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Coronavirus Outbreak Disrupts California Housing Market

California home sales dropped sharply in April from both the previous month and year, as the housing market began to feel the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the state’s stay-at-home order, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) reported. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 277,440 units in April.

April’s sales total was down 25.6% from the 373,070 level in March and down 30.1% from a year ago. It was the first time home sales dropped below the 300,000 level since March 2008. The month-to-month drop was the largest since at least 1979, when C.A.R. began tracking this data. Additionally, the year-over-year decline was the first double-digit loss in 15 months and the largest decrease since December 2007.

2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick says, “As expected, California home sales experienced the worst month-to-month sales decline in more than four decades as the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, which kept both buyers and sellers on the sidelines.”

At the regional level, all major regions dipped in sales by more than 25% from last year, with the Bay Area dropping the most at -37.4%, followed by the Central Coast (-31.6%), Southern California (-30.2%), and the Central Valley (-26.1%).

Forty-seven of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. recorded a year-over-year sales loss in April, with Mono declining the most from last year at -62.5%, followed by Marin (-60.6%), and San Francisco (-52.8%). Counties that experienced a sales decline from last year averaged a loss of 29.1% from the previous year.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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