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Investors Buying Up All the Cheap Houses

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Home sales were up, but median prices were down in SoCal in February, according to the latest DataQuick numbers: "The influx of cash from speculators helped push February sales to their highest level for that month in five years, real estate firm DataQuick reported Wednesday. The increase was fueled by purchases of properties costing less than $200,000. Sales of homes costing more than $800,000 sank." Median prices were down 3.7% from February 2011. Big firms are buying up tons and tons of local houses and a real estate agent tells the LA Times "I've never seen it like this before...There are so many investors buying right now it's insane. The top 1% is buying up all the real estate." [LAT]