The “2009 Survey of California Home Buyers” is out and it shows that lower home prices and other factors drove home sales this year.

The California Association of Realtors’ survey shows that 68 percent of buyers said price drops motivated them to buy a home. Thirty-nine percent say low interest rates helped them get to a better location and 23 percent said the “likelihood that rates will move up” was a motivating factor.

Home sales in California rebounded in 2008 and early 2009, after back-to-back years of sharp declines, C.A.R. President James Liptak said.

“Housing affordability has improved dramatically in response to the decline in home prices along with historically low mortgage rates, creating a tremendous opportunity for home buyers in California,” Liptak said.

The survey also showed:

  • The share of first-time home buyers grew to 38 percent in 2009. Last year, the group made up 19 percent of the buyers.
  • Nearly 90 percent of traditional market sales were financed through fixed-rate mortgages.
  • Home buyers spent 8.4 weeks thinking about buying a home this year. That compares to 7.2 weeks last year.