A total of 19,486 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 27.9 percent from 15,231 for the prior month, and up 52.1 percent from 12,808 for March 2008, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.
An increase from February to March is normal for the season. Last month was the ninth in a row with a year-over-year sales increase. March last year was the slowest March in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. The March average is 25,138.
Regionwide, foreclosure resales accounted for 55.4 percent of March's resales activity, down from a revised 56.7 percent in February and up from 35.7 percent in March 2008.
The median price paid for a Southland home was $250,000 last month, the same as in January and February. That was down 35.1 percent from $385,000 for March a year ago. The median peaked at $505,000 in mid 2007.
The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,074 last month, down from $1,090 for February, and down from a revised $1,841 for March a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, current payments were 50.8 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They were 59.7 percent below the current cycle's peak in July 2007.
Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is nearing its 2008 peak, while financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is at an all-time low, as is financing with multiple mortgages. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, and non-owner occupied buying activity is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.
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