Thursday, February 19, 2009

DataQuick: California Home Sales Increase

by Bill McBride on 2/19/2009 02:59:00 PM

Two reports from DataQuick on California:

Southland home sales rise on inland surge; median price falls again

Southern California home sales climbed above year-ago levels for the seventh consecutive month in January as bargain-hungry buyers flocked to inland areas pounded by foreclosures and deep discounts. Increased affordability in some of those neighborhoods spurred record or near-record resale activity, while many pricier coastal towns again posted some of their slowest sales in two decades.

Foreclosures continued to play a leading role in the market, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all homes that resold, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick, a real estate information service. Sales of newly built homes were the lowest for a January in at least 21 years - partially a reflection of how difficult it is for builders to compete with discounted foreclosures in the inland growth areas.
...
Last month's foreclosure resales - homes resold in January that had been had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months - represented 58.3 percent of all resales, up from 56.2 percent in December and 28.6 percent a year ago. At the county level, foreclosure resales ranged from 46.0 percent of January resales in Orange County to 71.2 percent in Riverside County. In Los Angeles foreclosure resales were 51.9 percent of resales; in San Diego 55 percent; San Bernardino 67.3 percent and in Ventura County 49.1 percent.
Bay Area home sales top last year again; median drops to $300K
Bay Area home sales rose above a year ago for the fifth consecutive month in January. Home buying remained slow in pricier coastal markets but was robust in many inland areas where steep price declines have boosted affordability and, in some cases, driven sales of existing houses to record levels.

The role of foreclosures in the housing market continued to grow, representing 54 percent of the Bay Area homes that resold last month ... resales of single-family detached houses hit record levels last month in San Pablo, Richmond, Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley, Fairfield and San Pablo - areas that have attracted bargain hunters with their relatively large price drops and abundant foreclosures.

At the county level, foreclosure resales last month ranged from 16.4 percent of resales in San Francisco to 75.2 percent in Solano County. In the other seven counties, January foreclosure resales were as follows: Alameda, 51.9 percent; Contra Costa, 64.4 percent; Marin, 26.2 percent; Napa, 48.1 percent; Santa Clara, 45.6 percent; San Mateo, 34.1 percent; Sonoma, 55.6 percent.
Sales in higher priced areas are at or near record lows. Sales in some low prices areas (with significant foreclosure activity) are at record highs. Talk about two very different markets.