SO you think we've got it bad? Say hello to the state of pain....California.

California's October home sales slide 40%
Median resale home price falls 9.9%; housing starts off 28%

The rate of sales for single-family, detached resale homes plummeted 40.2 percent in California in October compared to the same month last year, while the median price dropped 9.9 percent the California Association of Realtors trade group reported Wednesday. The California Building Industry Association reported that total housing starts in the state fell 30.9 percent from January through October in California compared to the same period last year. Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the association, said in a statement, "We expect further weakness in sales over the next few months as the liquidity crisis plays out." The group's Unsold Inventory Index was 16.3 months in October, indicating that it would take an estimated 16.3 months to exhaust the supply of for-sale homes at the October sales pace. The index stood at 6.4 months in October 2006.

A for-sale inventory of about six months is considered to indicate a market that is roughly in equilibrium, with a supply greater than six months generally indicating a buyer's market. "Financing issues have dogged entry-level buyers since early 2007, but they spilled over into the middle- and upper-tier markets in the last few months," said William E. Brown, president for the Realtors group. "The decline in sales at the upper end of the market contributed to a significant decline in the statewide median price as even well-qualified borrowers had difficulty securing financing."

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California was $497,110 in October, down 9.9 percent from the revised $552,020 median price in October 2006.

The 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during October 2007 were Newport Beach, at $1,575,000; Santa Barbara, $1,275,000; Cupertino, $1,033,000; Danville, $1,017,500; Los Gatos, $1,005,000; San Carlos, $927,500; Redwood City, $912,000; San Ramon, $835,000; San Clemente, $832,500; and San Mateo, $829,500.

The 10 cities, city areas and communities with the greatest median home price decreases in October 2007 compared to 2006 were Palm Springs, down 64.6 percent; Los Banos, down 27.7 percent; Elk Grove, down 27 percent; Galt and Stockton, down 26.1 percent; Antioch, down 25.3 percent; Merced, down 25.1 percent; Salinas, down 25 percent; and Walnut Creek and Wildomar, both down 24.9 percent.

The California Building Industry Association, in a separate announcement on Wednesday, reported that housing starts, as measured by building permits issued, dropped 28 percent in October compared to October 2006. There were 7,726 building permits issued for housing units in the state in October, according to the report.

Housing starts, as measured by building permits issued, dropped 46.3 percent in that market area from January through October this year compared to the same period last year, while falling 39.3 percent in the Bakersfield and Oakland areas, 35.1 percent in the San Diego area, 30.1 percent in the Sacramento area, 27.9 percent in Stockton, 23.5 percent in Modest, 20 percent in Los Angeles, 17.2 percent in Visalia-Porterville, 16 percent in Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, and rising 5.6 percent in Fresno.

Considering Indiana has felt about a 9% drop October 2006 to October 2007 in resale units, we're certainly not feeling the pain that our friends to the west are.

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