California home sales cool in October after summer rally, prices hold steady

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SAN DIEGO — California home sales cooled in October after a summer rally, while prices held steady, a research firm said Thursday.

An estimated 39,191 new and existing houses and condominiums sold last month, down 4.1 percent from September but up 2.3 percent from a year earlier, CoreLogic Inc. said. It was the eighth straight month that sales grew from a year earlier but the smallest gain during the current streak. Sales were unusually robust from June through September.

The median sales price was $407,500, up 0.6 percent from $405,000 in September and up 5.6 percent from $386,000 a year earlier. It was the 44th straight month that prices rose from a year earlier but below a nearly eight-year high of $415,000 reached during the summer.

Supplies remained tight, keeping a lid on sales. The California Association of Realtors said there was a 3.7-month supply of unsold single-family homes, far below what is considered a normal supply of five to seven months. The San Francisco Bay area had a 2.5-month supply.

The Bay area registered is first annual sales decline in eight months, which CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said may partly reflect a lack of affordability. The nine-county region posted 7,673 sales, down 2.4 percent from September and down 2.5 percent from last year.

The median sales price in the Bay area was $635,000, up 0.8 percent from $630,000 in September 2015 and up 4.3 percent from $608,750 in October 2014, CoreLogic said. The median price in the city of San Francisco hovered over $1 million.

Southern California posted 19,930 sales, down 5.5 percent from a month earlier but up 1.3 percent from October 2014. The median sales price in the six-county region was $435,000, unchanged from the previous month and up 5.6 percent from $412,000 in October 2014.

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