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Southland Home Sales Up From Year Ago; Median Price Climbs to $300K

Industry news from

La Jolla, CA—The number of homes sold in Southern California rose above a year earlier for the sixth month in a row in June, the result of robust investor demand and significant sales gains for mid- to high-end homes. The continuing pattern of fewer foreclosures re-selling and more activity in pricier coastal counties helped the region’s median sale price climb to a two-year high, a real estate information service reported.

The median price paid for a home in the six-county Southland rose last month to $300,000, up 1.7 percent from $295,000 in May and up 5.3 percent from $285,000 in June 2011, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

Last month’s median was the highest since the median was also $300,000 in June 2010, when the market got a final big boost from expiring homebuyer tax credits. The median has risen month-to-month for five consecutive months and has increased year-over-year for the past three. The June median’s 5.3 percent year-over-year gain followed increases of 5.4 percent and 3.6 percent in May and April, respectively. Before then, the median had fallen year-over-year for 13 straight months.

The June median was 40.6 percent lower than the Southland’s $505,000 peak median in mid 2007, and it was 21.5 percent higher than the region’s low point for the current real estate cycle – $247,000 in April 2009.

Higher demand and a smaller inventory of homes for sale have put pressure on prices in some areas, but two other trends are at work: First, there’s been a significant drop in the share of transactions that are foreclosed properties, which tend to sell at a discount and be concentrated in lower-cost areas. Second, a greater portion of sales are occurring in the higher-cost coastal markets. Last month, for example, sales in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties represented 71 percent of all Southland activity, up from 68 percent in June 2011.

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