More houses are on the market than a year ago, but they’re still more expensive than they were in 2021.
The most recent data from the California Association of Realtors shows that the median home price in Humboldt County in June was $435,000, which is still 3.6% higher than it was a year ago when it was $420,000, but a 5.1% decline from a month prior when it was $458,500. Home sales were down 10.2% from a month prior and 31.2% from a year prior while active listings were up 91% compared to 2021.
That tracked closely with the state, which saw the median home price come down 4% in June to $863,790 from a record high of $900,170 in May. The price was still 5.4% higher from a year prior when it was $819,630.
Meanwhile, home sales were down 8.4% from a month prior and down 20.9% from a year prior.
“Excluding the three-month pandemic lockdown period in 2020, June’s sales level was the lowest since April 2008. Pending sales data also suggests we can expect additional retreating in the coming months,” the association’s Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine said in a statement. “With inflation remaining high and interest rates expected to climb further in the coming months, the market will normalize further in the second half of the year with softer sales and more moderate price growth.”
Inflation reached a 40-year high during the past week when the annual inflation rate hit 9.1% and the cost of shelter was one of the largest contributors to the rate, rising 5.6% over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since February 1991.
As of Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was averaging 5.51%, up from 2.88% a year ago, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was averaging 4.67%, up from 2.22% a year ago.
Elevated home prices coupled with inflation and mortgage rates at the highest they’ve been in a decade are making “affordability the greatest obstacle to homeownership for many Americans,” Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater said in a statement.
However, the California Association of Realtors President Otto Catrina said in a statement that the “frenzied” housing market is beginning to moderate and create more “favorable conditions for buyers who lost offers or sat out during the fiercely competitive market.”
“With interest rates moving sideways in recent weeks and fewer homes now selling above listing price,” Catrina said, “prospective buyers have the rare opportunity to see more listings coming onto the market and face less competition that could force them to engage in a bidding war.”
Sonia Waraich can be reached at 707-441-0504.