by Bill McBride on 8/14/2012 06:54:00 PM
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Southern California home sales rose above the year-ago level for the seventh consecutive month in July despite continued declines in low-end distress sales. Increased activity in move-up and high-end submarkets also contributed to a significant rise in the region’s median sale price, which neared a four-year high, a real estate information service reported.The percent of distressed sales is still very high, but this is the lowest level since January 2008 - something we are seeing in most areas.
“Even adjusting for changes in market mix, there’s growing evidence prices have crept up in areas where more demand has met a shrinking number of homes for sale. But we’re approaching the peak of the traditional spring-summer home-buying season. Whether these trends hold into the fall and winter isn’t clear. If they do, then logically the number of homes on the market would eventually rise to meet the demand. More owners will be interested in selling, knowing their homes are likely to fetch a higher price, and more people will shift from a negative to at least a slightly positive equity position, enabling them to sell. Home builders could rev up operations and lenders could push more distressed properties onto the market sooner. It would tame any price appreciation,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
In July, a total of 20,588 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. That was down 6.7 percent from 22,075 in June, and up 13.8 percent from 18,090 in July 2011.
Distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and short sales – made up 39.7 percent of last month’s resale market. That was the lowest level since the figure was 36.0 percent in January 2008.
The median price is being impacted by the mix, with fewer low end distressed sales pushing up the median. This is why I focus on the repeat sales indexes.
The NAR is scheduled to report July existing home sales and inventory next week on Wednesday, August 22nd.
A couple earlier posts on housing:
• House Prices and a Foreclosure Supply Shock
• Lawler: Table of Short Sales and Foreclosures for Selected Markets
Posted by Bill McBride on 8/14/2012 06:54:00 PM