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State home sales drop year-over-year

Sales of existing single-family homes in California totaled 426,790 last month, a slight increase from the month prior but a 4.4 percent drop year-over-year, according to data released Tuesday.

Statewide, the median home price in March was $849,080, up 10.1 percent from February and up nearly 12 percent from March 2021, the California Association of Realtors reported.

Home sales were down seven percent year-over-year during the first three months of 2022, the ninth straight decline in that category.

“March sales data continues to suggest strong buying interest and a solid housing market, as the effects of higher mortgage interest rates won’t be realized for a few more months,” said Jordan Levine, chief economist with the Los Angeles-based association, in a statement.

Half-point interest rate hikes by the federal reserve are expected in May and June, but that might not affect the housing market until the second half of this year, Levine said.

In the Inland Empire, the median home price last month was $580,000, up from $551,000 in February and $60,000 year-over-year. Sales figures for the region were not available.

The statewide annualized sales figures represent what would be the total number of homes sold during 2022 if sales maintained their March pace through the rest of the year. Those numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors that impact the housing market.

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