To the surprise of analysts, home sales in Ventura County were strong in November despite rising mortgage rates.
A total of 841 new and resale houses and condominiums were sold in the county last month. That's nearly 4% more than the 810 sold in October and almost 7% above the 788 escrows that closed in November, 1993, according to Dataquick Information Systems.
Prices rebounded somewhat but remained below the year-ago level. The county's overall median sale price in November of this year was $189,000--up almost 2% from the previous month but 4% below November, 1993.
"The market's strength wasn't expected, really," Dataquick analyst John Karevoll said.
"People seem to be deciding to make purchases before interest rates go even higher. Also, there seems to be a feeling that prices aren't going to go any lower."
As for next year, Karevoll expects home sales in the county to continue relatively strong. Prices should stabilize as foreclosures level off, he believes. Along with the recession, a flood of lender-owned properties was blamed for soft housing prices in recent years.