Bad news for Southern California home builders…
Last month, sales of newly built homes hit the lowest point for a March since at least 1988, with just 1,144 sales, according to real estate data firm DataQuick.
To put the dismal numbers into perspective, average new home sales volume for a March is 3,661.
Meanwhile, overall home sales totaled 19,412 in six Southland counties during the month, up 35.1 percent from February, but down 5.2 percent from March 2010.
And last month’s sales were 21.4 percent below the March average of 24,706.
The good news is that sales so far this year have been only 20 percent below the norm, compared to 25-30 percent during the first half of 2010.
Home Prices Flat
The median price paid for a Southland home increased 2.0 percent to $280,500 last month, though it’s down 1.6 percent from a year ago.
The low point for the current real estate cycle was $247,000 back in April 2009, nowhere close to the high of $505,000 seen in mid-2007.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) accounted for 7.8 percent of last month’s sales, jumbo loans grabbed 15.9 percent of all purchase money mortgages, and FHA loans were used in 32 percent of all transactions.
Cash was used in 30.5 percent of sales, down from 32.3 percent in February, the all-time high, but up from 27.9 percent a year ago.