Monday, August 15, 2011

DataQuick on SoCal: Lowest July Home Sales in Four Years

by Calculated Risk on 8/15/2011 03:14:00 PM

From DataQuick: Southland Housing Market's Vital Signs Remain Weak

Southern California home sales fell last month to the lowest level for a July in four years ... A total of 18,090 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in July. That was down 11.9 percent from 20,532 in June and down 4.5 percent from 18,946 in July 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
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"The latest sales figures look a bit worse than they really are, given this July was a fairly short month, but they still suggest some potential homebuyers got spooked. Reports on the economy became increasingly downbeat and, no doubt, some people fretted over the possibility the country would default on its obligations," said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

"If there's a shred of good news in the data it's that last month's sales weren't much worse than a year earlier. For the first time in many months, we get an apples-to-apples comparison to year-ago sales, given that in July 2010 the market lost its crutch -- federal homebuyer tax credits."
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Overall home sales in July fell across all price categories compared with June. Sales declined 11.2 percent from June for homes priced below $200,000, while they fell 13.3 percent month-to-month for $300,000-to-$800,000 homes and fell 20.5 percent for homes over $800,000.
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Foreclosure resales -- properties foreclosed on in the prior 12 months -- made up 32.5 percent of the Southland resale market in July ... Short sales, where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property, made up an estimated 17.3 percent of Southland resales last month.
About half the sales in SoCal are distressed (foreclosure resales or short sales) and about 24% of sales were to absentee homeowners (mostly investors).

The NAR reports existing home sales for July on Thursday.