Reprinted from the California Association of Realtors NewsLine.
A weaker-than-expected economic recovery will result in a projected decline in California home sales for 2010, although home sales are expected to edge up slightly in 2011, according to C.A.R.’s “2011 California Housing Market Forecast” released this week.
California home sales for 2011 are projected to increase 2 percent to 502,000 units compared with 492,000 units (projected) in 2010. After two consecutive years of record-setting price declines, the median home price in California will increase 2 percent in 2011 to $312,500, according to the forecast.
“As the U.S. economy continues its tepid recovery, we’ll see some improvement in California’s economy,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “We expect a net jobs increase of approximately 1.4 million jobs in California for the year to come and an improvement in unemployment figures.
“A lean supply of available homes for sale will drive prices up at the low end, but larger inventories and limited, less attractive financing will cause continued softness at the high end,” said Appleton-Young. “There’s some indication that lenders will accelerate the number of foreclosures coming on market, further adding to the housing supply, but we do not anticipate that lenders will flood the market with distressed properties,” she said.
“The wild cards for 2011 include federal housing policies, actions of underwater homeowners, and the strength of the economic recovery,” said Appleton-Young. “What is certain is that favorable home prices and historically low interest rates will continue to make owning a home in California attractive for those who are in a position to buy,” she said.