Statewide, 37,967 homes were sold in April, up 4.8% from March and up 21.9% from one year ago.

The statewide median price paid for a home was $221,000, down 0.9% from March. The month-to-month decline in price has been less than 1.0% per month, however April’s median price is 54.3% lower than the peak $484,000 median reached during the spring of 2007.

The drop in the median price is attributable to the depreciation of home prices, the tendency towards purchasing property in the relatively affordable inland areas, and lack of sales in the higher-end markets.

55.1% of homes sold statewide were REO acquired during the prior 12 months, up 17.5% from one year ago. The recent peak was 58.8% in February of this year.

first tuesday take: Once again, the mathematical, nonexistent median-priced homes muddle the picture of California sales. A median provides no meaningful analysis of what is actually happening with prices at the low-end, mid-range, or high-end housing. However, looking at a graphical representation of the sales volume you see current sales volume is higher thanthe trough during the first quarter 2008, having bounced upward a bit in February and March in reaction to mixed reports of a “bottoming-out” in real estate prices.

Good news at last? Yes, if you are counting in sales volume. But not so for pricing when you consider the massive inventory still out there waiting to be placed into local MLSs to be sold to the highest bidder. There’s still a long way before sales volume hits a sustainable pace. Sales volume will only level out when the flood of REOs clears through the market and speculator flipping finally begins to disappear. Then you will see an end to the downward price correction, which for the high-end properties has a long way to go.

Brokers and agents should entirely ignore the medians, unless it is the Case-Shiller price breakdowns developed for use on Wall Street, looking instead at the sales volume and types of properties that are moving in the community where they work – if they are trying to gage their future actions.

Re: “California April Statewide Home Sales/Median Prices” from