SOCAL Housing Market Improves Slightly

The Southern California housing market showed some signs of stabilizing last month with sales popping up more than average from May to June, a real estate data firm reported Tuesday.

Sales rose 11.6% from May, driven by first-time buyers and investors scouring the market for bargains. A total of 20,532 newly built and previously owned homes sold in the region last month, according to DataQuick of San Diego. That tally was nevertheless a 14.0% decline from the same period a year ago, the last month that buyers could close on their home purchases and qualify for the popular federal tax credit.

The median sales price for the region was $285,000, a 1.8% increase from May though still down 5.0% from June 2010. The median, the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less, was 15.4% above the most recent bottom of $247,000 hit in the throes of the financial crisis in April 2009.

“The housing market remains dysfunctional and lopsided, just somewhat less so than it was a few months or a year ago,” DataQuick President John Walsh said. “The market mix indicates that a lot of potential buyers are either stuck, for lack of equity, or spooked and are waiting things out.”

Sales of so-called distressed properties — those whose owners are in some state of default — made up more than half of the Southland resale market last month. Roughly one out of three homes resold was a foreclosure, while almost one in five was a short sale, in which the mortgage holder accepts a sale price that is less than the oustanding debt on the property.

Enhanced by Zemanta