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Southern California posts most November home sales since 2006

December 12, 2012|By E. Scott Reckard
  • A home for sale in Monterey Park last month. Southern California home sales rose 14.2% in November from a year earlier, according to DataQuick.
A home for sale in Monterey Park last month. Southern California home sales… (Nick Ut / Associated Press )

Southern California's housing market surged again last month, with the number of homes sold climbing more than 14% from a year earlier to their the highest level for any November in six years.

It was the 11th straight month of year-over-year increases, according to real estate research firm DataQuick. The median home price for the region was $321,000, up from $315,000 the two prior months and a nearly 17% increase over $275,000 in November of 2011.

Helping to boost the median home price, the number of sales rose in the trade-up middle ranges of the market and at the high end, while sales volume fell in less expensive areas.

Investors paying cash for homes remain an unusually large part of the regional housing market, DataQuick said.

More buyers feel confident about their jobs, the economy and housing prices, said John Walsh, president of the San Diego data firm.

“We’re also seeing more non-distressed sales, where people sell at a profit and buy another house, triggering more move-up activity,” Walsh said.

Quiz: How much do you know about mortgages?

A total of 19,285 new and resale houses and condominiums sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month, DataQuick reported. That was down 8.5% from October -- a normal seasonal decline -- but up 14.2% from 16,884 sales in November 2011.

The percentage of resales involving foreclosed homes continued to decline, falling to 15% of all resales, compared with nearly a third a year earlier.

Short sales, in which banks allow borrowers to retire their mortgages by selling their homes for less than the amount owed, continued to make up about a quarter of all resales, according to DataQuick estimates -- an indication that the market, though recovering, is still far from normal.

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