33,176 new and resale homes closed escrow in California during September 2010, down 18% from one year ago when 40,651 sales closed escrow. Statewide, sales volume continued to show its recent downward trend; home sales have dropped slowly but consistently since June of this year. [For more information on California home sales, see the September 2010 first tuesday market chart, Home sales volume and price peaks.]

Real estate owned (REO) resales accounted for 36% of all resales in September — equivalent to 36% in August and down from 42% of sales one year earlier.

Speculator and investor homebuyers accounted for 21% of resales in Southern California (SoCal) and 19% in the Bay Area. The high-tier home market (here represented by “jumbo loans”: morgages over $417,000) accounted for 18% of resales in SoCal and 34% of Northern California (NorCal) sales, up from 15% and 24% one year earlier.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured loans represented 37% of SoCal and 25% of Bay Area mortgages recorded in September 2010, virtually unchanged from their numbers 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, again probably due to the greater number of jumbos in NorCal.

Cash purchases represented 25% of SoCal and 26% of NorCal sales in September.

Re: “California September Home Sales” from MDA Dataquick