No matter which region of California you’re looking at, things initially appear pretty dire for home sales. From December 2022 to January 2023, it’s down in every single major area. The decrease is smallest in the Inland Empire at 15.4% and highest in the San Francisco Bay Area, where sales dropped 38.1%. They also dropped significantly in the Central Valley, by 30.8%. Even in the Far North, where prices actually increased by 4.9%, home sales are down 18.4%. Most regions experienced a decrease of approximately 19%.
However, that rate is not seasonally adjusted. Winter is the slowest season in terms of home sales, so it makes sense that sales would be down. One rate that is seasonally adjusted is the statewide single-family residence (SFR) data. With sales being down in every region, you’d expect sales to be down statewide, since those regions do encompass the entire state. But with seasonal adjustment, we discover that the month-to-month SFR sales actually increased ever so slightly, by 0.4%. In fact, this was the second straight month of seasonally adjusted increase in SFR home sales. It’s hard to say just yet whether this is an overall increase in market confidence, or simply preparation for the often-hot spring season, but in either case, expect sales to increase. If spring sees not only an increase — which is expected regardless — but a seasonally adjusted increase, then we’ll know that market confidence has improved.