Southern California home sales surged 65 percent in September compared to the same period a year ago as foreclosure sales accounted for half of all resales, according to a new report from DataQuick.
A total of 20,497 new and resale homes and condos sold in six Southland counties last month, up 5.8 percent from the 19,366 sold in August and 64.6 percent more than the 12,455 sold in September 2007.
The year-over-year increase is the largest on record for any month since DataQuick began collecting data back in 1988.
While last month’s home sales were the highest of any month since December 2006, it was still the second-lowest September total since 1996 with sales 17 percent below the 20-year sales average for the month.
Adding to the pessimism, fifty percent of all existing homes sold during the month had been foreclosed on at some point over the past year, up from 45.5 percent in August and 12.6 percent a year ago.
Foreclosure resales accounted for 68.9 percent of resales in Riverside County and 63.1 percent of resales in San Bernardino County.
The large number of distressed sales pushed the median sales price to $308,500, its lowest point since May 2003, 6.5 percent lower than the $330,000 seen last month and 33.2 percent below the September 2007 price of $462,000.
The good news is that monthly mortgage payments keep falling, averaging $1,458 last month, down from $1,566 in August and $2,198 a year ago.
Last month, 13.2 percent of all transactions were financed with jumbo loans, down from 15.6 percent in August and about 40 percent last summer.