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Southland Median Sale Price Dips Month-to-Month, Still Up Sharply From a Year Ago

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Southern California home sales in September fell more than usual from August but rose modestly above a year earlier as sales gains for mid- to high-priced properties compensated for declines in sub-$300,000 activity. The median sale price remained 21 percent higher than a year earlier, but after holding steady for three months the median dipped month-to-month in September for the first time since February, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 19,112 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 17.1 percent from 23,057 sales in August, and up 7.0 percent from 17,859 sales in September 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

On average, Southland sales have declined 9.3 percent between August and September since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

Last month’s sales were 19.9 percent below the average number of sales – 23,862 – in the month of September. Southland sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. September sales have ranged from a low of 12,455 in September 2007 to high of 37,771 in September 2003.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $382,000, down 0.8 percent from $385,000 in August and up 21.3 percent from $315,000 in September 2012. The $385,000 median in June, July and August was the highest in more than five years.

The median price has risen on a year-over-year basis for 18 consecutive months. Those gains have been double-digit – between 10.8 percent and 28.3 percent – over the past 14 months, and they have been greater than 20 percent for the last nine months.

September’s median remained 24.4 percent below the peak $505,000 median in spring/summer 2007.

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