July 13, 2011 (Chris Moore)
June home sales in Southern California jumped up to the highest level for any month since June of last year according real estate information provider DataQuick. Investors and first-time homebuyers continued to drive sales of low cost homes with even high-end sales showing increased activity
Home sales in the Southern California region, which includes Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties, increased in June as a total of 20,532 new and re-sale homes were sold for the month. That was up 11.6 percent from 18,394 homes sold in May, but 14 percent below June’s historical average of 27,772 sold homes.
A total of 1,395 new homes were sold across the six counties last month, a 36 percent drop from June of last year, and the lowest amount for the month of June since DataQuick started keeping records in 1988.
The median price for homes in the region increased slightly from the previous month. The median price paid for all new and re-sale homes in Southern California in June was $285,000, which was up from $280,000 last month. The median price was still down 5 percent from $300,000 in June of 2010. The median price for a home in the area at the current housing cycle’s peak in mid-2007 was $505,000.
“The housing market remains dysfunctional and lopsided, just somewhat less so than it was a few months or a year ago. The market mix indicates that a lot of potential buyers are either stuck, for lack of equity, or spooked and are waiting things out. Another large, lingering problem is the fussy mortgage market. Qualifying for a mortgage remains difficult for many, and the use of adjustable-rate and “jumbo” home purchase loans remains far below the historical norm,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
Distressed properties accounted for more than half of the re-sales market in June with approximately one in three re-sale homes being a foreclosure, and about one in five being a short sale.
Investors continued to play a significant role in the market as absentee buyers who paid cash purchased 23.6 percent of the homes sold in the area in June. Total cash purchases accounted for 28.0 percent of the homes sold in June. Absentee buyers paid a median price of $205,000 for the homes they purchased.
DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.
Tags: DataQuick, new homes, re-sale homes, median price, home sales, investors, absentee buyers, tight credit, weak job growth