8/25/2009

Fewer Homes to Buy as Sales Increase, Prices Jog Upward


Various industry sources have reported that June, 2009 showed the highest California median price this year at $274,740 (statewide median). June sales showed at 20 percent increase over the prior year. The statewide unsold inventory in June was at 4.1 months, locally the figure is even lower. Per the July 2009 report from California Association of Realtors: "The index is now 3.5 months lower than a year earlier and well below the peak of 16.6 months in early 2008. In fact, low inventories may constrain sales and contribute to upward pressure on home prices through the rest of the busy season."

The higher end properties are accounting for more sales, with properties below $500,000 accounting for about 76%, down from 85% at the beginning of the year. From March to June, the market share of distressed properties declined, contributing to the increase in median price.

Los Angeles County median sales price, July 2009, at $340,000; Orange County median at $490,000.

News about Southern California from Dataquick as of August 18th:

"In the region’s more affordable areas, many first-time buyers continued to choose government-insured FHA financing. Such loans were used to finance 37.2 percent of home purchases last month, up from 36.9 percent in June and 19.7 percent a year ago. "
"The recent drop in foreclosure resales, coupled with the rise in high-end sales, has helped stabilize some of the regional home price measures. But there’s still quite a bit of distress out there, and plenty of unknowns with regard to how lenders and borrowers will choose to proceed,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

And probably the most telling comment about the future:

“Even if we are at or near bottom,” he added, “history suggests we could bounce along that bottom for quite a while.”

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