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State's home prices dive 38%; sales rise

December 19, 2008|Associated Press

The median home price in California dived 38% in November from a year earlier as foreclosures propped up sales but eroded prices, a real estate tracking firm said Thursday.

The median home price dropped to $258,000 last month from $414,000 in November 2007, San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said. A total of 32,163 houses and condominiums were sold statewide, up 26% from a year earlier.

"Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions," DataQuick said. "Foreclosure activity is at or near record levels, financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is near the all-time low."

DataQuick said the median home price in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area plummeted a record 44% in November to the lowest level since September 2000.

The median price for houses and condos there dropped to $350,000 last month from $629,000 in November 2007.

The peak median price -- $665,000 -- was reached in the summer of 2007.

A total of 5,756 houses and condos were sold in the region last month, up 12% from the year-earlier period.

Foreclosures accounted for about 47% of all sales of existing homes last month in Northern California, up from 10% in November 2007. Solano County led the way, with 63.6% of sales last month involving foreclosed properties.

DataQuick said this week that the median home price in a six-county region of Southern California plunged 35% in November from a year earlier, dropping to the lowest mark since April 2003.

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