Bloomberg News

Southern California Home Sales Rise for First Time in 14 Months

September 14, 2011

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Home sales in Southern California rose in August for the first time in more than a year, led by a surge in deals for lower-priced properties, DataQuick said.

A total of 19,654 houses and condominiums sold last month in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties, an increase of 6 percent from a year earlier and 8.6 percent from July, the data company said today in a statement. It was the first year-over-year sales advance since June 2010, with all six counties showing gains.

Sales of homes priced $300,000 and below jumped 10 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. That pushed the median transaction price to $279,000, down 3.1 percent from August 2010 and 1.4 percent from the previous month. Prices have dropped on a yearly basis for six months.

“Home sales were up from a year earlier but remained far below average,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in the statement. “Many would-be buyers can’t find financing, and others who want to make a move now are stuck because they owe more than their homes are worth. Financial markets are increasingly choppy, the political outlook is incredibly murky and consumer confidence remains poor.”

Orange County sales gained 9.5 percent from a year earlier for the biggest increase. Prices there were the most expensive in the region at a median $420,000, down 4.5 percent. Los Angeles County prices dropped 4.5 percent to a median $315,000, and San Bernardino County, with an abundance of distressed homes, had a 5.1 percent decline, to $150,000.

--Editors: Christine Maurus, Kara Wetzel

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Levy in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at

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