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Housing market in Southern California makes October gains [Google+ Hangout]

November 13, 2012|By Alejandro Lazo

Southern California’s housing market accelerated in October as home sales spiked with more buyers looking to move into pricier homes.

Sales rose 18% from the prior month and were up 25.2% from October 2011, hitting a five-year high for that month. An estimated 21,075 newly built and previously owned homes sold throughout the six-county region last month, real estate firm DataQuick said.

The median sales price for a home last month was the same as the previous month and up 16.7% from October 2011.

“Watching the market rebalance itself is fascinating,” DataQuick President John Walsh in a statement. “In some categories and in some neighborhoods, demand outstrips supply, pushing up prices. In other areas, the market is still largely dormant.”

The area’s lowest-cost areas — and often those the most starved for inventory, real estate agents say — posted the weakest sales volumes. The number of homes that sold below $200,000 in the region dropped 11.2%. Sales in these markets have been slowed by the drop in foreclosures while demand has increased, pushing up prices.

Since the start of the mortgage meltdown, repossessed homes have been considered the discount aisles of real estate. Now competition among investors and first-time home buyers for affordable digs is making those distressed properties less affordable, analyses show.

Sales of previously foreclosed-upon homes made up just 16.3% of the resale market last month, a drop from 16.6% last month and 32.8% in October 2011. Foreclosure resales peaked at 56.7% in February 2009.

Join us for a live video chat at 3 p.m. with consumer columnist David Lazarus, real estate reporter Alejandro Lazo, DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage, and Bill McBride of the Calculated Risk blog. Leave your comments and questions below.

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