34,239 new and resale homes closed escrow in California during August 2010, down 13.5% from one year ago when 39,878 sales closed escrow. Statewide, sales volume has continued to show its recent downward trend. One factor contributing to the sales decline was buyers taking advantage of the state and federal tax credits through the first quarter of 2010. [For more information on California home sales, see the August 2010 first tuesday market chart, Home sales volume and price peaks.]

Real estate owned (REO) resales accounted for 32% of all resales in August — comparable to 36% in July but down from 42% of all sales one year earlier.

Speculator and investor house buying represented 22% of resales in Southern California (SoCal) and 18% in the Bay Area. The high-tier home market accounted for 18% of resales in SoCal and 34% of Northern California (NorCal) sales, up from 16% and 29% one year earlier.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured loans represented 37% of SoCal and 24% of Bay Area mortgages recorded in August 2010, down from 40% and 25% one year earlier. These drops in FHA-insured originations are consistent with the fact that expensive homes have become a higher percentage of resales.

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) provided for 6% of total mortgages in SoCal and 9% of NorCal mortgages. Jumbo loans (mortgages over $417,000) accounted for 18% of SoCal and 36% of Bay Area purchase-assist financing in August.

Cash purchases represented 26% of SoCal and 26% of NorCal sales in August.

Re: “California August Home Sales” from MDA Dataquick