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May 15, 2003
Valley Area Home
Sales Skyrocket

Howard Hobbs PhD, Real Estate Economist

     FRESNO -- The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California hit a new record during the first quarter of 2003, rising 14.3 percent to $337,780, the California Association of Realtors reported today.
     Closed sales of existing, single family detached homes in California amounted to 573,030 for the first quarter of 2003 at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, a 3.5 percent decrease from 593,620 in the first quarter of 2002.
     Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single family detached homes for the first quarter of 2003 was 3.2 months, compared to 2.6 months for the same period a year ago.
     The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
     Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates averaged 5.83 percent during the first quarter of 2003, down from 6.97 percent in the first quarter of 2002, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.
     Adjustable mortgage interest rates averaged 3.87 percent in the first quarter of 2003, down from 5.08 percent in the first quarter of 2002.
     The median number of days it took to sell a single family home was 31 days in the first quarter of 2003, compared to 35 days for the same period a year ago. Regional MLS sales and price information is contained in the tables that accompany this press release.
    Regional sales data is not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales.
     The MLS median price and sales data for detached homes is generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of realtors throughout the state.
     MLS median price and sales data for condominiums is based on a survey of more than 60 associations.
     The median price for both detached homes and condominiums represents closed escrow sales.
     In a separate report covering more localized statistics generated by the info system, 96.7 percent or 433 of 448 California cities and communities showed an increase in their respective median home prices during the first quarter of 2003 compared to the same period a year ago.
     The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $352,780 in California in March was $82,470, based on a typical 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 5.80 percent and assuming a 20 percent downpayment.
    The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home was up from $78,130 in March 2002, when the median price of a home was $305,840 and the prevailing interest rate was 6.84 percent.
     The stats are based solely on county records data.

Letter to Editor

1876-2003 by The Fresno Republican Newspaper.
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