LOCAL : Home Sales in Orange County Take a Drop of 12% in October

From Times Staff and wire service reports

Home sales in Orange County fell 12% from September to October, which was a weak month statewide for sales, the California Assn. of Realtors said today.

That kept prices from rising much. The median price of a new house in Orange County inched up less than 1% during the month, to $253,034 from $250,885.

Sales in the county were down 18.5% in October from a year ago. At that time the median price was $222,036, or 14% lower.

High prices have held sales down in California's coastal areas, the trade association said.

October's sales statewide were 15% lower than a year ago.

The median price fell 3% from September to October, to $193,557 from $199,606, largely because people bought more small homes than big ones during the month.

Last year the median price statewide was $178,499, or 8% lower than today.

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