
 "The anecdotal reports of a pickup in homebuyer activity during March and April are reflected in the May completed sales figures," said C.A.R. President Walt McDonald. "Almost all of the state's major regions -- including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and Riverside/San Bernardino -- posted an increase in sales activity, compared with April," said McDonald, a Riverside REALTOR.
 Among elements of C.A.R.'s May resale housing report:
 -- Statewide, 404,220 existing, single-family detached homes closed escrow during May on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis -- up 6.3 percent from a revised annualized rate of 380,200 homes sold in April.
 -- The May sales pace was down 8.5 percent from the May 1992 annualized rate, when 441,960 homes were sold.
 The annualized figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 1993 if sales occurred at the May 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 May was $191,230, down 1.7 percent from a revised $194,600 in April.
 -- The May median price was down 5.8 percent from May 1992, when the median-priced home sold for a revised $203,010.
 "Although sales activity increased modestly during May, California's housing market will continue to be affected by the state's economic environment," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.'s vice president of research and economics. "Concerns about President Clinton's budget package and health care plan also are contributing to consumer uncertainty about the economy," said Appleton-Young.
 C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index was virtually unchanged during May. 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 for detached homes was 12.0 months in May, up slightly from 11.8 months in April but down from 12.8 months in May 1992.
 -- Statewide, closed-escrow sales of condominiums edged up 1.3 percent from April on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Existing condo sales were down 26.2 percent from May 1992.
 -- The median price of a resale condominium also edged up during May, up 0.3 percent from $139,670 in April, to $140,090. May's figure was down 1.9 percent from $142,830 in May 1992.
 -- As with the detached housing market, the inventory of unsold condominiums was virtually unchanged during May. The condo Unsold Inventory Index was 15.3 months in May, compared with 15.1 months in April. The condo inventory figure was 13.2 months in May 1992.
 -- According to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., fixed mortgage interest rates remained stable during May, averaging 7.47 percent in May, compared with 7.46 percent in April, but down from 8.63 percent in May 1992. Adjustable mortgage interest rates declined to an average of 4.65 percent in May, from 4.71 percent in April and 5.97 percent in May 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.
 MAY 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 April 93 May 92 April 93 May 92
 Calif. (sf) $191,230 -1.7 -5.8 6.3 -8.5
 Calif. (condo) $140,090 0.3 -1.9 1.3 -26.2
 Region
 Central Vly. $118,750 1.4 0.2 0.4 -6.8
 High Desert(b) $109,270 -2.7 1.7 -10.6 -1.7
 Los Angeles $202,010 -1.3 -7.6 2.9 -7.8
 Monterey $214,750 -2.5 -4.7 0.0 -12.4
 Nor. Calif. $143,140 2.8 -2.1 9.7 -11.1
 Nor. Wine Co. $191,540 1.5 -2.8 -12.1 -16.0
 Orange Co. $219,290 0.5 -9.2 10.1 -8.7
 Palm Springs/
 Lower Desert n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
 Riverside/S.B. $137,020 3.0 1.1 11.6 -21.9
 Sacramento(c) $129,000 -0.8 -2.3 1.7 -3.8
 San Diego $177,810 0.1 -6.1 4.8 0.4
 S.F. Bay $249,400 -0.3 -5.2 -3.1 -18.8
 Sta. Barbara(b)$176,250 -21.3 -23.5 -14.7 -20.7
 Sta. Clara $243,450 0.3 -8.9 -7.7 -8.9
 Ventura $210,960 -1.1 -4.6 -9.4 -3.6
 (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
 A comparison of median home prices by region for May 1993 and May 1992.
 May May
 1993 1992
 California (sf) $191,230 $203,010
 California (condo) $140,090 $142,830
 Region
 Central Valley $118,750 $118,500
 High Desert $109,270 $107,430
 Los Angeles $202,010 $218,630
 Monterey $214,750 $225,360
 Nor. California $143,140 $146,150
 Nor. Wine Country $191,540 $197,010
 Orange County $219,290 $241,570
 Palm Springs/Lwr. Desert n.a. n.a.
 Riverside/San Bernardino $137,020 $135,490
 Sacramento $129,000 $132,000
 San Diego $177,810 $189,270
 San Francisco Bay $249,400 $263,010
 Santa Barbara $176,250 $230,490
 Santa Clara $243,450 $267,120
 Ventura $210,960 $221,100
 Source: California Association of REALTORS
 -0- 6/25/93
 /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:

JL-MF -- LA006 -- 5674 06/25/93 11:02 EDT
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Date:Jun 25, 1993
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