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CALIFORNIA / News and Insight on Business in the Golden
State

Housing Market Update

September 17, 1998

This year ranks as one of the best on record for the state's residential real estate market, according to an annual report by the California Assn. of Realtors. The 1998 California Housing Finance Survey shows that home prices have risen sharply in the last few years as the proportion of distress sales has fallen. However, as prices have increased, the share of first-time and minority home buyers has declined. The report is based on surveys sent in July to 10,000 real estate agents who were asked to describe their most recent transactions. Some of the results:

*

DISTRESS SALES*

Percentage of total sales

1998: 8.3%

*Forclosures, short sales, sales to avoid foreclosure.

SALES PRICE

Median, in thousands

1998: $205,000

WEEKS ON MARKET

Median figure

1998: 4

MINORITY BUYERS

Sales to African American, Asian and Latino buyers as percentage of total sales

1998: 27.2%

FIRST-TIME BUYERS

Percentage of total home sales

1998: 42.0%

Source: California Assn. of Realtors

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