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, although the last two months have been only modestly above the recent average for those months. June is typically the most busy month of the year, and last month’s total of 40,755 sales was the highest monthly figure in at least a decade. Historically low mortgage rates, strong income growth among the state’s higher earners, and possibly the increased emphasis on working from home have contributed to the recent boom, although it now appears that the sharp increases in prices in most of the state may be tempering buyers’ enthusiasm to some extent. 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. The most recent week, July 5-11, shows a sharp dropoff. While this figure is likely to be revised up, the data still suggest that demand is weakening.