Sales Volume in Calif. Falls to 1996 Levels
A total of 41,100 new and resale houses and condos were sold in California last month, according to a new report released late Thursday. That's up 4.8 percent from 39,200 for November, and off 22.2 percent from December 2005's reported sales numbers. DataQuick's December sales report found that last month's sales made for the slowest December since 1996, when just 33,591 homes were sold. In spite of slowing volume, the median price paid for a home last month in the Golden State was $474,000, up 1.1 percent from November's $469,000, and up 3.5 percent from $458,000 for December a year ago. In Southern California, the mixed signals seen statewide were magnified: prices reached a new peak, while sales volume remained at a ten-year low. The median price paid for a home in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties was $495,000 last month, a new record. That was up 1.6 percent from $487,000 for the month before, and up 3.3 percent from $479,000 for December a year ago. The previous price peak was $493,000, set last June. While prices keep increasing, year-over-year price increases in Southern California have been in the single digits for nine months and sales volume continues to free fall. A total of 22,485 new and resale homes were sold regionwide last month, down 22.3 percent from 28,952 in December a year ago. Last month's sales numbers represented the slowest December for sales in Southern California since 1995, DataQuick said.