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California’s statewide median home price recorded its first month-to-month increase in seven months, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

The median home price grew from February’s $735,480 to $791,490, a 7.6% upswing. However, March’s price was also lower on a year-over-year basis for the fifth consecutive month, declining 7% from the revised $851,130 recorded last March. CAR predicted the statewide market could record larger year-over-year price declines if home prices continue to rise with more vibrancy.

While prices were rising, sales were going in the opposite direction. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 281,050 in March, down 1% from February’s 284,010 and down 34.2% from one year ago when a revised 427,040 homes were sold on an annualized basis. Sales of existing single-family homes in California remained below the 300,000-unit pace for the sixth consecutive month.

All but one of the 51 counties tracked by CAR experienced a sales drop from a year ago in March, with 35 counties dropping more than 30% year-over-year and five counties plummeting more than 50% from last March.

“Despite a dip in March home sales, the competitiveness in the housing market continues to heat up, as homes are selling faster, and the sales-to-list-price ratio is improving, all the while when the number of homes available for sale continues to tighten,” said CAR President Jennifer Branchini, a Bay Area realtor. “All signs point to a market with solid demand, which should help bolster sales through the homebuying season.”

However, sales could be complicated by the continued lack of an adequate inventory. CAR also noted that although new active listings added in March were up by 27.9% from February, they were also down 30% from March 2022 – and that represented the largest decline since the pandemic shutdown period of May 2020.