Bad weather and the winter-holiday crunch pushed housing resales lower in California and the rest of the nation during January, two real estate trade groups said Monday.
The California Assn. of Realtors said the January sales pace was 435,180 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, down 12% from an unusually strong sales pace in December but 1.8% higher than in January, 1992.
In a separate report, the National Assn. of Realtors said the nationwide January sales pace was 3.78 million on a seasonally adjusted annual basis--down from a revised 4.04-million rate in December but up nearly 15% from a year ago.
Since it typically takes 30 to 60 days to close a real estate sale, the reports issued Monday primarily reflected deals that were struck in November and December--months when sales were hampered by the usual holiday-sales slowdown and by bad weather.
Real estate officials in California said the next one or two monthly housing resale reports may also be depressed because of heavy rains in January and February.
The median price of a home in California stood at $192,110 in January, down slightly from $193,160 in December and 2% lower than the $196,080 median in January, 1992.
Nationally, the median price in January was $103,700, down from $104,200 in December but up from $102,100 in January, 1992.
Despite the downturn in January sales, real estate agents in California say the lowest mortgage rates in two decades and a stronger economy should make for the best sales year since 1990. Nationally, sales in 1993 should reach their highest levels in 14 years, real estate experts say.