Now here's the report.
La Jolla, CA---Home sales in Southern California continued at their slowest pace in more than two decades last month as many potential buyers and sellers held off if they could, or struggled with mortgage financing if they couldn't, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 17,424 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 3.0 percent from 16,917 the previous month and down 13.6 percent from 20,166 for June a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems.
While last month's sales were the highest in ten months, it was still the slowest June in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. The June average is 28,488 sales, the peak was reached in 2005 when 40,156 homes sold.
"The mortgage market turbulence is putting quite a bit of activity on hold. Policy decisions about underwriting don't really mean much if there's little or no money to lend. Even some very well-qualified households aren't getting mortgages these days, although this could all change fast if liquidity comes back," said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
The median price paid for a Southland home was $355,000 last month, down 4.1 percent from $370,000 in May and down 29.3 percent from $502,000 for June 2007. The peak of $505,000 was reached in March, April, May and July of last year.
The median has fallen because of depreciation, especially in inland markets, and because of the steep dropoff in home financing in the so-called jumbo category, which until recently was defined as loans above $417,000.
Foreclosure resales continue to be a dominant factor in today's Southern California market accounting for 41.1 percent of all resales. That was up from 39.2 percent in May, and up from 7.3 percent in June a year ago. Foreclosure resales ranged from 18.9 percent in Orange County last month to 62.3 percent in Riverside County.
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