Bloomberg News

Southern California Home Prices Fall 4.8% as High-End Sales Drop

November 17, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices in Southern California fell 4.8 percent last month from a year earlier as buyers of expensive homes delayed purchases, according to DataQuick.

The median paid for houses and condominiums was $270,000 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties, down from $283,000 in October 2010 and $280,000 in September, the San Diego-based data seller said today. Prices have fallen for eight straight months on a year-over-year basis.

“The market continues to struggle with a difficult lending environment, uncertainty among potential buyers, underwater homeowners who can’t move up and a weak job market,” John Walsh, DataQuick’s president, said in a statement. Underwater owners owe more than their homes are worth.

Sales in the region totaled 16,829, down 7.3 percent from September and 29 percent below the average for October since 1988, according to DataQuick. A “sharp drop” in high-end sales was attributable to the reduction in conforming loan limits on Oct. 1, Walsh said. The limits vary by county, and were cut to $625,500 from $729,750 in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Purchases of $500,000 or more accounted for 17 percent of all sales last month, the lowest since May 2009. Foreclosures and short sales, where the price paid is less than the amount owed, were almost 53 percent of the total. Total sales rose 0.5 percent from October 2010, DataQuick said.

--Editors: Daniel Taub, Christine Maurus

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Levy in San Francisco at dlevy13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net


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