The California housing market ended 2011 on a solid note, with seasonally adjusted annualized sales reaching 520,940 units in December, an increase of 3.3 percent from November but virtually unchanged from December 2010.Â It was, nonetheless, the highest sales level since January 2011.Â For the year as a whole, 2011 exceeded 2010 by 1.1 percent with annual sales of existing detached home at 497,860 units.Â Â The statewide median home price improved slightly by 1.8 percent to $285,920 from November, but dropped 6.2 percent from December 2010.
A particular highlight worth mentioning is the strong sales trend of distressed properties towards the end of the year.Â While equity sales in December had a healthy month-to-month increase of 5.7 percent in sales (non-seasonally adjusted), distressed sales increased significantly more with a 14.5 percent jump from November.Â As lenders pushed to close bank owned properties (REOs) and short sales to move them off their balance sheets before the end of the year, distressed sales tend to show a stronger performance than equity sales towards the year-end.
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