Median home price in California will decline 2% to $550,000, experts say
RISMEDIA, October 19, 2006—The rate of home price appreciation will post a modest decline next year following several years of steep increases, while the sales pace will decrease as the market stabilizes throughout 2007, according to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) "2007 California Housing Market Forecast.”
The forecast was presented during the California Realtor Expo 2006 through today at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. The trade show attracts more than 12,000 attendees and is one of the largest state real estate trade shows in the nation.
The median home price in California will decline 2% to $550,000 in 2007 compared with a projected median of $561,000 this year, while sales for 2007 are projected to decrease 7% to 447,500 units, compared with 481,200 units (projected) in 2006. “The housing market clearly downshifted in 2006 from the record-setting sales and robust price gains of the last few years,” said C.A.R. president Vince Malta. “The residential real estate market in 2006 was characterized by a gap between buyer and seller expectations. Sellers sensed that the peak of the market was approaching, yet still hoped to obtain the highest possible prices. Buyers’ sense of urgency waned as the number of homes on the market grew and they took longer to identify and subsequently purchase a home.” “Although the 2007 sales decline is not expected to be as steep as what we experienced this year, the psychology of the market – matching the differing expectations of sellers and buyers – will continue to be a factor as Realtors help consumers navigate their way through a changing market,” said Malta. “While we’re projecting a modest decline in the median price of a home, over the long term, residential real estate in California has been and will continue to be a solid investment,” said Malta. “Since 1968, the long-term average price appreciation is 9.1 percent.” “While we recognized that the frenetic sales pace of the past four years could not continue indefinitely, the housing market in 2006 did not fare as well as we initially expected,” said C.A.R. vice president and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The anticipated slowdown that began in October 2005 was heightened by dual natural disasters in the Gulf Coast, a significant drop in consumer confidence, rising energy and raw materials costs, and a series of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes that began in June 2004. Fixed-rate mortgages also hit and passed the psychological threshold of 6 percent, while adjustable rate mortgages passed 5 percent, ultimately causing a decline in affordability. Affordability concerns also will continue to constrain sales for many households in California throughout 2007, especially for first-time home buyers. “Looking to 2007, we expect that some regions of the state, including the Central Valley, San Diego and Riverside/San Bernardino regions, will experience sales declines greater than the state as a whole,” said Appleton-Young. “That also holds true for several second-home markets, including the desert areas of Southern California and the Wine Country.”