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Monthly Real Estate Market Report- December 2015

March 2, 2016

02.23.2016_1As reported in the November Market report, the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation, or the Know Before You Owe Rule, created delays in closings for the month. December reflected these delays being resolved with a significant increase in the number of closed sales. We will be watching the next few months to see if there are any further delays that appear to be related to the new rules, but chances are the large swing in sales between November and December 2015 will even out over the coming months. In the meantime, December held its own in the housing market.

Reviewing the details of month-to-month data, December showed more residential homes (single-family homes and condominiums) sold compared to November, with 33,969 homes sold in December, 24.7% greater than the final count of 27,241 homes sold in November. Compared to a year ago in December 2014, there was a 3.7% increase in sales. Median prices remained essentially the same with only a slight increase, moving from $412,000 in November to $412,500. This lack of movement in the median pricing of single-family homes is not a surprise when you take in the effects of the new TRID Rule.

Looking at county level median data, the same situation held true for the month. There were some counties that saw a decrease in the median pricing, however, including 6 of the 9 Bay Area counties. Specifically, Santa Clara went down 9.2%, San Francisco decreased by 8.5%, and Contra Costa by 6.7%. Median prices throughout 2015 were on a sideways variation, swinging up and down month to month. This latest dip is most likely due to the holiday season. Better news comes from the annual median data, which shows the continued demand for homes in California. Comparing December 2015 to December 2014, the median price of homes went up by 7.1%. The counties which saw the biggest annual increase were Monterey, with a 16.6% increase in median sales, followed by Marin County at 13.7%, San Mateo at 11.6%, and San Francisco at 11.1%. With recent fluctuations in the stock market, more investors are expected to turn back to the safer risk of owning property. If this happens, we could expect to see growing median prices in the coming months.

Cash sales for December were back in line with the last 6 months’ average, coming in at 20.2% of the sales for the month. Several counties saw slightly larger increases in cash 02.23.2016_02sales as well. Of the largest counties in the state, the biggest increase in cash sales occurred in Santa Cruz, with 26% of sales being cash. Merced, Monterey, Riverside, and San Luis Obispo saw in increase of 24.3 – 24.7% in cash sales. This is still historically high, and is another indicator of the popularity in real estate as a safer investment.

Home foreclosures remained stable for the month as well. While there are still families facing this issue, we are holding steady with 1 in 15 homes facing possible foreclosure, the same as was reported in November. The California Real Estate Market is holding strong and is expected to continue forward alongside our strengthening economy. When you are ready to sell or buy a home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at


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