Despite falling prices, Southern California home sales were the lowest on record during the month of May going back 20 years, according to the latest report from DataQuick.
Only 16,917 houses and condos closed escrow in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura last month, up 8.3 percent from April, but off 14.9 percent from the 19,874 recorded in May 2007.
The median price paid dropped substantially from a year ago, which DataQuick blamed on slow high-end sales, sellers cutting asking prices, and mortgage lenders dumping repossessed homes more aggressively.
The median price paid for a local home was $370,000, off 3.9 percent from $385,000 in April and 26.7 percent below the peak median of $505,000 in May 2007.
The year-over-year decline is the largest in DataQuick’s statistics, and the last time the median has been lower was in March 2004, when it stood at $364,000.
More troubling is that roughly 42 percent of homes sold last month went for less than their previous sales price, on average about 34 percent less.
The company noted that foreclosure sales continued to make up a good chunk of sales, with 37.4 percent foreclosed on at some point in the past 12 months, up from a revised 36.2 percent in April and 5.5 percent a year earlier.
Foreclosure sales made up a whopping 56.6 percent of resales in hard-hit Riverside County and 25.6 percent of resale activity in luxurious Orange County.