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Home Sales Sag, But Prices Set a Record

January 06, 2002

Home sales in Southern California were down slightly in November from high levels a year ago, the result of tight inventory and stretched-out escrows. In the same period, prices edged up to a new record, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 22,795 new and resale houses and condos were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in November. That was down 11.8% from 25,840 for the month before, and down 6.9% from 24,486 for November 2000, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

A decline from October to November is normal for the season. As of last November, 278,260 Southland homes had been sold, up 0.6% from 276,571 in 2000, and the most since 313,103 were sold during January to November in 1989.

Pushed up by a surge of new home sales, the median price reached $238,000 in November, a new record. That was up 2.1% from $233,000 in October, and up 9.2% from $218,000 for November 2000.

The average monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,192 in November. In November 2000, it was $1,194, when interest rates were higher. The all-time peak was April 1989 at $1,360, DataQuick reported.

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