Home sales can be a good indicator of the health of the state’s economy and housing markets. California home sales have surged since the pandemic-driven plunge last spring. March marked the seventh straight month that sales were at least 15 percent above the recent average for the month, and the total of 35,247 sales was the highest March 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 generally small inventory of homes for sale and 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. Strong sales growth continued through the middle of April.