Affordable home prices, tax credits for home buyers, historically low interest rates, and a large number of distressed properties prompted many first-time home buyers to enter the market in 2009, according to C.A.R.'s 2009-2010 "State of the California Housing Market" report released today.
California's median home price hit bottom in February 2009 at $245,170. Since then, the median home price has increased steadily in month-to-month comparisons, but remained below 2008 levels throughout 2009. The annual median price is projected to increase to $280,000 in 2010 from $271,000 in 2009.
Homes priced $500,000 or less dominated the sales mix throughout 2008 and early 2009, but peaked at 85 percent in January 2009. Meanwhile, the market share of homes sold for more than $500,000 increased from 15 percent in January 2009 to 25 percent in July 2009, holding steady around that figure for the remainder of last year.