Thursday, August 24, 2006

L.A. Times: California Home Sales Take a Plunge

The August 24 Los Angeles Times story by Jesus Sanchez is just a confirmation of what you already know, dear blog readers. But the feature I find most interesting about this story is that this the first time during this downturn that I've seen the L.A. Times use the word "plunge" in a housing story. Remember - a month ago the word from the L.A. Times that I was noticing was "Relax". The prevailing thought then was - "Gosh darn but those silly buyers were not going to gain anything by waiting - they are going to miss out on the rebound!" Wow, isn't it amazing that we can see such a shift in psychology in one month. Now the California Association of Realtors admits that sellers are maintaining unrealistic price expectations.

For the entire state, sales of existing homes are down nearly 30%. Compare that to the nationwide figure, which is down 21.6%. California sales volume is falling faster than the nation's volume as a whole. Riverside and San Bernadino counties saw a drop in sales volume of over 40%. Silicon Valley area is showing a fall of over 30%.

Median prices have slipped 0.7% in San Diego, 2.4% in Sacramento, and 3.7% in the Palm Springs region. The Los Angeles area median sales price is up to $581,140, up 6.8% YOY. In Orange County, it is up to $710,920, up just 0.6% YOY.

So far I am not seeing any sign of a rebound in the August sales figures.


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