LA JOLLA, Calif. -- For the first time in five years, more than half of California's homebuyers financed their purchases with adjustable-rate mortgages in April, a real estate information service reported.

Of the 31,389 home purchases that were financed last month, 16,471, or 52.5%, were financed with ARMs.

That was the highest percentage since 56.6% in April 1989, according to Dataquick Information Systems.

Last month's 52.5% was up from 44.6% in March, the steepest month-to-month change that Dataquick has recorded since it started to track ARMs in 1988.

"There's been a lot of uncertainty in the mortgage lending industry the past few months," said Michael Ela, Dataquick's president.

"We've seen much of that uncertainty end up as added increases in fixed-rate mortgage interest rates."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.