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Southland home sales slowest since 1993

July 17, 2007

La Jolla,CA----Southern California's real estate market slowed to its lowest sales pace in 14 years last month, led by steep sales drop-offs in the Inland Empire and other affordable markets, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 20,166 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 1.5 percent from 19,874 for the month before, and down 36.2 percent from 31,602 for June last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Last month's sales were the slowest for any June since 1993, when 19,947 homes sold, the lowest for any June in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. The strongest June was in 2005, when 40,156 homes sold. The June sales average is 29,041.

"We're probably pretty close to the 'floor' level of buying and selling, meaning that most of the activity is basic and not discretionary. Today's buyers and sellers really need to move for one reason or another, not because they want a guest room or bigger yard. The exception seems to be high-end markets, most of which are doing pretty well," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Southland home was $502,000 last month, down 0.6 percent from $505,000 for May. That was up 2.4 percent from $490,000 for June last year.

When adjusted for shifts in market mix (i.e. fewer lower-cost homes selling now), year-over-year price changes went negative in January and are roughly two percent below year-ago levels. The declines are in the lower half of the market, while prices are flat or even increasing in the upper half of the market.

DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $2,430 last month, up from $2,364 the previous month, and up from $2,422 a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are 11.3 percent above typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 2.4 percent below the current cycle's peak one year ago.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Financing with adjustable-rate mortgages has declined significantly. Foreclosure activity is high, although foreclosure properties are not yet a drag on home values in most markets. Down payment sizes are stable, flipping rates and non-owner occupied buying activity are down, DataQuick reported.


All Homes No Sold
Jun-06
No Sold
Jun-07
Pct.
Chg
Median
Jun-06
Median
Jun-07
Pct.
Chg
Los Angeles 11,234 7,580 -32.5% $520,000 $545,000 4.8%
Orange 3,862 2,641 -31.6% $642,500 $645,000 0.4%
Riverside 6,361 3,359 -47.2% $425,000 $400,000 -5.9%
San Bernardino 4,385 2,190 -50.1% $365,000 $365,000 0.0%
San Diego 4,533 3,510 -22.6% $505,000 $495,500 -1.9%
Ventura 1,227 886 -27.8% $625,000 $582,000 -6.9%
SoCal Total 31,602 20,166 -36.2% $490,000 $502,000 2.4%


Source: DQNews.com

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157
or John Karevoll (909) 867-9534


Copyright 2007 DataQuick Information Systems.
All rights reserved.


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