Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DataQuick: SoCal home sales up in May

by Bill McBride on 6/13/2012 07:49:00 PM

From DataQuick: More Gains for Southern California Home Sales and Median Prices

Last month’s total Southland sales rose nearly 21 percent compared with a year ago, and activity increased across the home-price spectrum. But the gains were strongest above $300,000. The volume of transactions in lower-cost markets has been restrained by, among other things, the dwindling inventories of homes for sale, especially foreclosures.
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In May, a total of 22,192 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. That was up 15.1 percent from 19,284 in April, and up 20.6 percent from 18,394 in May 2011.
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On a year-over-year basis, Southland home sales have increased for five consecutive months, with last month’s 20.6 percent annual gain the largest in the series. Sales have also increased year-over-year in nine out of the last ten months. Still, last month’s sales were 14.5 percent lower than the average sales tally for all the months of May since 1988.

The month-to-month and year-over-year increases in sales last month would not have been as great if this May hadn’t had one extra business day on which sales could close. While last month had 22 business days, this April and May 2011 had 21 business days.
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Distressed sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and short sales – made up 44.8 percent of last month’s resale market. That was the lowest level since the figure was 44.4 percent in March 2008.
The percent of distressed sales is still very high, but this is the lowest level since March 2008.

The median price is being impacted by the mix and isn't useful for measuring house price changes (with fewer low end distressed sales, the median has increased).

The NAR is scheduled to report May existing home sales and inventory next week on Thursday, June 21st.