Home/Mortgages/Southern California Home Sales Decline Slightly in June

July 23, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in Southern California fell slightly in June, the result of one less business day than in May, while year-over-year home prices improved for the third consecutive month according to real estate information provider DataQuick.

Sales in the Southern California region, which includes Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties, totaled 22,075 new and re-sale homes in June, a 0.5 percent decline from the 22,192 homes sold in May but still 7.5 percent higher than the 20,532 homes sold in June of last year.

Home sales in the area typically increase about 6.8 percent between May and June and were 19.9 percent below the historical average for the month of June. Year-over-year, home sales have increased for the last six months and ten out of the last 11 months..

Cash buyers accounted for 31.6 percent of the homes sold for the month, down from a revised 32.1 percent the previous month. Cash buyers paid a median price of $235,000 for their purchases, up slightly from a revised $234,500 the previous month.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 27.0 percent of all sales in June, down from a revised 27.5 percent in May, and they paid a median price of $225,000 for the homes they purchased, unchanged from the previous month.

The median sales price paid for all new and re-sale homes in the Southern California region increased 1.7 percent in June to $300,000 from $295,000 in May. The median price a year ago was also $285,000.

It was the third consecutive month that year-over year home prices have increased in the Southern California area after 16 months of declines.

The highest median sales price for homes in the region during the current housing cycle’s peak was $505,000 in mid-2007 while the lowest was $247,000 in June 2009.

John Walsh, president of DataQuick, stated, “The June numbers look pretty good at first glance, but they’re more mixed when you scratch beneath the surface. Yes, the median sale price rose again. But it’s clear this has a lot to do with changes in the types of homes selling, rather than across-the-board price appreciation. Fewer of the homes selling now are foreclosures, while more are nice houses in mid- to higher-end neighborhoods. June sales were stronger than a year earlier, but they were also around 20 percent below average for that month.”

Distressed properties accounted for 42.2 percent of the re-sale market in May, down from 44.8 percent in May, with foreclosures accounting for 24.5 percent of the re-sale market, down from 26.9 percent in May, while short sales made up an estimated 17.7 percent of re-sales, down from 18.0 percent the previous month.

Distressed property sales were at their lowest level since February of 2008 as foreclosure re-sales have fallen more than 50 percent since their high of 56.7 percent of all re-sales in February 2009.

Tags: Southern California, new homes, re-sale homes, median price, home sales, investors, absentee buyers