California, known for its sunny and hot weather, is among the greatest real estate markets in the US. California real estate statistics show a growing demand for accommodation, particularly in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Also, houses in California are among the costliest personal properties in the world.
Apart from the weather and breathtaking sceneries, California is in great demand due to its booming economy. Even the coronavirus pandemic couldn’t halt the house sales. After the decrease in the first half of 2020, the sales surged again in August. Several factors made Golden State’s real estate attractive again.
Top California Home Sales Statistics and Facts (Editor’s Choice)
- Property sales across the six-county Southern California region increased by 43.5% between May and June 2020
- There are 13,044,266 houses and apartments in California
- The average market rent is $2,333 per month
- 43.7% of homes on the market were built between 1970 and 1999
- 473,500 homes were sold in California in 2019
- The median value of condos and single-family houses amounts to $635,055
- The sale of million-dollar real estate increased by 18.1% in June 2020
General California Real Estate Statistics
2020 was excruciating for the Californian property market. Namely, it encountered the greatest decline after the Great Recession in 2008. Luckily, the real estate market managed to overcome the challenges in June with the biggest increase in month-to-month sales in the past 40 years. Plus, the average price of home units set another record.
1. In California, 1,700 more houses were sold in 2020 than in 2019.
(First Tuesday Journal)
The California housing market witnessed a meager 0.4% increase in home sales from 2019 to 2020, reaching 439,200 sold houses. The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on the economy both in the US and other countries worldwide.
The unexpected recession forced many businesses to close, and a devastating number of employees ended up jobless. Real estate’s fate was no different. The economic volatility coupled with job losses resulted in a low sales volume. More precisely, 42% fewer homes were sold in 2020 than in 2005.
2. 437,500 houses were sold in 2019.
(First Tuesday Journal)
California home sale statistics show that 437,500 homes were sold in 2019 in the state of California. However, in comparison with the sales in 2018, these figures showed a 1% decrease. In other words, 4,400 fewer homes were sold in 2019 than in 2018. Compared to 2005 statistics, that’s a massive drop in sales volume.
3. 465,400 home units were sold in August 2020.
(California Association of Realtors), (California Association of Realtors)
According to real estate trends in California, home sales were on a rising trajectory between 2019 and 2020. More precisely, there was a 6.3% increase in sales from July 2019 and a 14.6% increase from August 2019, reaching 465,400 houses sold by August 2020. The median price of homes also went up by 6.1% between August 2019 and August 2020. However, the California real estate sales started dropping, reaching a record low in 2022. Namely, the year-to date-sales in July reached just 295,460, which is 31.1% less than the same month a year before.
4. SoCal real estate market prices grew by 12.9% in August 2020.
(Norada Real Estate Investments)
Several months ago, the average price of a home unit in Southern California hit $640,000. That marked almost a 13% increase from August 2019. California real estate sales from July and August 2019 indicated a drop of 3.9% and 5.2%, respectively, for single-family homes in LA County. The average price grew by 7.9%, only to hit $677,260. Orange County experienced the greatest surge in sales—13.7% from the year before. The average price increased by 14.8% from 2019, reaching $930,000.
5. The median value of condos and single-family houses amounts to $635,055.
Currently, single-family homes and condos are valued at a median of $635,055, marking a 10.9% increase in value during the past year. This price is adjusted according to seasons and involves only the middle price tier of houses. According to California housing market predictions, a 3% increase in home prices is expected.
6. The sale of million-dollar real estate increased by 18.1% in June 2020.
Home units valued below $500,00 comprised 48% of overall sales in California as of May 2020. However, such homes made up only 44% of total sales in June 2020. Conversely, the sale of properties estimated at a million dollars rose by 18.1%, as opposed to 15.6% in May.
7. The median home value in California is $574,957.
The prices in California generally indicate a rising trajectory. Currently, the positive direction of the real estate market demonstrates that the average value of a home unit amounts to slightly over $570,000. In percentages and value, home prices go as follows:
- Up to $59,223 — 2.8%
- $59,224–$118,496 — 2.4%
- $118,497–$237,000 — 7.6%
- $237,001–$355,415 — 12%
- $355,416–$473,900 — 14.7%
- $473,901–$592,258 — 14.2%
- $592,259–$888,619 — 22.8%
- $888,620–$1,184,775 — 10.8%
- Over $1,184,775 — 12.7%
8. Property sales across the six-county Southern California region increased by 43.5% between May and June 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)
According to home sales statistics, property sales in the six-county Southern California region increased by almost 44% from May to June 2020. It was the biggest increase in home sales in one month since 1988.
Still, the record sales were 15.2% down from the year before. In April and May, the Southern California home sales dropped by 31.5% and 45% year-over-year, respectively.
9. The median price of home units in California rose to $555,500 in June 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)
The real estate median price increased by 2.9% in Southern California. Home sale statistics reveal that such a price of estates in the six-county region amounted to more than half a million dollars in June 2020. But, bear in mind that not all properties were sold at that price. The median reflects the point at which 50% of houses were priced for more and 50% for less than that amount.
10. The median price year-over-year in 45 counties in California increased by 10%.
As California real estate trends show, the median home price increased by 10% in 45 out of 51 counties tracked by the California Association of Realtors. However, the number of active listings dropped by 51.1% in March from the year before, marking a decline in listings of more than 50% for three months in a row.
11. July sales increased by 24.7% from the previous month.
(Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty)
In July 2020, the California housing market graph in the past 50 years saw the strongest monthly gain. Namely, the growth of real estate sales by almost 25% that occurred that month was the highest since 2006. As for the National Association of Realtors, such a surge in sales reflects the seasonally adjusted annual rate of a massive 5.86 million.
12. The mortgage rate in California currently stands at around 3%.
As California real estate data show, mortgage and refinance rates are below the national average. It currently stands at 3.02% for a 30-year fixed rate and 2.28% for a 15-year fixed rate. Even though houses in many areas across the state are very expensive, low interest rates will help buyers save money on mortgage expenses and potentially allow more people to buy properties.
13. The average market rent is $2,333 per month.
California real estate statistics show an increase in rent prices as well. Currently, renters need to pay around $2,300 a month to rent a house. But, the homeownership rate reveals that there are more owners than renters—53.7% vs. 46.3%, respectively. Rental statistics show that the remaining 8% are vacant properties, resulting in a big imbalance between the supply and demand in the real estate market.
When Will House Prices Drop in California?
Without a doubt, 2020 was intriguing for the Californian housing market. The prices were rising, and there was a clear indication that it would be yet another successful year for real estate in California. Then the pandemic happened and threatened to harm the market. Luckily, it fought back and showed extraordinary resilience. Based on the current situation and projections, property price trends show they won’t drop anytime soon.
14. The home unit prices should rise by 3% by the end of April 2021 in Southern California.
According to forecasts, a 1.3% drop in prices will occur in 41 US states. But that isn’t the case with the Los Angeles housing market forecast 2020-2021. Namely, Southern California is among those states that aren’t expecting the decline. Quite the contrary, the prices are bound to grow by 3% in LA County by April 2021. Orange County will see an increase of 5%, whereas the Inland Empire expects a rise of 6%.
15. The Bay Area home sales prices increased by a whopping 128% in inflation-adjusted dollars between 1997 and 2018.
Throughout California median home price history recorded since 1997, the demand for houses in the Bay Area has been quite strong. Given the region’s thriving economy, limited supply of land and vacant real estate, and overall popularity, it’s not surprising that the Bay Area’s home prices are continuing to grow.
16. The average home price reached $706,900 in August 2020.
As far as projections go, the California housing market crash is unlikely to happen soon. The decline in sales during the lockdown is now nearly forgotten, and the surge in the June-September period helped the market to rebound. In fact, a record-high average price of $706,900 was recorded in August 2020. That was a 14.5% increase from the same month in the previous year.
17. There are 13,044,266 houses and apartments in California.
Property stats show that there are more than 13 million homes and apartments in California. In terms of types, 57.7% are single-family homes, while 23.5% are apartment complexes. Small apartment buildings comprise 7.9% of the overall number, whereas townhomes make up 7%. 3.7% are mobile homes, whereas other types comprise 0.1%.
18. 33.4% of homes have three bedrooms.
One-third or 33.4% of US homes have three bedrooms, 27.6% have two bedrooms, while 17% have four bedrooms. 13.5% of homes are with only one bedroom, whereas 4.3% are with five bedrooms. 4.2% have no bedrooms. The average price of building a three-bedroom house is $180,000 to $240,000, depending on the location, size, and style.
19. The average home price in San Francisco Bay jumped by 18.7% in August 2020.
San Francisco Bay Area housing market predictions for 2020 were certainly about the price increase. However, the already expensive Bay Area witnessed the largest home price jump of almost 19% over the year. Besides, it stood out regarding the number of property sales, which, in turn, added to the price increase.
Other areas that saw an increase in prices include the Central Coast region (16.4%), Southern California (12.9% YOY), and the Central Valley region (12.2%).
20. 43.5% of homes on the market in California were built between 1970 and 1999.
California home sales data show that plenty of homes were built and sold between 1970 and 1999. Namely, 43.5% of homes were built during that period. The second most productive period was between 1940 and 1969 when 32.7% of houses were built. Only 9.1% of houses built in 1939 and prior are still standing, whereas 14.6% of houses were built after 2000.
The Bottom Line: The Overall Health of California Real Estate Market
The first six months of 2020 were volatile for the real estate market in California. The year began solidly, with rising sales and profit. Then the coronavirus pandemic took place and threatened to crush the entire market. Economic volatility, job losses, and the global lockdown nearly stopped home sales and purchases.
Somewhere around June, the housing market rekindled. According to California home sales statistics, there was a record in purchases and prices. Even the rent prices jumped considerably. The following months were even more productive for real estate agents, enabling them to make a hefty profit. Without a doubt, the most sought-after region was Southern California, with an increase in sales of over 40% in just a few months. In July only, the region documented an adjusted annual rate of over nearly 6 million, which hasn’t been seen in over half a century.
People Also Ask
Presently, the housing market in California is going through an immense increase in sales and, therefore, in prices too. The figures have been skyrocketing ever since May or June, with the highest growth noticed in Southern California, specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area and LA County. The prices might drop by 1.3% by April 2021 in all areas except for SoCal. This region expects an increase in prices by 3%, 5%, and 6% in LA County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire, respectively.
Due to the temporary health and economic issues bothering America, the question of a market crash is relatively frequent and expected. But, based on the growth in sales, the Californian real estate market isn’t likely to crash soon. The five primary factors that will prevent such a situation include low mortgage rates, the disbalance between supply and demand, i.e., the lack of vacancies, the buyers’ demand, the overall market’s strength, and the ability to adapt.
Regardless of somewhat higher prices, California has always been among stunning locations for real estate investments. The primary reason is its strong economy, maybe the strongest across the entire US. California provides an array of job opportunities that result in employment growth. In fact, the unemployment rate is at its lowest in the last 50 years. Job prospects are expected to attract more people to relocate to California. In turn, the growing economy is bound to result in higher housing demand in many fantastic Californian cities.
The high demand for accommodation and the lack of home units affected the price range in the housing market. It’s the classic supply and demand factor—a rising number of people seek to live there, but there aren’t quite enough homes. Simply put, California hasn’t built enough houses. As for the estimations, the state should build 180,000 new home units every year to prevent prices from changing.
Southern California is undoubtedly among the priciest places to live in Golden State. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose are among the most attractive cities. Even though it’s among the most expensive states, California still has affordable locations to offer.
The five cheapest cities include:
– Ventura, with an average household income of $66,485 and a median home price of $428,600
– Camarillo, with a median household income of $87,120 and a median accommodation price of $456,500
– Simi Valley, where a median income amounts to $89,595, whereas the home value is $438,700
– Oxnard, in which a household earns $62,349 on average and need to pay $332,600 for an average home
– Vacaville, as the cheapest, Vacaville sells an average home for $275,100, and its citizens earn $74,207 on average.
Although Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose are among the most attractive Californian cities, they aren’t listed as the best cities for buying a house, mainly because of the high prices.
The most attractive place to buy a house is determined according to four factors: livability (including factors such as facilities, education, healthcare, and employment), average home unit price, value predictions (what you’ll get for your money), and buyer-seller index (a balance between buyers and sellers). According to California real estate statistics, Hawthorne, home to Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, is the best place to buy a house.