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SoCal's Supply Of Low-Priced Homes Is Disappearing

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The number of houses and condo sales in Southern California was "underwhelming," says research firm DataQuick in its report for last month. Sales in six SoCal counties (LA, OC, Riverside, San Berdoo, San Diego, Ventura) were 10 percent lower than they were a year ago, and 14 percent lower than in October. (In just LA County, they were down 11.3 percent over last year.) This is the second month in a row that numbers in the region have dropped. While it's hard to say exactly why, a big contributor to the saggy sales was the "lean supply" of homes on the market. DQ predicts that sales will improve in the spring, when more homeowners might be enticed to sell in hopes of cashing in on the current high prices (spring is generally a stronger selling season than winter). The November results also showed a big increase in the median home price in Southern California--up 20 percent to $385,000 compared to last year. In just Los Angeles County, median prices were up 21.3 percent to $424,500. But when you check out the last six months, the median price has been pretty consistent, rather than increasing, contributing to the overall feeling of "meh" when it comes to November's numbers. There's been a "significant increase in mid- to high-end sales," but the number of homes for sale under $300,000 dropped 43.7 percent in November, in part because of fewer foreclosures (thankfully) and in part because many people can't sell their house until they owe less money on it.
· Southland Home Sales Drop; Median Sale Price Edges Sideways - Again [DataQuick]