March 2012: Real Estate Inventories Drop, Prices Barely Budge, this week released a report on the homes for sale market in California. As March 2012 closed, real estate inventory was broadly down across the state, with prices showing seasonal increases and small signs of strength.

Movoto tracks the major real estate trends in 15 local markets. As March 2012 ended, Movoto reports that real estate inventories in the areas covered were down 7.5% from February and down a whopping 35.3% from March of 2012. Looking more closely at the inventory, the largest drops were in inventories of homes priced below $500,000. In fact, inventory of homes priced over $1,000,000 was up in March versus February.

Major California counties with the biggest drops in homes for sale inventory from February included:

Counties in Northern California:
Alameda (-10%)

Contra Costa (-12%)

San Francisco (-37%)

In Southern California, Riverside County led the decline in homes for sale with an 11% drop in inventory from February to March.

While inventories dropped, median list prices showed small signs of strength with the statewide median price at $309,000 up 3.3% from February and up 3.3% from March 2011.

According to Mark Brandemuehl, VP of Marketing at Movoto: “We remain in an unusual market. Buyers who are ready to purchase are finding few suitable homes on the market and face competition when they make offers. On the other hand, sellers are reluctant to enter the market and asking prices are not escalating as we might expect with the low inventories. It’s a stalemate and there’s little hint that it’s easing.”

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