Southern California home sales remained at their lowest level in more than 20 years last month, according to a new report, which attributed the steep drop in sales activity to market uncertainty and a continued drop in jumbo mortgage financing. Prices have dropped back to spring 2005 levels, according to DataQuick's most recent report on the Southern California housing market. From the press statement:
Last month's sales were the slowest for any October in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. The previous low was in October 1992 when 16,887 homes sold. The October sales average over the past 20 years is 24,725. "A lot of potential buyers seem to be waiting this one out. It's hard to buy a home when you think it might lose value, especially when you have to borrow money to do it. We can expect the issues with jumbo financing to slowly resolve themselves. Meanwhile, demand is accumulating and when the market does level off, there will be a catch-up period," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.
The median price paid for a Southland home was $444,000 last month, DataQuick reported, down 3.9 percent from $462,000 in September, and down 8.0 percent from $482,750 for October last year. The year-over-year decline reflects depreciation as well as the recent change in market mix -- fewer mid-to-high-priced homes selling with jumbo mortgages. When adjusted for shifts in mix, DataQuick reported that home values dropped 6.7 percent compared with a year ago. Last month's median sales price was the lowest since $440,000 in April 2005. For more information, visit http://www.dqnews.com.