Friday, October 13, 2006

Associated Press: SoCal home sales drop 28.6% from last September

There are no details yet about Los Angeles County in this Associated Press story. The noteworthy item in this news release is that Ventura County has now joined San Diego County in terms of showing YOY median price decline. Price growth is still occurring but still slowing in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernadino, and Riverside counties.

Contrary to what former Fed chief Alan Greenspan has been saying about the worst being over for the housing market, it does not look like the slide down here has even paused yet. Greenspan made those comments in light of a recent jump in applications for new mortgages. Greenspan also claims that "the fall of communism" unleashed tons of cheap labor into the world, creating a disinflationary environment that lowered inflation risks, which created the housing boom. I am not kidding, he actually said that. I'm sure he'll say anything to avoid responsibility for fueling a housing bubble with cheap money and casino loans.

Current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, on the other hand, believes the housing market is still undergoing a "substantial correction."

Home sales drop 28.6% from last September
Six counties in Southern California posted a 9-year low for the month. Median prices
rise only slightly.
By Alex Veiga

Home sales fell last month in a six-county stretch of Southern California to the 
lowest level for September in nine years, a real estate research firm said Thursday.

A total of 22,654 new and resale houses and condominiums were sold in September in 
Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, 
according to DataQuick Information Systems.

The figure represents a 28.6 percent decline from the year-ago period, when 31,740 
homes were sold in the region.

September sales were the lowest for the month since 21,320 homes were sold during the 
month in 1997.

September also marked the 10th straight month that sales in Southern California 
declined on a year-over-year basis.

Meanwhile, San Diego and Ventura counties saw their median home prices fall in 
September on an annual basis by 4.4 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. Price 
growth slowed in other counties, according to DataQuick.

The median home price in the region hit $484,000, marking a 1.9 percent increase 
over the year-ago period. It was the smallest percentage increase since February
1997, when the median price inched up 1.3 percent to $160,000, compared to $158,000
in February 1996, the firm said.

September's median home price fell 1 percent compared to the August figure.

Riverside County's median home price rose 8.2 percent over last year, to lead the 

Statewide home sales data for September are expected Tuesday.


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