As seen on DQNEWS.com
La Jolla, CA—Southern California logged the highest February home sales in six years last month amid relatively strong sales of mid- to high-end properties and a record share of homes sold to absentee buyers. The median sale price edged slightly lower from January but rose nearly 21 percent from a year earlier, marking the 11th straight month in which the median has risen year-over-year, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 15,945 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 0.7 percent from 16,058 sales in January, and up 1.0 percent from 15,780 sales in February 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
Typically there’s not much change in the number of sales between January and February. On average, sales have risen 0.7 percent between those two months since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.
Last month’s sales were the highest for the month of February since 17,680 homes sold in February 2007, but they were 9.9 percent below the February average of 17,696 sales. The low for February sales was 10,777 in 2008, while the high was 26,587 in 2004.
“Our January and February stats certainly indicate housing remains a big target for investors. But typically those two months don’t offer much insight into how the market will behave the rest of the year. These are sales that closed in January and February, meaning many of the buyers were out home shopping during the holiday season late last year. That’s when many traditional buyers and sellers drop out of the market, leaving a relatively high concentration of very motivated market participants, especially investors,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
“March and April will offer a better view of how broader market trends are shaping up this year. One of the real wild cards will be how many more homes go up for sale. More people who’ve long been thinking of selling will be tempted to list their homes at today’s higher prices. Fewer people will be underwater and therefore could at least break even on a sale. Some investors who’ve held for a while will consider cashing in. A meaningful rise in the supply of homes on the market should at least tame price appreciation.”
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