LOS ANGELES — California residential real estate prices continued their skyward climb in June, with the median price of an existing, single-family detached home rising 21.3 percent to $324,370 from a year earlier, according to industry figures released Thursday.
But in an early sign that activity might be cooling down, the number of homes bought and sold declined by the largest month-to-month amount this year, decreasing nearly 14 percent from May, the California Association of Realtors said.
Some real estate agents say a lot of potential buyers are now waiting longer than before to purchase.
“I think the market is slowing down, but I don’t know by how much,” said Linda Zimmerman, an agent with Prudential California Realty, who sells mid-range houses in San Fernando Valley, Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood.
Zimmerman said she’s been less busy in recent weeks than at any time in the last 12 months.
But even with the drop off in activity, experts say the market remains robust.
“Although the sales pace decreased compared to the previous month, we’re still seeing volume that exceeds our 2001 levels,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, vice president and chief economist of CAR.
Year over year, sales activity increased 1.4 percent in June, CAR reported.
Tight housing supply and continued low mortgage interest rates keep bringing buyers into the market and driving up prices.
Since the beginning of the year, the average existing house price has increased by $38,510, or 13.5 percent, according to CAR figures.
The rapid appreciation of the housing market stands in stark contrast to plunging stock market values. The S&P 500 Index declined 7.2 percent in June. Between the start of June and Thursday’s close, it tumbled 21.4 percent.
Analysts expect the gyrations of the stock market to have a mixed effect on residential real estate in California.