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The price drop that many prospective first-time homebuyers in California have been waiting eagerly for never fully materialized in April. Dwindling inventory kept statewide home prices relatively stable — down 1 percent from March and up 0.6 percent over the previous year — to a median price of $606,410, according to the California Association of Realtors

Only the Central Coast and Bay Area saw home prices decline on a year-over-year basis by 6.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Home prices rose 4.8 percent from a year ago in the Central Valley and 3.5 percent in Southern California.

Taking a look at the state’s most populous cities, Los Angeles saw home prices dip 0.5 percent from March to April to a median sales price of $565,170. Sacramento home prices recorded no change from month to month, although they’re up 3.9 percent over April 2019. In San Diego, prices sank 0.6 percent to $671,000 for the median home but were still 3.4 percent higher than the same time last year.

“Even with tight supply and low interest rates, home prices will continue to be tested by economic deterioration in the short term,” said CAR President Jeanne Radsick.

Sales of existing California homes, totaling 277,440, plunged 25.6 percent from March on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. This was the first time since March 2008 that home sales fell below 300,000 and amounted to the largest monthly drop on record since CAR began tracking this type of data in 1979.

“As expected, California home sales experienced the worst month-to-month sales decline in more than four decades as the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, which kept both buyers and sellers on the sidelines,” continued Radsick.

“While some economic activity will resume as the state gradually reopens, the housing market is expected to remain sluggish for the next couple of months as potential market participants deal with the impact of stay-in-place restrictions.”

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