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  • Daniel Dobbs (Mutual Home Mortgage)

TRACKING 20 BIG U.S. MARKETS, INCLUDING 3 IN CALIFORNIA


It’s a widely watched benchmark that’s a 3-month avg. values. This yardstick compares pricing from sales of individual existing single-family homes vs. measures such as those that track median sales prices.

Topline: Case-Shiller confirms bargains exist across California, bringing modest relief to budget-strapped folks dreaming of homeownership.

San Francisco prices are off the most from their top of the 20 cities tracked by this math.

Bay Area values fell 14% from May 2022 and are off 2% over 12 months – the only yearly loss among the 20. Prices are at a 17-month low, but over three years there’s still a 26% gain.

San Diego had the No. 3 drop in prices – off 10% from May’s all-time high, but up 5% over 12 months.

November pricing was the cheapest in 10 months but shoppers are navigating a market that has seen a 46% gain in three years.

And in Los Angeles and Orange counties, prices are down 7% from the May top – the No. 6 drop. Prices fell to a nine-month low but are still up 4% over 12 months and 36% higher over three years.

Details: The house hunter’s other challenge is last year’s rising mortgage rates. The historically cheap money that inflated values in the pandemic era became history.

Rates soared from 3.45% to start 2022, rising to 6.9% in October, effectively slashing borrowing power.

As a result, affordability headaches crushed California single-family home purchases to a 16-year low, according to a California Association of REALTOR's (CAR's) index.

Now, there’s been some rate relief through January, as home-loan rates have fallen to 6.27%. Does that create more “affordability” – or simply firm up prices? That remains to be seen.

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