SoCal Home Sales Fall 20 Percent

August 18, 2010 No Comments »

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What a difference a tax credit makes.

Southern California home sales plummeted 20.6 percent in July from one month earlier, and were off 21.4 percent from one year earlier, DataQuick reported this week.

Just 18,946 new and resale homes sold in six Southland counties during the month, the slowest July since 2007, and the second-slowest since 1995.

Last month’s numbers were 27.4 percent below the July average of 26,085 sales, which goes back to 1988.

“It appears some of the sales that normally would have occurred in July were instead tugged into June or even May as buyers tried to take advantage of the expiring tax credits,” said DataQuick president John Walsh, in a statement.

“Some of last month’s underlying technical numbers were largely flat, indicating that the market is treading water.”

He noted that some sideways buying and selling is expected to kick in, especially among homeowners who have owned for more than seven years that didn’t pull equity via serial refinancing – these borrowers can take advantage of the record low mortgage rates.

Median Price Falls

Meanwhile, the median price paid for a Southland home fell to $295,000 last month, down 1.7 percent from the $300,000 seen in June, but up 10.1 percent from a year ago.

During the current housing cycle, the median hit a low of $247,000 in April 2009, and a high of $505,000 in mid-2007, just as the mortgage crisis got underway.

Foreclosure sales accounted for 34.2 percent of resales, up from 32.8 percent in June, but down from 43.4 percent a year ago.

FHA loans were used to finance 36 percent of all home purchases last month, down from 38.8 percent last month and 39.2 percent last year.

Jumbo loans accounted for 18.4 percent of last month’s sales, up from 17.6 percent last month and 15.2 percent a year ago.

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