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Southland Home Sales Drop; Median Sale Price Edges Sideways – Again

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Southern California’s housing market downshifted last month, with sales falling well below a year earlier as investor activity waned again and buyers continued to struggle with higher prices and a thin supply of homes for sale. The median sale price held nearly steady for the sixth consecutive month, though it was still almost 20 percent higher than a year ago, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 17,283 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 14.2 percent from 20,150 sales in October, and down 10.4 percent from 19,285 sales in November 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

On average, Southland sales have declined 7.6 percent between October and November since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

Last month’s sales were 19.8 percent below the average number of sales – 21,559 – in the month of November. Southland sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. November sales have ranged from a low of 13,173 in November 2007 to high of 31,987 in November 1988.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $385,000, up 0.3 percent from $383,750 in October and up 19.9 percent from $321,000 in November 2012. Last month’s $385,000 median price ties June, July and August as the highest for this year. The last time the median was higher than $385,000 was in February 2008, when it was $408,000 (the median was $385,000 in March and April of 2008).

The median sale price has risen on a year-over-year basis for 20 consecutive months. Those gains have been double-digit – between 10.8 percent and 28.3 percent – over the past 16 months. November’s 19.9 percent year-over-year gain is the lowest since the median rose 19.6 percent last December.

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