Fewer than 20,000 homes sold in Southern California last month, less than average for March, as potential buyers stayed on the sidelines amid a slow economic recovery, DataQuick reported today.
A total of 19,953 houses and condominiums sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties, the San Diego-based data seller said in a statement. While last month’s sales total was up 2.8 percent from a year earlier, it was almost 19 percent below the average for March since 1988, when DataQuick began tracking the figures.
“The year is young and lots could still change, but the results from the first big sales month of 2012 suggest the market is stuck in low gear,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in the statement. “This remains a very gradual -- not to mention fragile -- recovery.”
The median price paid for a home in Southern California was $280,000 last month, up 5.8 percent from $264,750 in February and down 0.2 percent from $280,500 in March 2011. While the median was the highest in six months, many challenges confront the market, Walsh said.
“For many potential buyers, lower prices and amazingly low mortgage rates still aren’t enough to get them over their hurdles: tight credit, home values below what they owe on their mortgages, and uncertainties over the economy and home prices,” Walsh said.
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