For the first time this summer, Southland home sales in July showed modest growth, while the decline in prices seemed to level off somewhat, a real estate newsletter reported.
A total of 10,891 single-family resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in July. That was up 1.6% from June's 10,722 and up 4.1% from 10,459 in July a year ago, according to the Southern California Real Estate Observer.
Sales were particularly strong in Orange County, where the year-over-year increase in sales volume was 18.6%.
The median price paid for a single-family resale home was $180,000 in July. That was down 1.6% from June's $183,000 and down by the same percent from July last year. Los Angeles County is seeing the strongest price decline, the median a year ago was $196,000, last month it was $185,000.
"This market is nowhere near recovery, and there are still a lot of distressed properties on the market tugging prices down," said Observer editor John Karevoll. "But the worst of the decline in sales volume is behind us."
Condo sales and prices have remained stable the past few months. The current median of $146,000 is just $1,000 below the peak of $147,000, which occurred in April, May and June.
The newsletter pointed out that foreclosure activity is leveling off, but said that it will still take another nine months for the bulk of the distressed properties to work their way through the foreclosure process.
The Observer gets its home sales information from La Jolla-based Dataquick Information Systems. The numbers include all so-called "arms-length" transactions. Sales to immediate family members and transfers of ownership to trusts are not counted.
Comparing July '92 and '93 Resales
Single-family No. Sold No. Sold Pct. Median Median Pct. resale July, '92 July, '93 Chg July, '92 July, '93 Chg Los Angeles 4,313 4,623 7.2% $196,000 $185,000 -5.6% Orange County 1,524 1,808 18.6% $220,000 $217,000 -1.4% San Diego 1,750 1,810 3.4% $178,000 $177,000 -0.6% Riverside 977 881 -9.8% $130,000 $135,000 3.8% San Bernardino 1,313 1,189 -9.4% $130,000 $129,000 -0.8% Ventura 582 580 -0.3% $216,000 $210,000 -2.8% So. California 10,459 10,891 4.1% $183,000 $180,000 -1.6%