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Monday, January 19, 2009

DataQuick: Foreclosure Resales Account for 55.7% of Socal Housing Sales

by Calculated Risk on 1/19/2009 01:07:00 PM

From DataQuick: Southland home sales off bottom

The core trends of Southern California's 2008 housing market were on prominent display in December: Low-cost inland foreclosures sold briskly, builders had their worst month in decades, expensive markets remained in wait-and-see mode and lenders continued to hold back on making 'jumbo' home loans ...

While sales from September 2007 through last summer were at the lowest in at least two-decades, they've been up off the bottom ever since. Last month was the fifth-slowest December in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. December a year ago was the all-time slowest ...

The number of resale houses sold in Riverside County almost tripled on a year-over-year basis, from 1,238 in December 2007 to 3,617 last month. Just under 70 percent of Riverside County resales were foreclosure homes. ...

Regionwide, foreclosure resales accounted for 55.7 percent of December's resales activity, up from 54.7 percent in November, and up from 24.3 percent in December 2007.

A total of 1,813 newly-built homes were sold in December, easily the lowest number for that month in DataQuick's statistics. ...

The median price paid for a Southland home was $278,000 last month. That was down 2.5 percent from $285,000 for November, and down 34.6 percent from $425,000 for December a year ago. The median reached $505,000 in mid 2007.

In today's market, the drop in the median overstates the decline in home values. The more affordable inland markets with most of the discounted foreclosures account for a large share of today's sales, while homes in the upper half of the market are not selling well ...
This makes a few key points:

  • The median price is skewed by the mix.

  • Foreclosure resales ARE the market in many areas.

  • Builders had the worst December ever.

  • Significant price declines are probably coming in the more expensive areas. (price follows volume).