Southland Home Sales Down from Last Year Again; Price Gains Throttle Back from Elaine Golden-Gealer

Southern California homes sold at the slowest pace for a June in three years as investor purchases fell again and other would-be buyers continued to struggle with inventory and affordability constraints. The median price paid for a home rose to its highest level in 77 months but the single-digit gain from a year earlier was the smallest in two years, a real estate information service reported.

micro-livingA total of 20,654 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 5.6 percent from 19,556 sales in May, and down 4.4 percent from 21,608 sales in June last year, according to DataQuick, which is owned by Irvine-based CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.

On average, sales have increased 6.4 percent between May and June since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. Sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for nine consecutive months. Sales during the month of June have ranged from a low of 18,032 in June 2008 to a high of 40,156 in June 2005. Last month was 23.7 percent below the June average of 27,069 sales. Sales haven’t been above the long-term average for more than eight years.

“Pent-up demand, job growth and still-low mortgage rates continue to put pressure on home prices. But they’re climbing at a much slower pace than a year ago. In many markets price appreciation has slipped into the more sustainable single-digit range, compared with gains exceeding 20 percent this time last year. Why the drop-off? The supply of homes for sale, while still low in an historical context, is higher this year, and the decline in affordability serves as gravity for home prices. People can’t stretch with exotic and risky loans the way they could during the last housing boom,” said Andrew LePage, a DataQuick analyst.

“Many of the market indicators we track continue to ease toward normalcy,” he added. “For example, the use of larger, so-called jumbo loans is up significantly this year, as is the use of adjustable-rate mortgages. Distressed property sales are way down and, related to that, investor and cash purchases are trending lower, toward more normal levels.”

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $415,000, up 1.2 percent from $410,000 in May and up 7.8 percent from $385,000 in June 2013. While last month’s median was the highest since it was also $415,000 in January 2008, the 7.8 percent year-over-year gain was the lowest since June 2012, when the $300,000 median rose 5.3 percent.

The Southland median has risen on a year-over-year basis for 27 straight months. But June marked the end of the median’s 22-month streak of double-digit year-over-year gains, which peaked at 28.3 percent in June last year.

Last month three counties – San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura – logged single-digit, year-over-year gains in their median sale prices.

The Southland’s June median stood 17.8 percent below the peak $505,000 median in spring/summer 2007.

San Diego-based DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. CoreLogic acquired DataQuick in March.

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Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed

“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”