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Home Sales Hit Surge in April

May 19, 1996

Home sales in Southern California surged last month to their highest level in six years, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 19,728 new and resale houses and condos were sold in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura and Riverside counties in April. That was up 10.4% from 17,874 for the month before and up 41.2% from 13,972 for April a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems of La Jolla.

Last month's year-over-year increase was the strongest of the 1990s. So far this year, 64,400 homes have been sold in Southern California, the most for any January-to-April period since 84,683 in 1990.

"The uptick in interest rates seems to have pushed a lot of fence-sitters into the market," said Donald L. Cohn, DataQuick CEO. "We expect strong sales activity to continue well into the summer season, although the increases probably won't stay this strong. We're encouraged by the leveling off of prices."

The overall median home price was $158,000 year to date, down 1.3% from $160,000 a year ago. While price declines continued to affect Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, prices were flat or up in San Diego, Riverside and Ventura counties.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Southland Home Sales

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County No. Sold No. Sold Pct. Med(K) Med(K) Pct. 1995* 1996* Chng 1995* 1996* Chng Los Angeles 22,215 25,748 15.9% $162 $160 -1.2% Orange County 8,181 10,923 33.5% $194 $188 -3.1% San Diego 7,600 9,891 30.1% $164 $165 0.6% Riverside 6,091 7,560 24.1% $126 $126 0.0% San Bernardin 5,632 7,067 25.5% $121 $117 -3.3% Ventura 2,595 3,211 23.7% $185 $188 1.6% So. California 52,314 64,400 23.1% $160 $158 -1.3%

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*Year-over-year increase for January-to-April period.

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