Southern California Aug Home Sales Rise

September 14, 2011

La Jolla, CA—Southern California home sales rose last month above the July and year-earlier level, the result of seasonal forces, a relatively high number of business days this August and continued robust bottom-feeding. Prices appeared to be trending sideways to downward, with the region’s overall median sale price dipping below a year earlier for the sixth consecutive month, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 19,654 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in August. That was up 8.6 percent from 18,090 in July and up 6.0 percent from 18,541 in August 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

… 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. One reason it’s getting easier to beat the year-ago sales numbers: Home sales fell off sharply last summer after federal and state homebuyer tax credits expired.

… Last month’s sales picture changes when viewed in terms of the average number of homes sold daily. Last month had 23 business days (the most for any August since 2007) on which home sales could be recorded, compared with 20 business days in July and 22 in August 2010. The average number of homes sold daily last month fell about 6 percent from July and rose less than 1 percent compared with a year earlier.

… Foreclosure resales – properties foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – made up 34.6 percent of the Southland resale market in August, up from 34.5 percent in July but down from 37.6 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 56.7 percent in February 2009.

… Short sales, where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property, made up an estimated 17.9 percent of Southland resales last month. That was up from 17.3 percent in July but down from 18.9 percent a year ago. Two years ago the estimate was 14.5 percent.

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