Median house prices surge across California, surpass $800,000 statewide

A For sale sign sits in front of homes on a hillside in San Clemente, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images)

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in the Los Angeles area rose to $725,000 in April, an increase of $45,000 from a month ago, mirroring a spike across California that brought the state's median price above the $800,000 benchmark for the first time, a real estate group said Monday.

The Los Angeles area's median home price was $550,000 just one year ago.

California's median home price was $813,980 in April, with the rise fueled by heated market conditions and a shortage of homes for sale, according to the California Association of Realtors.

"Not only do skyrocketing home prices threaten already-low homeownership levels and make it harder for those who don't already have a home to purchase one, it also brings to question the sustainability of this market cycle," C.A.R. Vice President and chief economist Jordan Levine said. "As vaccination rates increase and the state reopens fully, higher home prices will hopefully entice prospective sellers who have held off putting their homes on the market during the pandemic to feel more comfortable listing their homes for sale, which would alleviate pressure on home prices."

Orange County saw its median home price increase to $1,100,000 in April from $1,025,000 in March. It was $861,000 in April 2020.

San Bernardino County bucked the trend by showing a decrease in median home price in April at $405,000, down from $412,000 in March.

Meanwhile, closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 458,170 in April. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2021 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year.

April home sales increased on a monthly basis for the third consecutive month, rising 2.6% from 446,410 in March and up 65.1% from a year ago. The sharp yearly sales jump was expected as the housing market was hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown last year, when home sales dropped more than 30% over the previous April.

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

For the Southern California region as a whole, April's median home price was $750,000, a 6.4% increase from last month's $705,000. The region recorded a 65.5% increase over last year's median price of $583,000, the third largest increase in the state.

The biggest increase from last month was seen in the San Francisco Bay area, which saw its median home price jump from $1.225 million in March to $1.328 million.

"California continues to experience one of the hottest housing markets as homes sell at the fastest pace ever, with the share of homes sold above asking price, the price per square foot and the sales-to-list price all at record highs, while active listings remain at historic lows," C.A.R. President Dave Walsh said.

"The high demand and shortage of homes for sale, driven by these market factors, continued to drive up home prices and shatter the record-high set just last month."

The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home hit another record low of 7 days in April, down from 13 days in April 2020.

The report can be found at

Last week, C.A.R. reported that statewide housing affordability reached its lowest level since mid-2018. The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California in the first quarter of 2021 dropped to 27% from 35% in the first quarter of 2020, the organization said.

Among Southern California counties, Orange County was the least affordable at 20%, while Los Angeles County was at 25% affordability for the first quarter.   

C.A.R. has more than 200,000 members, and is headquartered in Los Angeles.