RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist says California has become a tough place to buy a first home.
“Because you don’t have a lot of options for purchasing and you’re competing against a lot of cash buyers.”
The latest RealtyTrac data show fewer homes were on the market in February and home prices were higher. The median sales price in California last month was $339,000, up more than 20 percent from a year ago. Sales fell by 15% from last year.
Cash-buyers made up 36 percent of home sales in February. “That is up from 22 percent a year ago," says Blomquist.
Although all-cash sales are up, institutional investors bought only 2 percent of the homes for sale, down from 6 percent last year. Meanwhile, 6 percent of the homes that sold were short-sales and 14 percent were bank-owned.
Blomquist’s advice for buyers is to be patient. “Another piece of advice for buyers is to be creative," says Blomquist.
"We have real estate agents who work with buyers who actually go out and find homeowners or neighborhoods that are appealing to the buyers and go knock on doors of properties that are not listed and see if people in the neighborhood are interested in selling.”