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DataQuick: Southland Home Sales Fall

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From DataQuick: Southland Home Sales Fall, Prices Flat to Down

A total of 18,344 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in April. That was down 5.5 percent from 19,412 in March, and down 9.2 percent from 20,205 in April 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. April marked the 10th consecutive month in which Southland sales fell year-over-year.

The 1,024 sales of newly built homes last month marked a 1.9 percent gain from a year earlier, but it was still the Southland’s second-slowest April for new-home sales since at least 1988.

“The market’s in a rut at a time it would normally be building momentum. 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,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

Although distressed property sales eased slightly last month, they still accounted for more than half of the resale market.

Foreclosure resales – properties foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – made up 33.9 percent of all Southland resales in April, down from 36.0 percent in March and 36.4 percent a year ago. Foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009 and a low of 32.8 percent last June.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what had been owed on the property – made up an estimated 17.8 percent of Southland resales last month. That was down from an estimated 18.3 percent in March and 18.1 percent a year earlier, but up from 12.2 percent two years ago.

Another weak sales month, especially for new home sales – and right at the peak of the “buying season”. And over half the resale market is distressed sales, and that will keep downward pressure on home prices.

No wonder SoCal housing analyst G.U. Krueger wrote this morning: Spring homebuying looks lame!

Note: National existing home sales for April will be released next week on Thursday, May 19th.


Calculated Risk

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