A total of 21,502 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in August. That was down 10.8 percent from 24,104 in July, and up 11.0 percent from 19,366 in August 2008, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.
Last month was the 14th in a row with a year-over-year sales increase. The decline from July to August was unusual, given an increase is normal for the season. August sales in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988, range from a low of 16,379 in 1992 to a high of 39,562 in 2003. The average is 27,458.
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty out there about prices, interest rates and the availability of mortgage money. Additionally, we don’t know if this drop in foreclosure resales is temporary. We’re hearing from public agencies and the banking industry that there’s still a lot of financial distress in the pipeline,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.
The median price paid for a Southland home was $275,000 last month, up 2.6 percent from $268,000 in July, and down 16.7 percent from $330,000 in August 2008. The month-to-month increase was the fourth in a row after the median fell to a more-than 7-year low of $247,000 in April. The median peaked at $505,000 in mid 2007.
Changes in the median do not necessarily correspond to changes in home values in the current, atypical sales environment. Adjusting for shifts in market mix, it now appears that over the past two years homes in older, more costly neighborhoods have come down in value by about half as much as homes in newer, more affordable neighborhoods. Prices also fell sharply in some lower-cost, older communities where the use of risky subprime loans was high, triggering relatively high foreclosure rates.