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State Home Prices Heading Back to Pre-Recession Levels

April 12, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif – Prices of existing homes are a major economic indicator, closely associated with trends in California’s assessed property values. According to the California State Board of Equalization’s latest issue of Economic Perspective, in 2015 California median home prices averaged $473,995, which is 85 percent of their 2006 peak value of $560,641 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

The median, or middle, price of existing detached single-family homes is an amount at which 50 percent of homes were sold at higher prices and 50 percent of homes were sold at lower prices. While median home prices are an imperfect measure of the current value of any individual home, they do provide important information regarding the overall health of residential real estate markets.

Los Angeles metro (which includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties) median home prices were at 82 percent of 2006 prices, and Inland Empire prices lagged at 76 percent. Median home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015 stood at 107 percent of 2006 prices (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

San Francisco has the highest median price, well over a million dollars ($1,254,784) and 265 percent of the state median ($473,995). Six of the top 10 counties are in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the other end of the spectrum, median prices in 2015 were $164,085 in Siskiyou County, only 35 percent of the state median.

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