Southland Housing Market's Vital Signs Remain Weak
DataQuick - August 15, 2011
La Jolla, CA---Southern California home sales fell last month to the
lowest level for a July in four years, though the decline from a year
earlier was the smallest in 13 months. The drop in sales from June was
more pronounced, especially for $500,000-plus homes, as the job market
sputtered, economic uncertainty intensified and some potential
homebuyers got cold feet, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 18,090 new and resale houses and condos sold in
Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange
counties in July. That was down 11.9 percent from 20,532 in June and
down 4.5 percent from 18,946 in July 2010, according to San Diego-based
On average, sales between June and July have fallen 4.8
percent since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin. July sales have
varied from a low of 16,225 in 1995 to a high of 38,996 in 2003. Last
month's sales count was the third-lowest on record for a July, and was
29.8 percent below the July average of 25,752 sales.
Among all months, June has had the highest number of sales
most often -- in eight of the past 23 years in DataQuick's records
--while July has had the highest sales twice in that period.
The decline in sales last month from both June and a year
earlier isn't as great when viewed in terms of the average number of
homes sold daily. Last month had 20 business days on which sales were
recorded, compared with 22 business days in June and 21 in July 2010.
Average daily sales last month fell 3.7 percent from June and fell 1.0
percent from a year earlier.
"The latest sales figures look a bit worse than they really
are, given this July was a fairly short month, but they still suggest
some potential homebuyers got spooked. Reports on the economy became
increasingly downbeat and, no doubt, some people fretted over the
possibility the country would default on its obligations," said John
Walsh, DataQuick president.
"If there's a shred of good news in the data it's that last
month's sales weren't much worse than a year earlier. For the first time
in many months, we get an apples-to-apples comparison to year-ago
sales, given that in July 2010 the market lost its crutch
-- federal homebuyer tax credits."
The median price paid for all new and resale Southland
houses and condos purchased last month was $283,000. That was down 0.7
percent from $285,000 in June and down 4.1 percent from $295,000 in July
The median has declined year-over-year for the past five
months. It has been unchanged or lower than a year earlier each month
since last December, when it posted a 0.3 percent annual increase.
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