Southern California home sales, prices suffer in April
Recovery eluded Southern California in April, as prices dropped to the lowest point in three years and sales declines for the 10th consecutive month. More than 18,300 new and resale homes and condos sold in April in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino Counties, according to research firm DataQuick. That figure is down 5.5% compared to March and 9.2% lower than a year earlier. Sales usually increase 0.9% between March and April, DataQuick said. April homes sales came in 25.4% below the month's normal average of 24,606 homes. April was also the second slowest month for new home sales in Southern California since DataQuick began tracking the data. Little more than 1,000 new homes sold during the month, up 1.9% from one year earlier. "The market is in a rut at a time it would normally be building momentum," said John Walsh, president of DataQuick. "Two of the more likely forces that could get it going again are more robust job growth and home price reductions. At the moment, the latter appears to be the more likely short-term catalyst." The median price for a home in Southern California last month was $280,000 — the lowest price for an April in three years — down 0.2% from $280,500 in March. In April 2010, the median home sale price stood at $285,000. Prices dropped the most in Ventura County, down 6.4% to a median $352,500, according to DataQuick, followed by Riverside County (down 5% to $190,000), Los Angeles County (down 2.9% to $320,000), and San Bernardino County (down 1.7% to $147,500). Home prices in San Diego County fell 1.1% during April to a median $321,750, while prices remained flat at $430,000 in Orange County. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.