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Little Change Again for Southland Home Prices; Sales Picture Mixed

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Southern California home buying picked up last month compared with September but fell short of a year earlier as sales in inventory-starved, lower-cost markets continued to lag far behind 2012 levels. For the fourth month in a row the region’s median sale price more or less moved sideways, though it was still nearly 22 percent higher than October last year, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 20,150 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 5.4 percent from 19,112 sales in September, and down 4.4 percent from 21,075 sales in October 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

On average, Southland sales have declined 1.1 percent between September and October since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

Last month’s sales were 14.4 percent below the average number of sales – 23,572 – in the month of October. Southland sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. October sales have ranged from a low of 12,913 in October 2007 to high of 37,642 in October 2003.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $383,750, up 0.5 percent from $382,000 in September and up 21.8 percent from $315,000 in October 2012. The $385,000 median this June, July and August was the highest in more than five years.

The median price has risen on a year-over-year basis for 19 consecutive months. Those gains have been double-digit – between 10.8 percent and 28.3 percent – over the past 15 months, and they have been greater than 20 percent for the last 10 months.

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