Home sales can be a good indicator of the health of the state’s economy and housing markets. California home sales have rebounded strongly since the pandemic-driven plunge in the spring. December marked the fourth straight month that sales were at least 15 percent above both the 2019 figure and the 2015-19 average, and the total of 35,938 sales was easily the highest December figure since at least 2011. It appears historically low mortgage rates and possibly the increased emphasis on working from home have caused a boom in home sales despite the continued weakness in overall economic activity. The graph below shows unadjusted home sale counts according to Redfin, a national real estate brokerage. Sales are booked when they close, so monthly counts primarily reflect contracts that were signed in the previous month.
This next graph shows weekly counts for the past 52 weeks using Redfin data for California’s twelve largest markets. January sales are running below the levels of previous months, but this is a standard annual pattern and the pace remains well ahead of a year ago.