Southern California’s housing market’s sales volume rose slowly in June as the median price slipped back slightly from May, but remained 13 percent higher than a year ago. A total of 23,871 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 7.2 percent for May, and up 2.6 percent from June 2009. The sales count was the highest since July last year. It was the strongest month of June since 2006.
“The market was wildly out of kilter a year ago, now it’s just somewhat out of kilter. We’re still seeing lots of bargain hunting, and we’re not seeing much discretionary buying. Still, more money was spent last month buying homes in Southern California than in the past two years, and more money was loaned. The tax credits had something to do with that, though it’s not clear exactly how much. With the impact of the credits fading fast, the next few months will tell us a lot”, said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.
The median price paid for a Southern California home was $300,000 last month. That was down 1.6 percent from $305,000 in May, and up 13.2 percent from $265,000 for June 2009. The low point of the current cycle was $247,000 in April 2009, the high point was $505,000 in mid 2007. The median’s peak-to-trough drop was due to a decline in home values as well as a shift in sales toward low-cost homes, especially foreclosures.
Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards but is lower than peak levels reached over the last two years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, and non-owner occupied buying is above- average, MDA DataQuick reported.
In Los Angeles, and especially on the Westside and Santa Monica, the next few months should be good indicators of how the market is trending.