We're starting to feel like a broken record here: real estate research firm DataQuick put out their May numbers and the housing market continues to be crazy. The median home price in Southern California was the highest it's been since May 2008 and the year-on-year price jump was the biggest since October 2004, says the Daily News reports. Even DQ's president is at a loss: "How this all plays out is educated guesswork at this point." Feeling much more certain of himself, though is Michael Carney, executive director of the Real Estate Research Council at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. "Those kind of increases can't be sustained, 20 to 30 percent are enormous increases," he said. "We're not going back to the earlier (record price) levels. Not in my lifetime." Not knowing Mr. Carney's age or medical history makes it extremely difficult to assess the likely accuracy of that statement. But on to things we do know. Here's how May's sales shook out:
-- The median home price in Southern California, of $368,000, is 3.1 percent higher than it was in April, and 24.7 higher than May 2012. Just in LA County the median price was $410,000--up $95,000 from a year ago.
-- About three quarters of the increase is due to rising home price; the rest reflects a change in the mix of houses selling (that is, more expensive houses are being sold).
-- Foreclosure sales continue to drop, down to 10.8 percent from 12.4 percent in April. That's way down from the 26.9 percent of sales that were foreclosures in May 2012. Meanwhile, short sales are holding steady at 17.7 percent.
-- The percentage of homes bought by absentee buyers continues to inch down, as does the number of flips. However, as Business Insider points out, the flipping rate is inching down from an all-time high hit in February this year.
-- But even with all these gains, there are still lots of homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth. According to CoreLogic numbers released today, 16.2 percent of homes with mortgages in the LA area were underwater in the first quarter of this year.
· Southern California home sales hit 7-year high [DN]
· State O' the Market Archives [Curbed LA]