January is typically the slowest month for home sales. This year, sales statewide in the first month were the slowest of any month since April 2008. Has the real estate market cooled in California? Yes, since price gains have slowed.

On the level

There might be some good news for Californians stretching to buy a home. The statewide median home price declined to $538,690 in January. The statewide median price was down 3.4 percent from $557,600 in December and up 2.1 percent in January from a revised $527,780 in January 2018.

“California continued to move toward a more balanced market as we see buyers having greater negotiating power and sellers making concessions to get their homes sold as inventory grows,” Jared Martin, the president of the California Association of Realtors, said in a recent report.

Cal map of Jan. activity

C.A.R. median decline

North and south

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California by month

Homes sold in California by month.

Jan sales by year

California and the U.S.

A Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University shows the difference in homes price-to-income ratios from 1980 and 2017.Nationwide, the typical sales price of an existing single-family home in 2017 was 4.2 times greater than the median household income. In 1988, it was 3.2.

Price-to-income ratios neared 10 in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

median to income ratio

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