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 LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- California existing detached home sales declined during August from July, but were up from August a year ago, the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) reported.
 "Although statewide sales activity declined from July, last month's sales pace is still higher than the sales levels recorded early this year," said C.A.R. President Walt McDonald. "This marks an improvement over the spring homebuying season, which was delayed by slipping consumer confidence and adverse weather," said McDonald, a Riverside REALTOR.
 Among elements of C.A.R.'s August resale housing report:
 -- Statewide, 419,090 existing, single-family detached homes closed escrow during August on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis -- down 2.9 percent from a revised annualized rate of 431,410 homes sold in July.
 -- The August sales pace was up 10.1 percent from the August 1992 annualized rate, when 380,480 homes were sold.
 The annualized figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 1993 if sales occurred at the August 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 August was $189,400, down 1.5 percent from a revised $192,300 in July.
 -- The August median price was down 2.6 percent from August 1992, when the median-priced home sold for a revised $194,420.
 "Lower mortgage interest rates helped boost home sales over August 1992's pace, when sales activity was at its weakest level of that year," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.'s vice president of research and economics. "Interest rates are only one factor in the housing market equation. Job growth and improved consumer confidence are two other key elements needed for a sustained housing recovery," said Appleton-Young.
 C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index for existing detached homes rose slightly during August. 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 10.7 months in August, up from 10.3 months in July but was down from 15.4 months in August 1992.
 -- Statewide, closed-escrow sales of condominiums edged up 0.5 percent from July on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Existing condo sales were down 16.8 percent from August 1992.
 -- The median price of a resale condominium was $138,640 during August, up 2.0 percent from $135,940 in July but was down 4.8 percent from $142,050 in August 1992.
 -- The inventory of unsold condominiums declined during August. The condo Unsold Inventory Index was 13.7 months in August, down from 13.9 months in July and 17.8 months in August 1992.
 -- Fixed mortgage interest rates fell again in August, averaging 7.11 percent, compared with 7.20 percent in July and 7.97 percent in August 1992, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Adjustable mortgage interest rates declined to an average of 4.48 percent in August, from 4.55 percent in July and 5.27 percent in August 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.
 (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 July 93 August 92 July 93 August 92
 Calif. (sf) $189,400 -1.5 -2.6 -2.9 10.1
 Calif. (condo) $138,640 2.0 -4.8 0.5 -16.8
 Central Vly. $113,140 -4.8 -3.8 -1.1 10.2
 High Desert(b) $107,440 -0.2 -1.3 2.7 4.2
 Los Angeles $197,240 -1.2 -6.8 -0.7 8.8
 Monterey $214,080 -8.7 -1.2 -1.7 40.5
 Nor. Calif. $143,410 -0.5 4.4 18.4 27.4
 Nor. Wine Co. $194,110 0.0 0.6 7.7 32.4
 Orange Co. $222,240 0.6 -4.8 6.8 44.4
 Palm Springs/
 Lower Desert $115,620 -8.7 -9.6 26.8 21.1
 Riverside/S.B. $135,840 -2.0 0.4 2.1 20.3
 Sacramento(c) $125,000 -5.3 -5.3 -5.6 14.3
 San Diego $180,060 1.3 0.7 -3.7 30.2
 S.F. Bay $257,670 1.3 0.2 -12.5 4.4
 Sta. Barbara(b)$194,380 -8.9 -14.2 -3.6 46.6
 Sta. Clara $250,630 -2.2 3.2 -7.3 -1.5
 Ventura $223,630 6.7 -2.1 1.0 37.6
 (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
 Here is a comparison of median home prices by region for August 1993 and August 1992.
 August August
 1993 1992
 California (sf) $189,400 $194,420
 California (condo) $138,640 $142,050
 Central Valley $113,140 $117,660
 High Desert $107,440 $108,900
 Los Angeles $197,240 $211,530
 Monterey $214,080 $216,670
 Nor. California $143,410 $137,390
 Nor. Wine Country $194,110 $193,000
 Orange County $222,240 $233,400
 Palm Springs/Lwr. Desert $115,620 $127,920
 Riverside/San Bernardino $135,840 $135,260
 Sacramento $125,000 $132,000
 San Diego $180,060 $178,730
 San Francisco Bay $257,670 $257,240
 Santa Barbara $194,380 $226,670
 Santa Clara $250,630 $242,810
 Ventura $223,630 $228,400
 Source: California Association of REALTORS
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Lotus Lou or Jeff Hershberger, 213-739-8304/

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

MF-LM -- LA008 -- 5878 09/27/93 11:04 EDT
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Date:Sep 27, 1993

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