Southern California Home Sales Fall, But Median Inches Up

September 16, 2009 No Comments »

home sales

A total of 21,502 new and resale homes sold in six Southern California counties in August, down 10.8 percent from July, but up 11 percent from year-ago levels, according to DataQuick.

Though it was the fourteenth year-over-year sales increase, the decline from July to August was deemed “unusual,” given the fact that an increase is expected for this time of year.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty out there about prices, interest rates and the availability of mortgage money. Additionally, we don’t know if this drop in foreclosure resales is temporary. We’re hearing from public agencies and the banking industry that there’s still a lot of financial distress in the pipeline,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

Meanwhile, the median sales price climbed 2.6 percent from July to $275,000, though it remains 15.7 percent below the $330,000 seen in August 2008.

The month-to-month increase was the fourth in a row after the median plummeted to a more than seven-year low of $247,000 in April; it peaked at $505,000 in mid-2007.

DataQuick noted that the median price will probably rise as more jumbo financing and adjustable-rate mortgage deals fuel higher-priced sales.

Foreclosure resales accounted for 38.8 percent of resale activity in August, down from 40.7 percent in July and 45.5 percent in August 2008.

They peaked in February of this year, grabbing a staggering 56.7 percent share, but have declined recently as non-foreclosure resales have increased.

FHA mortgages accounted for 37.4 percent of all purchase loans in August, up from 37 percent in July and 27.1 percent last August.

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