A majority (85 percent) of the 382 metros covered in August experienced annual home value appreciation. Among the 30 largest metro areas covered by Zillow, 20 saw annual appreciation of 10 percent or more.
Southern California home sales reach six-year high
Posted by kpanchuk on 9/13/12 at 1:48pm
Investors, cash buyers and low mortgage rates are turning Southern California into a turnaround market, research firm DataQuick said Thursday…. “August was the strongest month for home sales so far this year, and the strongest for an August in six years. That’s really saying something given the drop in low-end sales, especially foreclosure resales,” DataQuick said. “Much of the pickup in activity reflects a continuation of trends we’ve seen for months, like the unleashing of pent-up demand in move-up markets and high levels of cash and investor buying.”
The Southland housing market posted the highest number of February home sales in five years as record levels of investor and cash buyers helped spur robust activity under $300,000. The median price paid for homes across the six-county region inched up from January but dropped below the year-earlier level for the 12th consecutive month, a real estate information service reported. The increase in sales between January and February was larger than usual. On average, sales have risen 1.1 percent between those two months since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. Southland sales have increased year-over-year for two consecutive months and for six out of the last seven months.
Indicators of market distress in Calirornia continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is high, but not increasing. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, cash and non-owner occupied buying is flat at a high level, DataQuick reported.
August was the first month since June 2010 to post a year-over-year gain in home sales. Last month was also the first since November 2009 in which all six Southland counties logged higher sales than a year earlier.
“Sales have been far below average for quite a while and there’s little doubt there’s pent-up demand out there. But too many people still aren’t in the mood or in a position to buy. They might be concerned about prices falling more, or can’t qualify for a loan. They might owe more on their homes than they’re worth and can’t move up. Others were foreclosed on in recent years and can’t re-enter the market yet.”
Although the market is still characterized by historically high levels of distressed property sales, investor purchases and tight credit, some indicators have been inching their way back toward normalcy.