Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Number of home sales declining in So Cal, median prices up YOY

Housing market watcher Annette Haddad of the LA Times, in an April 19 story, reports that the median price for home in LA, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernadino, and Ventura rose to $501,000, up 14% YOY and up 4.4% from February.

However the number of homes sold has fallen 9.7%, the fourth consecutive month that volume has fallen.

Analysts at DataQuick are calling the current real estate market a "normal real estate cycle". However, they are also saying that the rate of price increases is not sustainable, and are looking to single-digit increases by year's end.

"Anytime you see a volume drop, the price will be impacted two or three months from now", said Michael Davin, executive vice president of Catalist Homes, a Hermosa Beach-based real estate brokerage that serves the region..."Inventory is going up but not at alarming levels."

There are about 50% more homes on the market than a year ago, and the average days on market has increased from 27 to 48.

San Diego is being viewed as the barometer. The median price in San Diego has risen 5.7% to $504,000, and sales fell 17.4%, though the median is slightly down over 6 months.

Riverside county was the only county to show an increase in number of sales, up 6%.

DataQuick analysts believe that demand will have to wane much further for prices to start declining.


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