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. April marked the eighth straight month that sales were at least 15 percent above the recent average for the month. The total of 38,152 sales was the highest April figure, and the second highest total for any month, since at least 2011. It appears that historically low mortgage rates, strong income growth among the state’s higher earners, 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 employment. 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. As the figure shows, April is not typically one of the biggest months for home sales.
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 early May.