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Home-price climb slows

first_img A price decline from August to September is typical. It has happened every year since 1993 and in 20 of the past 26 years, said Jim Hamilton, the association’s president. Calabasas, with a median price of $1.2 million last month, ranked as the state’s eighth-most-expensive market, ahead of Carmel and Hermosa Beach. There was no change in the trend of bigger appreciation rates for entry-level and move-up homes than for high-end homes. And the softening of appreciation rates had been predicted earlier in the year. Statewide, sales increased 3.9 percent on an annualized basis and were up 2.9 percent from August. If sales matched September’s pace for an entire year, 650,780 properties would change hands in 12 months, the association said. Inventory rose to a 3.3-month supply, up from three months a year ago. A house sold in September had been on the market for 32 days as a median number – three days longer than a year earlier. “I think the indicator to watch is the time on market and the inventory,” said Nima Nattagh, an independent market analyst. An increase in both will temper price increases. Interest rates should also exert more of a moderating influence. During September, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 5.77 percent, compared with 5.75 percent in September 2004, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable mortgage interest rates averaged 4.51 percent last month compared with 3.99 percent in September 2004. The long-term rate has moved above 6 percent, and analysts expect it to linger there for a while. Appleton-Young notes that no one is forecasting a big jump in rates, and 6 percent rates are low by historical standards. “It’s slowing from a really exaggerated peak, but it’s still active,” she said of the market. Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Home prices in California continued making big annual gains in September, but signs persisted that the market is weakening in advance of the long-anticipated soft landing, a trade group said Tuesday. Both prices and sales remain on track for a record year, however, according to the monthly market survey by the California Association of Realtors. But coming months should see the market cool from hot to warm, said Leslie Appleton-Young, the Los Angeles-based association’s executive vice president and chief economist. A shift is suggested by annual price gains not as big as last year’s, and inventory increased in September – albeit by a small amount. Homes are taking a few days longer to sell. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week A year from now, prices should be above current levels, but will not have appreciated as much as they did between September 2004 and September 2005. “My buzz word for the market is that it’s ‘transitioning,”‘ Appleton-Young said. “It’s all kind of at the margin, but I do think it’s a precursor to the soft landing we’ve been talking about.” Last month the statewide median price hit $543,980, up 17.3 percent from a year earlier but 4.4 percent under August’s record of $568,730. In Los Angeles County, the median price – the point at which half the units cost more and half less – jumped 22.3 percent from a year earlier, to $560,990, and slipped 0.6 percent from August. Sales increased 8 percent annually. Ventura County’s median last month increased 10.6 percent from September 2004, to $678,380, and declined 1.1 percent from the prior month. Sales jumped 14 percent on an annualized basis. last_img

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