The Housing Chronicles Blog: SoCal Home Sales at 20-year Low

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SoCal Home Sales at 20-year Low

Just in case anyone's still wondering about people continuing to sit on the sidelines or can't get credit to buy a home, Dataquick has released their latest numbers for January 2008. What's interesting to me is that despite the 14% decline in median prices for all homes, for homes priced under the $417,000 conforming loan limit (which includes a lot of starter condos), prices fell by just 5%, which somewhat conflicts with the predictions we've been hearing from certain market experts and economists.

Hardest hit for sales were the counties of Los Angeles and San Bernardino, with lesser declines in San Diego, Riverside (which is surprising) and Ventura. The steepest declines in median price included the Inland Empire counties (Riverside & San Bernardino) and Ventura:

A total of 9,983 new and resale houses and condos were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in January. That was down 24.6 percent from 13,240 for the previous month, and down 44.9 percent from 18,128 for January last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Last month's sales total was the lowest for any month in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. Since September, sales for each calendar month were a record low for that particular month...

The median price paid for a Southland home was $415,000 last month, the lowest since $414,000 in January 2005. Last month's median was down 2.4 percent from December's $425,000, and 14.4 percent below $485,000 for January 2007.

Last month's median was 17.8 percent below the $505,000 peak reached last spring and summer. While the steep decline in median sales price does reflect a drop in prices, it also reflects significant shifts in the types of homes selling. Particularly noticeable is a drop-off in sales of more expensive homes financed with "jumbo" mortgages...

The median price paid for a home financed with a conforming loan was $380,000 in January, down 5.0 percent from $400,000 a year ago, and down 7.3 percent from the $410,000 peak reached in March and April of 2007...

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is at record levels, financing with adjustable-rate mortgages or with multiple mortgages has dropped sharply. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, non-owner occupied buying activity is flat, DataQuick reported.

No Sold No Sold Percent Median Median Percent
All Home Sales 7-Jan 8-Jan Change 7-Jan 8-Jan Change
Los Angeles 6,805 3,398 -50.10% $520,000 $458,000 -11.90%
Orange 2,400 1,286 -46.40% $600,000 $520,000 -13.30%
Riverside 3,089 1,939 -37.20% $415,000 $331,500 -20.10%
San Bernardino 2,373 1,111 -53.20% $370,000 $298,500 -19.30%
San Diego 2,772 1,826 -34.10% $472,000 $429,000 -9.10%
Ventura 689 423 -38.60% $565,000 $477,750 -15.40%
SoCal 18,128 9,983 -44.90% $485,000 $415,000 -14.40%

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