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Volume 32, Number 6 June 2011
Today’s Home Buyer
Quick Reference
Housing Market Indicator 
Median Home Sales Price
Housing Supply
Unsold Inventory Index
Affordability Index
®,All rightsReserved
525 South Virgil Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90020 Phone (213) 739-8200 Fax (213) 480-7724 www.car.org Written inquiries regarding this publication should be directed to: Alma Menchaca 
Research & Economics 
almam@car.org 213-739-8352 
Today’s Home Buyer
Volume 32, Number 6 
June 2011
By: Carmen Hirciag, Research Analyst 
Sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annual-ized rate of 471,840 units in May, down 5.8 percent from April and down 14.4 percent from the pre-vious year. The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in Mayedged down 0.7 percent to $291,760 from a revised $293,800 in April. May’s median price wasdown 10.9 percent from the $327,460 recorded in May 2010.Despite concerns about the performance of themarket, there are buyers who are taking ad-vantage of today’s prices and low mortgagerates. Here are selected results from C.A.R.’s2011 Survey of California Home Buyers thatexplain why people are buying now and howthey have gone about their home buying pro-cess.The survey asked buyers what got them off thefence and what their primary reason was for buying. Their responses pointed to the familiar theme of improved affordability due to pricedeclines and favorable financing. The belief of nearly all buyers that prices cannot get any low-er was key in getting them off the proverbialfence and into a house. Decreasing prices wasthe primary reason for nearly four in ten buyersmaking their purchase. Other reasons includedfavorable financing and desiring a better loca-tion or a larger home.The survey also revealed that certain neighbor-hood and home qualities were more desirablethan others. It was all about “location, location,location” as most buyers indicated the neighbor-hood was more important or equally importantas the home features. Safety of the neighbor-hood was highlighted as the most significantattribute, followed by schools and the proximityof friends, relatives and work. With respect toproperty features, buyers were most interestedin the number of bedrooms, the home size, thenumber of bathrooms, the kitchen and the lotsize.The Internet is the primary tool of buyers; theyused it not only for research on the housingmarket and neighborhoods, but also to findhomes and their agents. Survey results sug-gested that buyers are doing their homework.Nearly three quarters spent between two andfour months investigating homes and neighbor-hoods before contacting an agent. More thanhalf Googled their agent, which is about doublethe percentage of buyers from last year. Real-tor.com remains the most visited and most use-ful website for buyers, followed by Zillow,Google and Yahoo! Real Estate. In addition tothese websites and the agent and real estatecompany website, buyers also used Trulia,YouTube, Facebook and Craigslist. However,while the Internet offered a wealth of informationand resources, 80 percent of buyers indicatedthat they found the home they purchasedthrough an agent.Buyers were asked to rate the importance of certain website features in their online homeviewing. They indicated that multiple pictures,virtual tours, statistics on comparable homes,neighborhood profile, new listing notificationsand analysis of housing market conditions weremost important to include in those listings.The use of social media is becoming moreprominent and buyers have caught on. Ovehalf of the buyers surveyed indicated they usesocial media for agent referrals, to view homevideos and agents’ Facebook pages, get homebuying tips, and review neighborhood infor-mation. The overwhelming majority (93 per-cent) are receptive to receiving informationabout home buying via social media.
Price Brackets Percent of Monthly TotalMay 11 Apr 11 May '10
$ 79,999 or less` 6.0% 6.2% 4.4%$ 80,000-$119,999 7.9% 8.3% 6.0%$120,000-$159,999 9.9% 9.9% 8.7%$160,000-$199,999 9.3% 9.1% 8.8%$200,000-$249,999 10.6% 10.1% 9.9%$250,000-$299,999 9.1% 8.8% 9.3%$300,000-$499,999 23.0% 24.0% 25.8%$500,000-$749,999 12.2% 12.4% 14.9%$750,000-$999,999 5.3% 5.1% 6.2%$1,000,000 and over 6.6% 5.9% 6.0%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%Sales By Bedroom Category
2 or fewer bedrooms 11.8% 12% 11.9%3 bedrooms 48% 47.7% 47.9%4 or more bedrooms 40.3% 40.4% 40.2%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Page 2 TRENDS/June 2011
May 2011
Market Share of Sample Sales 81.70% 18.30% 100.00%Median Time on Market 52 Days 58 Days 53 DaysPrevious Month 53 Days 59 Days 54 DaysPrevious Year 40 Days 46 Days 41 DaysTime on Market Before SaleLess than 30 days 34.10% 30.80% 33.50%31-60 days 22.20% 20.60% 22.00%61-90 days 14.60% 15.50% 14.80%91-120 days 9.20% 10.00% 9.30%Over 120 days 20.00% 23.00% 20.50%Unsold Inventory Index 5.4 Mos. 5.8 Mos. 5.4 Mos.Previous Month 5.4 Mos. 5.9 Mos. 5.5 Mos.Previous Year 3.9 Mos. 3.9 Mos. 3.8 Mos.Sample Median Sales Price $288,525 $238,484 $282.519Change from previous month -0.50% -0.94% -0.79%Change from previous year -10.87% -13.39% -11.21%Sample Median List Price $387,584 $291,243 $373,512Change from previous month 3.60% 2.06% 3.55%Change from previous year -8.08% -9.75% -8.21%
Available for 25 countiesand the state of California
Home resale activity and con-sumer confidence
Median home prices andmortgage rates
Housing Affordability index
Population and migrationtrends
Retail sales
Foreclosure rates
AND MORE - Over 20easy-to-read charts!
Each profile will afford you the mostcurrent, accurate and complete infor-mation available, showing you whereThe market is going and where youneed to be.
To view a sample CEP or to place anorder please visit the following website

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