Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DataQuick: SoCal Sales at Record Low

by Bill McBride on 2/13/2008 02:01:00 PM

From DataQuick: Southland home sales slowest for any month in 20 years

Southern California home sales dipped below 10,000 transactions for the first time in more than 20 years last month as most potential buyers and sellers appear to be waiting out market turbulence, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 9,983 new and resale houses and condos were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in January. That was down 24.6 percent from 13,240 for the previous month, and down 44.9 percent from 18,128 for January last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Last month's sales total was the lowest for any month in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. Since September, sales for each calendar month were a record low for that particular month.
The median price paid for a Southland home was $415,000 last month, the lowest since $414,000 in January 2005. Last month's median was down 2.4 percent from December's $425,000, and 14.4 percent below $485,000 for January 2007.

Last month's median was 17.8 percent below the $505,000 peak reached last spring and summer. While the steep decline in median sales price does reflect a drop in prices, it also reflects significant shifts in the types of homes selling. Particularly noticeable is a drop-off in sales of more expensive homes financed with "jumbo" mortgages.
Foreclosure activity is at record levels, financing with adjustable-rate mortgages or with multiple mortgages has dropped sharply.