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Home sales can be a good indicator of the health of the state’s economy and housing markets. Home sales have been slowing since the summer of 2018. There were an estimated 26,100 non-distressed (not resulting from mortgage delinquency or foreclosure) home sales statewide in February. This compares to 30,500 in February 2018. (This data is “seasonally-adjusted” because some months are predictably higher or lower than others.)

Year-over-year declines in home sales have grown more severe since the summer of 2018. Home sales in February fell 15 percent below the prior February. This compares to year-over-year declines of 12 percent in November 2018 and 6 percent in August 2018. While recent declines have not yet reached the levels typically seen before a recession (declines of 25 percent or more), the length and consistent worsening of the slowdown is worrying.

Date sources: Zillow, California Association of Realtors, and Moody’s Analytics, with LAO calculations.


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