Home>Articles>California Median Home Price Breaks $800,000 and is Still Climbing

For sale/SOLD sign. (Photo: HUD.gov)

California Median Home Price Breaks $800,000 and is Still Climbing

State and local mandates add more than $100,000 to the sales price

By Katy Grimes, June 24, 2021 4:10 pm

The California Association of Realtors recently announced that the median home price in the Golden State has surpassed $800,000.

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“Heated market conditions and a shortage of homes for sale continued to put upward pressure on home prices in California, driving the state’s median price above the $800,000 benchmark for the first time ever in April, as home sales soared from last year’s pandemic-level lows,” the California Association of Realtors reported.

“California’s median home price broke last month’s record and set another new record high in April as the statewide median price surged more than 34 percent from a year ago,” the CAR reported. “The statewide median home price climbed 7.2 percent on a month-to-month basis to $813,980 in April, up from March’s $758,990 and up 34.2 percent from the $606,410 recorded last April. The year-over-year price gain was the highest ever recorded, and it was the first time since June 2013 that the state recorded an annual increase of over 30 percent.”

California Association of Realtors. (Photo: CAR.org)

California’s high cost of housing is largely due to state and local mandates which add more than $100,000+ to the sales price, as well as almost no affordable housing/apartments getting built – because of the cost of the mandates: environmental mitigation cost add ons, mandates for solar roofs, all-electric kitchens and HVAC systems, fire sprinklers, etc…

Then there are the mandates for CalGreen compliance at an infill site: Locate project within a 1/4-mile true walking distance of at least 4 basic services; Soil disturbance and erosion, Topsoil shall be protected or saved for reuse, Provide capability for electric vehicle charging, Roofing materials shall have a minimum 3-year aged solar reflectance and thermal emittance, Install a vegetated roof for at least 50% of the roof area for a rooftop garden, bicycle parking facilities, Building meets or exceeds the requirements of the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards… and more. It’s all outlined online at the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Rather than removing state and local mandates from the costs of home building, politicians just keep piling on. And then they decry the housing crisis and high cost of rents and home purchases.

Here are California regional median home prices:

  • Southern California is $752,250
  • Central Coast is $900,000
  • Central Valley is $445,000
  • San Francisco Bay Area is $1,340,000
  • Far North region $365,000
Calif. Association of Realtors sales by region. (Photo: screen capture, CAR)

The realtors association also noted:

  • Existing, single-family home sales totaled 458,170 in April on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 2.6 percent from March and up 65.1 percent from April 2020.
  • April’s statewide median home price was $813,980, up 7.2 percent from March and up 34.2 percent from April 2020. By the end of May, that home price was $818,260.
  • Year-to-date statewide home sales were up 26.2 percent in April.
  • Nearly all counties — 49 of 51 — tracked by C.A.R. recorded a year-over-year sales increase in April, with 31 counties increasing more than 50 percent from a year ago and 11 counties growing by triple digits.
  • May’s statewide median home price was $818,260, up 0.5 percent from April and up 39.1 percent from May 2020.
  • Year-to-date statewide home sales were up 34.6 percent in May.

Realtor Magazine reports that the median existing single-family sales price rose to $319,200, registering an annual increase of 16.2%—a record high, according to records dating back to 1989.

They also note that the average national monthly mortgage payment increased to $1,067 in the first quarter—up from $995 a year ago –  even as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to as low as 2.93% in the first quarter (a year earlier it averaged 3.57%).

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10 thoughts on “California Median Home Price Breaks $800,000 and is Still Climbing

  1. Yikes, you’re not kidding I haven’t been keeping up with real estate prices. I just looked on Zillow not that I’m going to sell any of my homes but this is reminding me of 2004 all over again..Be careful out there buyers..

  2. What are you going to water your “green” roof with? Bottled water? Only in Wokifornia would they demand such insanity.

  3. I hesitate to sell, because I do not want to sell and buy high. That would just subject me to higher taxes to this state. The only reason to sell at this point is to MOVE OUT OF CA!!! This is the time to do it.

    1. Yep. Like our friend Stacy. But she’s still on the hook for capital gains and high California taxes. Unfortnately, Biden may make capital gains retroactive AFTER he raises them.

  4. Housing is so expensive. There’s too much zoning and regulations and unions dictating things that it drives prices up more than necessary.

  5. The other factor in home pricing is material costs. A 2×4 stud costs $8. I remember thinking $3.50 was outrageous. $800k maybe a bargain compared to the price of a new house

  6. I see the regulatory burden all the time in my work. It’s not just the state level regulations, it is also the local regulations and bureaucracies. It takes a long time to get to the point where you have approval to build. You should see all the fees and expenses that have to be paid, for the good of the community, just to get a building permit. When local politicians and state politicians complain about the high cost of housing, it lacks respectable analysis and sincere introspection.

  7. To your point, Donaldw, a developer friend who owned properties in Northern California told me about the hidden costs of getting his projects approved by local officials. Things like bribes, parties and flying up escorts from Los Angeles.

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