In a new report from PropertyRadar on California single-family home sales, the company found that sales were up 20 percent in April from March. However, sales fell on a yearly basis for the month, declining 13.3 percent. Despite the gains in April, year-to-date sales volume is the lowest it has been since 2008.
In April 2014, distressed property sales jumped 13.1 percent month-over-month, while non-distressed properties saw an increase of 21.8 percent.
"Despite back-to-back double digit sales gains in both March and April, total sales volume since January continues to lag sales in 2013," said Madeline Schnapp, director of Economic Research for PropertyRadar. "In fact, what is surprising to me is that year-to-date sales volumes in 2014 are the lowest since 2008."
Median home prices still remain strong, up 2.0 percent for the month to $369,000—the highest level in six years. Yearly, home prices have increased 14.1 percent. The company opined that driving the large increase in prices was higher priced, non-distressed property sales.
"Despite lower sales volume, the median price of a California home continues to march higher," Schnapp said. "The rise in median home prices is being driven by the change in mix between the sales of distressed properties versus sales of non-distressed properties. Higher priced non-distressed property sales now dominate monthly sales numbers, so it should come as no surprise that median prices are up."
The company also reported that nearly 1.2 million homeowners, or 13.5 percent, remain underwater. Institutional investor purchases jumped 7 percent for the month, but are down 36.9 percent year-over-year.
"Foreclosure sales gained 2.9 percent in April from March but are down 32.4 percent year-over-year. The April gain is statistically insignificant, likely due to the extra weekday in April compared to March," the company said.
Foreclosure inventories continue to dwindle, down 1.1 percent for the month and down 17.6 percent for the year, according to PropertyRadar.